Turmeric is one of the best health promoting spices in Ayurveda. Turmeric is pungent, bitter and astringent. It may be consumed by all three Ayurvedic body types, but when used excessively, it may increase the Pitta dosha, as it is heating.
The active component of turmeric is curcumin, a powerful polyphenol antioxidant which studies show may help to reduce inflammation, ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that curcumin could stabilize colorectal cancer. Other studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of skin diseases, Alzheimer’s, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. It can help treat upset stomach, diabetes, depression and viral infections.
My mother lives in the UK and can never stop complaining about the skies ‘shade of grey’ and bone chilling temperatures of that country. For the past three weeks, she has been ingesting golden milk daily to help with inflammation and her blood tests show that it’s working. Golden Milk is an Ayurvedic drink made using turmeric and milk (check Google for a recipe). Drinking this has been the only change she has made to her lifestyle. I called her yesterday and what stood out from our phone conversation was how bubbly she sounded. As she carried excitedly on about the effects of turmeric, it made my head spin. “Mom, is it sunny and warm there today?” “No, it flippin’ cold girl! It was 5 degrees dis mornin’. Strange wedder!” If she is still bubbly through shitty weather, I need me some of that!
Since I avoid dairy and extra calories, I had to find another way to ingest turmeric. Yes, I know turmeric supplements are available in stores but not up for spending on ingredients that are in my kitchen.
To make it’s absorption effective, turmeric requires a bit of fat and some black pepper. So in went turmeric powder, coconut oil and freshly ground pepper into a bowl. I mixed it with my fingers and made tablets. In under 5 minutes and with yellow hands, it was time try my first pill. I grabbed the biggest one and attempted to wash it down with water. I figured since it was soft it should be easy to swallow but it needed convincing! Thank goodness no one was around to laugh! I made them smaller.
For the next 3 weeks, I plan on taking 2-3 pills a day, which will amount to around a teaspoon. Will update on any changes!
A bit more than 3 weeks later… 🙂
Hmmm…wish I also had before and after blood tests…cause I can’t really say for sure. For me, the effects are not as apparent or immediate as going gluten-free. During the ‘turmeric phase my skin did clear up, but that could be the difference in it not being a certain time of month or stress or sleep, dietary changes…etc. More experimenting required.
[Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 13.]