Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a powerful herb that possesses a wide range of health benefits. It is a member of the ginger family and is used widely in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. You most likely know it if you enjoy curries. But besides being a staple in the kitchen, turmeric has been an essential part of many natural health practices around the world for centuries.
What does turmeric do?
Rich in a natural compound called curcumin, which is responsible for the root’s rich characteristic orange color, turmeric helps support health in a number of ways. Curcumin is known to possess antioxidant properties, meaning it has the potential to help protect cells throughout the body from free radicals (unstable molecules that can damage healthy cells).*
Turmeric is also known for its potential ability to promote a healthy inflammatory response, support healthy brain cells and help to maintain a healthy liver, even under challenging circumstances.*
How is turmeric taken?
Turmeric can be easily incorporated into your diet fresh or as a powdered spice. Try sprinkling it on rice, potatoes, steamed vegetables, scrambled eggs or even popcorn, or use it to cook Indian or Asian dishes. In traditional Indian curries, turmeric is often mixed with black pepper, along with other herbs. Researchers have found that black pepper actually may help increase absorption of curcumin and other nutrients in your digestive tract.*
If you aren’t a fan of the flavor, turmeric also can be taken in supplement form. There are easy-to-take capsules, or you can try a mix-in powdered supplement, like MegaFood Daily Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder, which combines turmeric with extracts of wild blueberry, black cherry, raspberry, cranberry and more.
One of my favorite ways to take turmeric is to drink it in homemade ginger and licorice tea. It’s delicious, so it’s easy to sip every day. Try it yourself, and let me know how you like it.
2 cups coconut milk
8 cups water
2” piece ginger root (peeled, sliced)
2” piece turmeric root (peeled, sliced)
¼ tsp. licorice root (do not use if you have high blood pressure) or few drops of stevia
In large pot, boil water. Add all ingredients (except coconut milk), cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and stir in coconut milk (or just add coconut milk to each cup of tea in order to cool it enough to drink). Enjoy!
(Note: You can store the tea in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.