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The herb turmeric has been getting a lot of attention recently. Everywhere I turn, there is another article about the health benefits of this amazing spice! There is good reason for this. Turmeric has been used not only for cooking but also medicinally, for thousands of years. It has just been recently that the Western world has started to see the benefits of this herb, and the health benefits are many. GreenMedInfo even has an article about 600 reasons why turmeric may be the world’s most important herb.
DISCLAIMER: Before we get started, the FDA and FTC require that I tell you that the content shared on this site is for informational and educational purposes only. Statements and/or products discussed have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult your own certified health care practitioner before making changes to your current diet or before beginning any herbal or vitamin supplement regimen or exercise program.
Now, let’s get started!
A Little Info on Turmeric
Turmeric’s most well-known health benefit is for having powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the primary polyphenol in turmeric, is being widely studied and shows a lot of promise in helping a wide range of health conditions. If you do a PubMed search, you will find TONS of research on curcumin and/or turmeric. These will be all peer-reviewed studies and the summaries are all free for public access. At the time of this writing, I found a total of close to 9,000 studies! That said, I believe that whole foods are better, so I prefer to use turmeric as a whole spice, rather than just the one isolated compound in a supplement.
Because of the research I have been doing on turmeric, I decided to start incorporating more of it into my diet. While I often ate turmeric in curry (it is one of the primary ingredients in curries and Indian dishes), I never really consumed it much other than that. I have a humongous bag that I just purchased recently, so I have lots to use up. Might as well start eating it! Here are the ways I have started using it:
- Add it to my soup. I eat soup for lunch every day. I add a couple of teaspoons to my soup, along with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. Turmeric works better when it is consumed with some sort of fat. Also, using turmeric with black pepper enhances the bioavailability of the spice.
- Sprinkle it over baked chicken, steak, roasts, veggies, salads, etc. UH-MAZING!
- Make a tea out of it. Sounds weird, but mixed with lemon and ginger, it’s not half bad.
As some of you know, I am working towards getting my autoimmune disease under control. One thing that comes hand-in-hand with autoimmune disease is inflammation. And, as we are all learning, inflammation really is at the root of all disease. Most of us, even those without an autoimmune disease, have chronic inflammation caused simply by living in the world we do today. We are constantly bombarded with toxins, GMOs, poor quality food, EMFs, and lots of stress. All of these can lead to inflammation, and in many cases, you won’t even know you have it!
But, from the sounds of it, turmeric could be one powerful ally in our fight against inflammation. Eating it through our food (along with some fat and black pepper) is the best way to incorporate it into our diets. Raw turmeric is going to be ideal if you can find it, but high-quality, organic dried turmeric is good too. Check your Asian markets for fresh turmeric. I see it all the time at the ones around here. Make sure you check out the bottom of this post for some recipe ideas and information on where to source high-quality organic turmeric.
21 Health Benefits of Turmeric
According to research and anecdotal data, turmeric may offer the following benefits:
- Reduce inflammation in the body (which can help overall health, as well as specific diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and more)
- Cancer inhibiting properties (in a wide variety of cancers)
- Destroy multi-drug resistant cancers and cancer stem cells (it operates on a cellular DNA level!)
- Powerful antioxidant, helping us fight free-radical damage.
- Protect from radiation damage
- Protect the liver from damage.
- Reduce the levels of heterocyclic amines (carcinogenic compounds that are formed when meats are barbecued, boiled, or fried).
- Antiseptic/antibacterial properties
- Immune system booster
- Metabolism booster (weight loss benefits)
- Help prevent or alleviate Alzheimer’s symptoms
- Help protect against heavy metal toxicity
- Help treat depression
- Help protect the heart from plaque build-up
- Help treat diabetes
- Help improve circulation and thin the blood
- Help improve digestion
- Help improve skin health (from elasticity to skin flora)
- Help female reproductive systems and PMS
- Support healthy skeletal and joint systems
- Help improve eye health
How Do I Get More Turmeric Into my Diet?
