I’m having a bit of a love affair with turmeric these days. A powerful anti-inflammatory, it’s a beautiful and natural way to bring ease to a body inflamed. I’ve been using it as part of my natural remedy cocktail at the first signs of a migraine and have been loving it so much I’ve been finding ways to sneak it into anything and everything.

Turmeric is an excellent example of how some of the most powerful healing substances are actually in your kitchen, not your medicine cabinet. Here are some of the amazing benefits of turmeric:

  • It is very nourishing for the liver, your primary detoxification organ. By supporting your liver, you’re naturally supporting your body’s ability to detoxify. [1]
  • It is a powerful anti-inflammatory due largely to the effects of the compound curcumin. [2]
  • The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to have a modulating effect on the immune system, which gives it an important role in calming an over-active immune system in autoimmune disease by regulating inflammatory cytokines (our immune system’s messengers).[3]
  • It stimulates the production of bile, which has two primary roles in your body: it emulsifies (breaks down) fat so that your body can use it properly and it escorts toxins from your body through the digestive tract. [4][5]
  • It has been shown to be very important in fighting cancer. [6]
  • It purifies the blood.[7]

As you can see, turmeric is some pretty awesome stuff. Here are six ways to get more of it in your diet:

1) Buy the root whole and juice it along with your greens in your morning green juice. Don’t go too crazy here… a little goes a long way! I’d use a piece about the size of a small thumb. Here’s a compelling story of how doing exactly this – adding a small bit of turmeric to a daily juicing regime – drastically reduced severe inflammation by 90%. You can also put a couple of slices into a smoothie, especially one with coconut milk. Yum!

2) Make a soothing tea. Simply slice up a little turmeric root (you don’t even need to peel it) and add it to some boiling water along with some slices of ginger root, some lemon, and honey. Here are other great recipes for you to try:

3) If making turmeric tea from scratch is more than you signed up for, you can simply add some liquid turmeric drops to your tea. I learned this trick from my awesome hairdresser who made me a big cup of chai tea with some added turmeric one day when I had a headache. The flavor goes beautifully with the chai or any Indian spiced tea. I’ve now made it a regular addition to my afternoon cup of Roisboos Chai tea.

4) Cook with it. Turmeric is the spice responsible for giving Indian curries their bright yellow/orange hue. Just be careful with your clothing – it does stain. Here are some recipes to get you started:

5)  Drink some golden milk. This could be my new favorite drink. Golden milk is an ayurvedic beverage that is soothing, healing, and a great way to get your daily dose of turmeric. Here’s a recipe my good friend Amanda whipped up for me the other day. This makes one cup – you can multiply the ingredients to make as many servings as you like. Try adding in a little ginger as well. You can drink it warm or cold.

Combine ingredients in a pan over medium heat, and whisk to mix well. Once warmed, you can drink it immediately or store a glass jar in the fridge for later. Keeps for 2-3 days.

6) And here’s a bonus I never thought of: bake with it. Check out this wonderful recipe for Paleo Turmeric Scones from Fresh Planet Flavor.  I haven’t tried them yet, but what a creative use of a beautiful spice!

What’s your favorite way to use this wonder spice?

[1] Turmeric Extract and Its Active Compound, Curcumin, Protect Against Chronic CCl4-induced Liver Damage by Enhancing Antioxidation

[2] Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health

[3] Curcumin and Autoimmune Disease 

[4]Therapeutic potential of curcumin in digestive diseases , [5] Turmeric, the Golden Spice – Herbal Medicine

[6] New perspectives of curcumin in cancer prevention

[7] Turmeric, the Golden Spice – Herbal Medicine

6 Ways to Get More Turmeric in your Diet

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