HERB MEDICINE: TURMERIC

There are many health benefits of this brilliant yellow-orange root, turmeric (Curcuma longa). This plant has a very long history of medicinal and culinary uses through out India and is used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine.  Thousands of scientific research studies on the effects of turmeric over the past 50 years show findings of many beneficial actions on the body.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial actions plus increased circulation for the brain and heart make this an awesome herb to take daily for overall wellness for most people. There are some medications that turmeric can alter the effectiveness so check before ingesting if you’re taking any prescribed pharmaceuticals. Here are some of my family’s favorite ways to get turmeric in and on the body!

 

Golden Milk

This warming tea feels comforting to the nervous system and is a wonderful evening drink. If honey or another natural sweetener is added it satisfies as an evening dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • honey, maple or stevia to taste  (optional)

Put all ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat while stirring continuously. When the milk is a golden yellow color and warmed through it is ready to serve. This should take only a few minutes.

 

Turmeric Lemonade

This recipe is delicious, energizing & refreshing.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 2 thumb-sized fresh turmeric rhizomes or •  1 tbsp dried turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid stevia extract (or more to taste)- Or other natural sweetener of choice
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

(Note: adding fresh black pepper increases the bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric tremendously!)

If using the fresh root, add only 1 cup of water and turmeric root to a blender and mix. I like to strain out the pulp of the turmeric, making sure to squeeze all of the juice out. Be aware that it does stain the skin.  You can use a spoon and fine strainer or a cheese cloth.

Then add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and mix well. Then chill and serve this yellow elixir.

 

Turmeric Paste for Glowing Skin

This simple paste can be used to make a beautifying face mask or for acne, and minor skin irritations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon yogurt

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar. Apply directly to skin. Let sit  for 5 minutes then rinse with warm water. Use a dark colored wash cloth because turmeric tends to stain.

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