Beauty

Are you curious about turmeric? It sure is beautiful with its bright, mustard-y color! And I’m sure you’ve heard about it in snips and clips here and there, about how “good for you” it is.

But since most of us (unless you have Indian roots!) didn’t grow up cooking with it, it can seem a little intimidating…at first. But I created this great guide for you to see the DL on turmeric, including learning about all of its incredible health & beauty benefits!

Let’s check it out!

Turmeric root and powder, close up

First off, the spice of turmeric has been used for medical purposes (such as in Ayurvedic medicine) for thousands of years. Even today, the spice is used to ward off and treat a range of conditions. I’m in a long Ayurvedic program (just taking my time, doing as many classes as I can each semester!), and I see in my clinical hours how turmeric is often prescribed to the patients to take with hot water, in a medicinal way.

What is turmeric?

A core ingredient in curry powder, turmeric is grown throughout India as well as parts of Central America and Asia  — and its active ingredient, curcumin, is known as a powerful antioxidant.

Turmeric’s roots are typically cooked and dried before being used in medicine and food in the form of powders and so on.

What are the health benefits of turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice with some serious power- as bold and as bright as its striking color!

In fact, the National Cancer Institute has recognized its active ingredient (curcumin) as an effective anticarcinogen, which means that it can help to prevent cancer development and growth [1].

Prone to allergies? Tend to get sick easily? Studies have revealed that turmeric may be capable of enhancing antibody response, thus giving the immune system a boost [2].

It’s crucial to keep your LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) down, as it plays a role in increasing your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Fortunately, research has shown a connection between curcumin and reduced LDL cholesterol levels [3].

curcumin

Likely due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, curcumin has demonstrated the ability to delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes [4].

Belly troubles? If you’re experiencing an upset stomach, keep in mind that one study showed that supplementing with turmeric was effective at hindering heartburn and indigestion [5].

Need help focusing? According to research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, by promoting better blood flow, curcumin can also improve brain function [6].

3 Easy Ways to Use Turmeric

This all sounds amazing, right?! But not so much if you don’t actually use it! :) Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can do just that:

1. Tea

With a spicy warmth, turmeric tea is delish and comforting. We offer this at Glow Bio off the menu. And sipping on it can also have a detoxifying effect. In fact, a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that people with elevated liver enzymes experienced reduced levels of those enzymes when they took turmeric consistently for 12 weeks.

Picture of turmeric tea.

Simply add a 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder to 3-4 cups of boiling water and let the liquid simmer for 10 minutes on the stove before straining (or if you are me, you don’t care about little bits here and there and don’t take the time/effort to strain!). You can then add some coconut nectar or stevia to sweeten it up… as you’ll probably want to :). I know I usually do! Unless you can do more earthy herbs and spices straight up; if so, good for you!

You can also make a version of “Golden Milk”, with almond milk, cashew milk or any other non-dairy milk of your choice in place of water, and add cinnamon, ginger and peppercorns for an extra kick [7]. Yoozah! Now that’s an afternoon snack.

2. Beauty products

Turmeric is a spectacular addition to skin-care products due to its antioxidant properties, which can fend off the free radicals that accelerate signs of aging. As it contains the mineral manganese, it can also support the production of collagen, which is responsible for supple, youthful looking skin. The spice can also has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect for those with sensitive skin, and can help to fight the bacteria that causes acne.

skin care

The National Psoriasis Foundation even advises taking turmeric as a supplement or cooking with it to help minimize flare-ups. Fortunately, a number of skincare lines have incorporated turmeric into cleansers, serums and other products — but you can also add a teaspoon of it to a homemade soap or moisturizer. Mix a dash of powdered turmeric into a mixture of coconut yogurt and raw, ethically sourced organic honey for a nourishing natural face mask [8].

3. Cooking

Check these out. I have a LOT of recipes for ya to incorporate turmeric. I got you!!

Use turmeric to bring out the warmth in Easy Baked Butternut Squash:

Easy Bake Spiced Butternut Squash

 

Incorporate turmeric into a batch of flavor-packed Turmeric Beauty Rice:

http://1svs171z94oz9t7d2y7jqv1s.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Butternut-Squash-09.jpg

 

Give an Orange Turmeric Smoothie or Zanzibar Shake some unexpected spice:

 

Turmeric makes a comforting Vegan and Gluten Free Mac ‘N Cheese even more delectable:

Vegan and Gluten Free Mac 'N Cheese

 

There’s hardly a more refreshing way to hydrate in summer than with a cold glass of Electric Lemonade, which gets a beautifying boost from turmeric:

Electric Lemonade Recipe

 

Add a dash of turmeric to a batch of crispy, Cheesy Calcutta Kale Chips for a crave-worthy snack:

cheesy calcutta kale chips

What is the recommended intake?

It’s always best to see how your body reacts to a small amount of any new food or supplement before taking more. And if you’re currently on any medications, it’s advisable to consult your doctor for the recommended dosage. However, according to University of Maryland Medical Center, the ideal daily dose of turmeric in various forms is as follows:

  • Curcumin powder: 400 to 600 milligrams three times per day (this is the way I consume turmeric personally)
  • Cut root and dried, powdered root: 1.5 to 3 grams (please see my comment below)
  • Fluid extract: 30 to 90 drops
  • Tincture: 15 to 30 drops four times per day

Keep in mind that curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body. So to reap its full benefits, make sure to consume it with black pepper, which contains a substance called piperine that can boost absorption of turmeric’s active ingredient by a whopping 2000 percent.

Turmeric and black pepper combination has great heath benefits.

My Ayurvedic teacher, Dr. Jay, says that women should not really consume whole turmeric root- but rather stick to the powder. This is because turmeric opens up the fluid pathways in the body, and for women, who naturally have more fluids, it might be too much opening. You can listen to this explanation on this podcast segment.

Well hope you enjoyed this turmeric 101! Let me know how you enjoy the recipes as well.

Lots of love!

Kimberly

Picture of Kimberly outdoors looking at the root of a tree.
Look at this fabulous tree I spotted in Hawaii a few weeks ago! Mother Nature is so clever, isn’t she?! Try to get outside for a walk/hike this week if you can, for more inspiration and natural energy. xx
[1] Curcumin
[2] “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.
[3] “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.
[4] Curcumin Extract for Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
[5] Randomized double blind study of Curcuma domestica Val. for dyspepsia.
[6] Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population
[7] The effectiveness of fermented turmeric powder in subjects with elevated alanine transaminase levels: a randomised controlled study.
[8] Herbs/Natural Remedies

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