Do you struggle with inflammation? Knowing how to take turmeric is an excellent way to reap the benefits of this potent anti-inflammatory plant, whether it be digestion or joint issues. But what is turmeric, and why is this brightly coloured rhizome so ridiculously good for you?
Turmeric is a perennial that can grow to over a metre tall. The pale yellow flowers can appear in short, dense spikes. The root system consists of bright orange, thick rhizomes that are generally 2.5-7.5 cm long by 1-2 cm in diameter. The medicinal parts used are the rhizome (root).
Turmeric is part of the ginger family. Like ginger, it is a staple of Indian food traditions, often favoured in Ayurvedic medicine. The root can be dried, cooked, or eaten raw. The active constituent within turmeric is curcumin – this also helps give it its bright colour, and the majority of the studies on the benefits of turmeric are on curcumin.
How To Take Turmeric
You may be wondering how to take turmeric, given all you’ve heard about its health properties. Turmeric helps your digestion system function better, it helps to reduce free radical and inflammation levels, and supports a healthy microbiome. All in all – turmeric does a lot.
This plant is super versatile, so as well as taking a turmeric tonic you can use it as a topical paste, in a herbal tea, as a gargle, or in your cooking (keep reading for our recipe). The part of the plant used is the rhizome, which can be consumed dried, cooked, or raw, and has a slightly peppery, mildly bitter, and earthy flavour. Turmeric is mainly used to help support healthy inflammation levels.
Dosage: How Much Turmeric Should You Take?
Turmeric as a food is very safe. It has been used traditionally for thousands of years in many cultures. You can comfortably consume fresh and dried turmeric in juices and food and not worry about ‘overdosing’. However, as with everything – consider balance. You don’t need to add turmeric to every meal or drink; adding it to one thing a day would be a place to start.
When turmeric becomes more concentrated, as in a tincture, capsule or extract, it also becomes more potent, and its ability to interact with medication increases. This is where you should exercise some caution.
Turmeric’s main active constituents are volatile oils known as curcuminoid or curcumin. Curcumin works as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. At a concentrated dose, it becomes a strong anti-inflammatory which can be contraindicated (not recommended) for people on warfarin, blood thinning medication, or pregnant people. Turmeric also supports liver and bile production, so caution is advised for those suffering from bile duct issues.
How To Take Turmeric As A Tonic
It’s not every night you feel like cooking up a delicious curry – nor is fresh turmeric always easy to find and in season. So, on those days when time is limited, taking a turmeric tonic like our Anti-Flam is an easy way to get a daily dose.
Our Anti Flam turmeric tonic is super unique. This is because we use three forms of turmeric which helps guarantee you’re utilising all the constituents available within this fantastic plant. The three forms are; fresh New Zealand-grown turmeric, dried turmeric powder and turmeric tincture. These constituents are drawn out in different mediums – like the water and alcohol. We have also added black pepper to help with absorption.
To top it off, we have also included some of our favourite New Zealand natives, horopito and akeake, which both impart an anti-inflammatory action and help to support healthy inflammation levels. Horopito has a warming effect within the body, which can also help support healthy circulation.
We love our Anti-Flam turmeric tonic– we are often outdoors and feel the benefit of turmeric in helping us to keep mobile and healthy. Our tonic can be easily incorporated into your every day – hot drink, or cold with sparkling or still water, added to milk to nut mylk or in smoothies. However you choose to take this turmeric tonic is up to you.
How Taking Turmeric Can Help Inflammation
Inflammation is part of life, but the level and intensity of inflammation is individual. If you are in a physically demanding role, you may benefit from taking turmeric as part of your everyday well-being regime. But if you suffer from inflammation and pain in certain situations, you could take turmeric situationally, like after a big weekend in the garden or a long hike.
Working to support healthy inflammation levels will help your overall health by reducing pain and strain and also reduce the effects on your immune system (ongoing inflammation can impact your immunity by placing extra stress on your system – this can lead to feeling like you ‘catch’ everything).
How Turmeric Can Help Your Joints
There are a tonne of scientific studies that prove just how beneficial this plant is for you. If you experience any of these issues mentioned below then maybe a turmeric tonic is for you!
Arthritis – A randomized 2009¹ study examined the efficacy and safety of turmeric in patients with knee arthritis, and concluded that turmeric was as effective and as safe as ibuprofen, which is commonly used to help joint pain.
Another study in 2014² revealed that turmeric was effective for osteoarthritis but also contributed to less abdominal pain and discomfort compared to the ibuprofen group. This is believed to be from the high antioxidants within turmeric that helped to reduce inflammatory agents that can cause tissue damage and pain and inflammation.
How Turmeric Helps Your Digestion
Black pepper – Turmeric appears to be rapidly metabolized by the liver and intestines, however it does need black pepper to help the bioavailability and absorption of the curcumin in turmeric by 2000%³. The use of black pepper also helps to ‘irritate’ the gut lining to help with increased absorption.
Indigestion – In a double-blind, placebo controlled study in Thailand curcumin was compared to a placebo and also an over the counter medication for indigestion⁴. From the curcumin group 87% of participants had full or partial relief from indigestion after a week. This was compared to 53% from the placebo group.
3 recipes for how to use turmeric
1. Turmeric Paste Recipe
After reading all the magical properties of turmeric you’re probably keen for an easy recipe on how to take turmeric. Aside from our very own turmeric tonic (Anti-Flam), here’s an easy quick recipe that is the perfect flavour enhancer for any meal!
Make your own turmeric paste:
- 50g turmeric
- 50 g ginger
- 60gm coconut oil with
- 2tsp black pepper
Blitz until combined then add 2 Tbsp water and heat for five minutes. Pour into a in jar and keep in fridge. Use 1tsp to make a hot drink, add to smoothies or bliss balls.
- Turmeric Compress
Mix together 4 teaspoons of powedered turmeric and thick honey. Apply to the sore area twice a day and cover with a bandage.
- Turmeric Skin Clarifying Mask
Turmeric’s antioxidants can help support clear skin but it can also stain it too. Don’t worry if this happens – wash your face with a little olive oil on a cotton pad or old face cloth.
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey
Apply to your face – avoiding the eye area. Leave for at least 10 minutes. Rinse with a face cloth and warm water/olive oil to get rid of the residue.
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Source: Wild dispensary
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