The easiest way to get more into your diet is to start adding it to your foods or make teas and other beverages from it. I prefer this way first and foremost. If you want to take it in supplement form, do your research and make sure you only get supplements with 100% organic ingredients and no fillers or other additives. Some people report that the supplements work well, others have reported that they don’t work, so like anything, it will vary from person to person. Keep in mind that on the whole, the actual spice is going to be waaaaay cheaper than supplements. You can usually find fresh turmeric at your local Ethnic market and sometimes health food stores. You can also purchase online from a variety of places. For information on where to purchase high-quality organic herbs and spices, visit my resources page here.
Here are some ideas on how to add more turmeric to your diet:
- My Roasted Kobacha Soup Recipe
- My Homemade Curry Powder Recipe
- My Simple Chicken and Vegetable Curry Recipe
- My Lactofermented Curried Squash and Zucchini Recipe
- My Lactofermented Indian Spiced Cauliflower Recipe
- Autumn Veggie Bake with Turmeric from Studio Botanica
- Turmeric Lime Soda from It Takes Time
- Turmeric Tea from Nature Had it First
- Ginger Turmeric Tea from Home Grown and Healthy
- Ginger Turmeric Tea from Studio Botanica
- Pain Relieving Turmeric Juice from So Let’s Hang Out
- Nature’s Flu Shot by Health Extremist
- Paleo Turmeric Scones by Grok Club
- Turmeric Apple Chips by South Beach Primal
- Curried Chicken by Red and Honey
- Healthy Condiments from Nourishing Joy
- Real Food Mac-n-Cheese from The Simple Moms
- Here are 10 more amazing turmeric recipes from Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Do you use turmeric? Have you had any notable experiences with it? Leave a comment below!
Supporting a The Adrenals, Thyroid, and Whole Body Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting overall wellness, herbs are a great tool to have in your toolkit, especially those who may be dealing with chronic illness of some type. Since 2009, when I started this site, I have met thousands upon thousands of people through my work and by far, the #1 health complaints are:
- adrenal fatigue (or adrenal dysfunction of some sort) (click here to read all of my adrenal health articles)
- thyroid disorders (hypo-, hyper-, or autoimmune) (click here to read all of my thyroid health articles)
Because of this, I wanted to add in a section into this post about the benefit of using herbs with chronic illness.
If you are dealing with any type of chronic illness, I’m sorry to break it to you, but caffeine may not be your best friend. 🙁 While you can find lots of info online in both the pro- and the anti-coffee camps, the fact of the matter comes down to the fact that are a lot of people dealing with chronic illness, especially thyroid and adrenal problems, that simply cannot tolerate coffee and caffeine.
While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to and can further exacerbate the toxic load on the body.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. In addition to dealing with these issues, we suspected that I was having some detox pathway sluggishness so we wanted to also focus on supporting the liver and lymph systems. Most people who are dealing with chronic illness are also going to have issues with detoxification of the body, which is why herbs can play such an important role.
To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs.
Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. All of the herbs used in my “coffee” blends have been used for thousands of years to support the body’s normal functions and help everything work a little better — something we all need in today’s toxic world! (psst, dandelion is one of the herbs!)
When it came to creating these blends, if I could get something to not only tasted amazing (and helped me recreate my dearly loved ritual) but also did amazingly supportive things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for a while and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief.
Now in its second edition, this ebook features:
- All of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
- A ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
- Information about all of the herbs used, why I selected them, how to source them, how to prepare and store you “coffees”, and much more.
- Access to your own personal coffee shop where I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here. Only real food.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.
- “The Spice that Supports Your Body’s Astonishing Immune System” | Mercola.com
- “600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb” | GreenMedInfo.com
- “Health benefits of turmeric” | The Times of India
- “Turmeric Health Benefits: Have a Happy New Year With Turmeric” | Dr. Andrew Weil
- “The amazing health benefits of turmeric” | Mother Nature Network
- “Turmeric” | GreenMedInfo.com
- “Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs” | GreenMedInfo.com
- “Is Your Period the Pits? Get Real Relief with this Amazing Natural Remedy” | Whole New Mom and Nature Had It First
- “Super Spice Turmeric” | Mindful Meals
- “The Most Powerful Food Combinations” | Men’s Health