Why is everyone going mad about turmeric?
India has one of the lowest levels of neurological diseases in the world, thanks, in part, to its people consuming small amounts of turmeric every day. Research conducted at UCLA (2004) provided insight into curcumin, a chemical produced by the turmeric plant, and its protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s now been proven to improve memory and mood, according to a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. After testing 40 people with mild memory complaints between 50-90 years old for 18 months, with half being given 90 mg of curcumin twice daily and others being given a placebo, those in the first group saw significant improvement in memory — 28% in tests — and mood.
Also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is particularly helpful for relieving joint pain and arthritis. It is especially beneficial to athletes, as it reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It also thins the blood, reduces ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and increases ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Turmeric prevents ulcers and reduces permeability (so called ‘leaky gut’), and its antibacterial and antiparasitic qualities help to reduce infection in the gut. Plus, it can reduce abdominal pain in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Considered to be a ‘blood purifier’, it increases the activity of enzymes in the liver that are responsible for removing toxins from the blood, and stimulates the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder into the intestines.
It also has antiageing properties as the natural constituents of turmeric also prevent moisture loss and protect against wrinkles.
SO, HOW CAN YOU GET THE BENEFITS OF TURMERIC?
Traditionally, it’s consumed in warm milk or ghee (clarified butter) – which accelerates the absorption of the turmeric – with black pepper or ginger. This simple milk drink is great for treating coughs, colds and fever.
- Add 1⁄2tsp turmeric and 1tsp grated ginger to 8oz of milk
- Boil for 15 minutes
- Flavour with a few pods of cardamom and coconut sugar or honey
Apply topically to bruises, infections and sprains. Use it sparingly as it easily stains skin, as well as clothes.
AND HERE’S YOUR TURMERIC SHOPPING LIST:
1. Pukka Wholistic Turmeric, £15.95
Extracted from the root of the plant, these organic supplements are the most natural, therapeutic and effective way to enjoy the full benefits of this incredible spice. Take on a daily basis to support overall good health.
2. The Turmeric Latte, regular, £3.15
On the move? Why not grab a cup of this warming takeaway beverage. A delicious blend of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cacao, liquorice and black pepper, based on a traditional Ayurvedic drink.
3. Rude Health, Ginger & Turmeric Oaty, 200g, £2.10
A healthy alternative to ginger biscuits are made from moreish oats from Scotland. The earthy flavours of turmeric works beautifully with the zingy ginger and sweetened with cane juice sugar.
4. Wunder Workshop Instantly Golden Turmeric Latte, £12.99
Chai lattes are so 2016. We’re all about Wunder Workshops vegan and organic blends for our turmeric fix. Important bonus: It’s sustainable, sourced from small community farms in Sri Lanka.
Read more: Get your turmeric fix with this tikka masala recipe