I discovered the power of turmeric when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. A diagnosis such as cancer will spur on lots of reading and research. Here is what I learned about turmeric and why you should take it daily.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice from of a plant of the ginger family. It is typically used for flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. You might know it as the main spice in curry. The spice may be unfamiliar to you (it was until recently to me), but it has been used for thousands of years to treat various conditions. It is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and menstrual cramps.
Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. It has been found to kill glioblastoma brain cancer cells. Various studies have found that adding curcumin to the chemo regime had better success than either chemo or taking curcumin alone. According to the American Cancer Society, laboratory studies have shown that curcumin interferes with pathways and inhibits the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in rodents. Curcumin diet supplement has shown benefits for brain cancer, neck and oral cancer, and breast cancer.
More recently another compound in turmeric Ar-turmerone has been found to promote stem cell proliferation in the brain and may treat neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. One study even showed that curcumin suppressed fat tissue growth in rodents. That’s reason enough for me to continue to supplement my diet with turmeric!!
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Studies have found the following benefits of turmeric:
- shows promise in combating diabetes and obesity
- improves memory/focus
- prevents/inhibits various cancers
- promotes brain cell growth
- helps with depression
How to Take Turmeric
You can start adding the spice to your diet in various dishes, although I don’t think the amount used to season dishes would be enough to make a clinical benefit.
You can also take turmeric in supplement form. It is best to take a supplement that also includes black pepper, as it helps with absorption. Recommended dosage for adults is about 1500 mg per day. I’ve seen much higher dosages taken by cancer patients with no reported adverse side effects. I like the Gaia Brand of supplements because it includes black pepper. Turmeric can be found in most vitamin or health stores or online.
You can also add the seasoning to smoothies or include it in a tea. It has a rather strong taste, so for smoothies, I try to hide the taste with sweet fruit like banana or pineapple.
Golden Milk Recipe
Golden milk is an ancient health elixir.
Combine 1/2 tsp of organic turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of organic ginger powder and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom into one cup of hot almond/soy/rice or hemp milk. If you’re using a liquid with low-fat content you can add 1/2 tsp of coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter) to guarantee maximum absorption. You can also purchase a pre-made blend of Golden Milk.
Turmeric Tea Recipe
Here’s a recipe for turmeric tea:
- Bring four cups of water to a boil.
- Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste
Try adding turmeric to your diet and let us know if it’s helped you! We love hearing from our readers!