I had no idea until about a year ago that a spice that often sat unused in my cupboard could be so incredibly powerful. I happened to be attending a health seminar in the spring- ironically the day after my son sprained his wrist when he rode his scooter off of a homemade jump on our driveway and landed painfully on his arm (totally normal 12-year-old behavior right?!). After listening to the teacher speak about the multitude of healing properties of turmeric, I rushed home and made a turmeric poultice for my son’s wrist. Yes his arm turned bright yellow but his wrist healed remarkably quickly and the pain and swelling decreased very rapidly.
After seeing how quickly my son’s injury healed, I began to do more research into the health benefits of turmeric. And I soon found out that it has been used for centuries to cure and treat an astounding number of health issues. Turmeric can be used:
– for liver detoxification (and lord knows I need this one given my love of red wine ; )
– as a natural pain-killer
– to combat depression by naturally lifting your mood (winter blahs anyone?)
– for its potent antiseptic and antibacterial properties (can kill yeasts and parasites internally)
– to reduce inflammation (sore muscles, headaches, arthritis… and even sprained wrists)
– as a powerful antioxidant
– to eliminate the cancer causing effects of BBQ smoke and cooking smoke (it has also been studied as an antimutagenic that potentially helps prevent new cancers that are caused by chemotherapy or radiation used to treat existing cancers)
– to keep the brain in tip-top shape and to ward off Alzheimer’s disease
– to accelerate wound healing and repair damaged skin
– to soothe an upset stomach
– as a natural immunity booster and preventative of flu bugs
Very impressive! But how do you use the stuff? And better yet – how do you get the kids to take it? On a recent trip to a local organic market, I purchased turmeric in 3 forms: whole turmeric root (the kids asked if this was a bag of turds), turmeric powder and turmeric capsules. Here are some of the ways that I use it:
– I put a 1-inch chunk of the root or 1 tsp (or more) of the powder into our green smoothies every morning
– I sprinkle turmeric powder over top of our fresh juice
– I use turmeric powder in soups, curries and stews for power-packed flavour
– I sprinkle turmeric powder over foods grilled on the barbecue to combat carcinogenic smoke residue
– I make this amazing Turmeric Tea recipe by Meghan Telpner (especially great to warm the body on these cold winter days)
– I take turmeric capsules to combat headaches and muscle soreness
– I mix 1 tsp turmeric powder with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and use it as a topical poultice on sore muscles, bruises and injuries
I encourage you to try adding some potent turmeric to your diet to see for yourself its incredible healing powers! A couple of things to keep in mind: because all brands aren’t created equally, make sure you purchase only good quality turmeric AND remember to consult with your doctor or naturopath before taking any new herbs or supplements. And if you are using it externally on yourself or your kiddies – be aware that it will leave a yellow residue on the skin for a couple of days.
How do you use turmeric? Do you find it effective? I’d love to hear from you!