The bright yellow spice called turmeric has been used in Asian cooking for centuries--but is only now being hailed in this country as the new wonder supplememt. Turmeric benefits are wide ranging and include anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, as well as supporting liver health, brain cell health and protection against free radicals.* Botanically similar to ginger, turmeric is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Africa. Known for its warm, bitter taste and golden color, turmeric is traditionally used in curries and mustards (it’s what gives mustard its yellow color).
But with everyone going gaga over this super spice, there are now many different ways you can jump on the turmeric train. You can consume turmeric as a spice or as supplement, or in teas, powders and tonics. Here’s a roundup of the latest—and greatest—turmeric delivery systems.
A lot of grocery stores now carry turmeric, which looks very similar to ginger root. It’s a surprisingly versatile root and can be used to add mild flavor to smoothies, tonics, rice, stir fries, marinades and more. Peel it and let your imagination run wild. A word to the wise: turmeric, which is often used to dye clothes, can stain hands, clothes and cooking utensils.
2. Golden milk
Turmeric milk, also called golden milk, is a traditional healing remedy commonly used in India to treat everything from colds to asthma. Try taking it at night to ensure a good night’s sleep. You can make the milk from scratch using turmeric powder, honey, and spices, or try out a ready to go version such as Gaia Herbs new Golden Milk powder. A blend of turmeric, dates, cardamom, vanilla, black pepper and ashwagandha, another Indian medicinal root, it’s delicious when added to warmed milk.
Turmeric tonics are fast becoming the new kombucha—a bevy of companies, such as temple turmeric and ananda turmeric are creating turmeric elixirs touted to support a positive inflammation response. Look for them with other refrigerated drinks in your natural grocery store.
It’s hard to eat or drink enough turmeric on a daily basis to achieve its protective effects, so additional ways you can augment your turmeric consumption makes for a welcome addition. Again, there are many different tea companies that offer turmeric tea. Brew it the same as any herbal tea, sip, and repeat. Be prepared for, if nothing else, a delicious sip.
If you are looking to support specific health concerns, you may benefit from a higher dose of turmeric. Consult with your physician about the advisability of taking turmeric supplements (or curcumin supplements), as there are many conditions such as pregnancy in which turmeric would be contraindicated.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.