There is no doubt to those in the know that Turmeric is a super-healing, super-food of a spice. Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavour and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow colour.
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, haemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.
Turmeric was traditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange colour and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.
Strong and Safe Anti-Inflammatory
The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin.
Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.
Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
We have been coveting turmeric in our household for some time, since my mothers rheumatoid arthritis and the medications she takes has further deteriorated her digestive system and inflamed her joints (and blood).
Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralise free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes. In a recent study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened walking time, and reduced joint swelling.
Here’s 10 easy ways you can include tummy-loving turmeric in your food.
1. Make a delicious golden latte or Turmeric and honey tea.
2. Add to a curry made from scratch
3. Create a salad dressing by mixing apple cider vinegar with turmeric, honey and olive oil
4. Melt some Ghee or coconut oil and mix turmeric through and then solidify again to use in cooking and frying
Nutrition Tip: The anti-inflammatory compounds in turmeric are more bio-available if it’s eaten with freshly grated black pepper and some type of healthy fat or oil.
6. Add turmeric to your delicious soup recipe.
7. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric into your scrambled eggs or omelette mixture for breakfast
8. Add half a teaspoon of turmeric to your daily smoothie to boost the nutrient quality and vitality.
9. Add to your bone broth to make it a super-gut-support brew
10. Add to any biscuit recipe to add some anti-inflammatory goodness to your sweet treats.
11. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric to your pancake mix
12. Fry diced cauliflower with garlic, ginger, coconut oil and turmeric for an incredibly tasty side-dish