The “active ingredient” in turmeric is curcumin, a natural antioxidant. Studies on a wide variety of health issues have concluded that curcumin to be a powerful antidepressant, an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, and a potential cure for pancreatic cancer. In a controlled study, it was 100% effective in preventing type II diabetes. Curcumin was just found to be as effective as ibuprofen for pain relief in knee osteoarthritis patients and it proved to be an impressive aide in weight loss.
The list goes on. It’s clear that the ancient Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures were onto something. Today we can benefit from tradition by enjoying turmeric in a number of recipes as delicious as they are helpful. Turmeric has a warm, slightly bitter taste that complements many foods. Many health care professionals recommend combining turmeric with black pepper. Piperine, found in black pepper, increases the absorption rate and benefits of turmeric much like Vitamin D does for calcium.
The bright yellow-orange spice known to stain most surfaces, but turmeric teeth whitening has been proven surprisingly helpful. The antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory nature or curcumin will actually whiten tooth enamel and help protect gums against infection. Try mixing turmeric, baking soda, and coconut oil, as in the teeth whitening recipe found here.
As turmeric is the main ingredient in most curries, using the powder in traditional curry dishes is a simple way to infuse your diet with the powerful root. Feeling adventurous? Try a banana curry smoothie or cheesy scrambled eggs with curry.
Turmeric steeped in hot water makes an invigorating tea. Try boiling four cups of water, adding one teaspoon of ground turmeric, then reducing the mixture to a simmer for ten minutes. Strain and enjoy! Many people enjoy adding honey, lemon, and/or ginger.
Soap for Irritated Skin
If you’re a hardy, motivated, DIY-type soul, turmeric-infused soaps are wonderful for chronic inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Some Eastern cultures so adore its clarifying properties that turmeric soap and cream have traditionally been included in brides’ pre-wedding beauty rituals.
Turmeric mixed with honey—called an electuary—can help soothe sore throats. Both honey and turmeric are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and the mixture can be made ahead of time and stored for a long time.
Golden turmeric milk is similarly flavored to chai, and often enjoyed as a tasty immune boosting-drink. Non-dairy milk (such as coconut milk or almond milk,) cinnamon, turmeric ginger, coconut oil, honey, and black pepper, simmered and strained, can be made days ahead of time and warmed before serving. Find the golden turmeric milk recipe here.
Turmeric can be added to yogurts and smoothies for a vibrant-tasting health boost! Prayani is currently hard at work perfecting the recipe of our new turmeric-infused yogurt. Watch the shelves—our turmeric flavor is coming soon!