Eating natural, organic, non-processed foods is one of the best ways to ensure that we are doing all we can to get and keep our bodies healthy. But as we all know, a good meal is more than a piece of meat, a baked sweet potato, and a salad of organic romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato. There’s something we can do that will greatly improve the taste of our food while it provides our bodies with healthy, powerful quantities of antioxidants and nutrients to support our body’s systems. What is it? It’s the amazing herbs and spices that we can use that are very low in calories but dense in vitamins and minerals; like turmeric!
I want to talk about one of these powerhouse spices in this blog post. It’s turmeric, often called the “Queen of Spices,” a member of the ginger family and a main ingredient in curry. Turmeric has been used as a healthy spice for thousands of years. As far back as AD 1280, Marco Polo discovered it while he was in China, saying: “There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well as the smell and the color, and yet it is not really saffron.”¹
One of main ingredients in turmeric is curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. Curcumin has been proven to help prevent hardening of the arteries, help stop the loss of protein through the kidneys, and in laboratory studies has successfully killed cultures of cancer cells from the skin, bloodstream, and ovaries. According to WebMD, it is used for arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, gallbladder disorders, headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, arthritis and joint pain, and even in perfumes! It’s not real often that those of us in the natural, organic, Paleo world find that many affirmations from the mainstream medicine world about something we are also promoting.
There are so many good benefits to this powerhouse spice that we cannot cover them all in this short post. But I would like to answer these three questions:
- What kind of turmeric should I purchase?
- How should I use turmeric?
- What are 7 benefits I can get from turmeric.
What kind of turmeric should I purchase?
You can find turmeric in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, but you cannot guarantee the quality you may find. It’s very difficult to verify the purity and potency of grocery store spices. You should search for a high-quality, 100 percent organic-based turmeric supplement. Male sure your herbal supplement comes from a certified organic producer committed to quality processes.
Use this checklist to find the best:
- Contains only 100 percent certified organic ingredients
- Comes in supplement form
- Avoids fillers, additives, and other ingredients
Be careful to research thoroughly to find the best turmeric. There are two forms of turmeric you will want. As a supplement you take daily to reduce inflammation in your heart, joints, liver, and for cellular health, I recommend this one in liquid capsule formulation.
How should I use turmeric?
There are many uses for turmeric, including those I mentioned earlier. Let’s talk about just a few specific things I would recommend you try.
- It can be used in lotions, rubs and salves to sooth skin and reduce inflammation. It often can be found in preparations for eczema or psoriasis. If you are experiencing skin breakouts or dry, scaly skin I would recommend that you add 1 teaspoon of powdered turmeric spice to my Whipped Sleepytime Rub. You should get relief from some of the skin problems within a few days.
- Whenever you feel a cold coming on, or are experiencing the symptoms of flu and bronchitis, get your crock pot out and make some of my Soothing Elixir for Colds and Flu. Be sure to add about 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder to the recipe.
- When you or one of your family members is having a hard time sleeping through the night, or is suffering from an illness that keeps you awake at night, try a cup of soothing Turmeric Tea. This is one of the most helpful uses for this powerhouse spice. You can find a great recipe for this healthy tea here.
- Did you know that research has proven that chocolate is good not only for the soul, but for your mind and body as well? Dark chocolate, along with turmeric, are great inflammation fighters, and help to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying chronic, degenerative diseases. Try adding a half teaspoon of turmeric powder to this delicious Two-Minute Mug Brownie. The spicy, warm flavor of the turmeric will blend well with the smooth texture of the brownie and provide you with some great healthy benefits.
- Turmeric is a wonderful spice to add to soups and stews, and will give them a rich, warm flavor and a beautiful color. The next time you make Homemade Bone Broth, add a couple teaspoons of Turmeric.
What are 7 benefits I can get from turmeric?
There are many benefits to this “Queen of Spices” Turmeric, so do your own research to discover the specific ways this spice could bring better health to your family’s needs. I want to list 7 benefits that I think are worth considering as motivation to add this spice to your own recipes and homemade products.
- The powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of turmeric can help to build a wall of defense against colds, viruses, and other seasonal illnesses. Most studies indicate that to get the most benefits from turmeric, you need a dosage of at least 1 gram per day. Use this excellent extra strength product I recommended earlier.
- The curcumin in turmeric has been suggested as a better option for people dealing with blood clotting issues than several of the OTC products available.
- To support your liver as it works to unload the toxins that are built up over time, which cause weight gain, fatigue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, constipation, heartburn, PMS, infertility and insomnia, I recommend this three-week liver-cleansing program, which includes the addition of organic turmeric.
- Turmeric has proven to be very beneficial to people who are suffering from the painful joints and inflammation of arthritis. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, with ibuprofen for pain relief in 107 people with knee osteoarthritis. The curcumin eased pain and improved function about as well as the ibuprofen.³ To increase absorption and get the therapeutic dose necessary for maximum benefit, add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder to a quart of boiling water, boil for 10 minutes and drink the turmeric water within six hours.
- Cancer is one of the most thoroughly researched studies related to curcumin and its ability to reverse disease. Studies have shown that curcumin has anticancer effects and is able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. The American Cancer Society has stated: “Laboratory studies have also shown that curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Recently, curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of it’s ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”²
- There may be no better natural treatment for lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance than adding 500 to 2,000 mg of tumeric to your diet daily. In addition to correcting the causes of diabetes, curcumin has also been proven to help reverse many of the issues related to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
- Studies have shown curcumin to be equally as effective as other medications in the treatment of high cholesterol. You can add turmeric spice to curries, use it to flavor lentil soups, spice up sautéed onions and/or cauliflower or add it to homemade salad dressing and dips. Try this delicious Turmeric Cinnamon Roasted Cauliflower.
This powerhouse “Queen of Spices”—Turmeric—is one of nature’s healthiest foods. It can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions. Do your research and begin adding turmeric to your daily diet.