Just search the terms ‘turmeric’ and ‘health’ online and you will find a myriad of blog posts, articles, and scholarly papers touting the benefits of turmeric. From fighting cholesterol to giving skin a healthy glow, proponents of this superfood claim that it can benefit anything and everything. While turmeric, or haldi, is best known as a South Asian and Middle Eastern culinary spice, it has also been a mainstay in traditional medicine for over 6000 years. Ancient Ayurvedic practitioners used this healing herb to strengthen the body, relieve digestive disorders, and treat respiratory conditions, amongst many other maladies. As the popularity of turmeric spread throughout Asia and the Middle East, it quickly became integrated with other traditional systems of medicine. Present-day researchers have been able to prove hundreds of its actions and turmeric is being used adjunctivally for many medical conditions.
Turmeric (Latin Curcuma longa) is a close relative of the ginger root. Like ginger, it boasts an impressive number of vitamins and mineral such as vitamins C, E, and B6, potassium and iron. The primary active compound in turmeric, curcumin, exhibits 600 potential benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
The daily inclusion of turmeric can enhance wellness by:
• Improving cognitive function
◦ Protects brain health by targeting dissolving abnormal proteins.
• Supporting muscle and joint health
◦ Decreases inflammation, and relieves joint and muscle pain
• Fighting systemic inflammation
◦ Regular consumption of turmeric can significantly lower levels of inflammatory markers.
• Boosting detoxification
◦ Optimizes liver detoxification function
• Promoting balanced mood
◦ Acts as a natural and effective mood enhancer
• Promoting youthful and radiant skin
◦ Promotes glowing, healthy skin by counteracting fine lines and wrinkles.
One of my favourite ways to get a daily dose of turmeric is to make ‘Golden Milk’. This warming beverage soothes the spirit and staves off aches and pains during the cooler seasons. This drink is boosted with the power of black pepper; research suggests that the extract of black pepper (piperine) can boost the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.
¼ cup Organic turmeric powder
¾ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup water
Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir the mixture until it becomes a thick paste Remove the paste from heat, allow it to cool, and place in a jar. This can be stored for several days in the fridge.
1-cup milk of your choice (dairy, nut milk, coconut milk)
½ teaspoon ‘Golden paste’
1-teaspoon coconut oil
1-teaspoon maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of your choice
In a small saucepan, combine milk, ‘Golden paste’, and coconut oil over low heat. Heat until the desired temperature is reached and add the sweetener. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!