Turmeric, the why and the how

I have some odd allergies. One of them is ginger from the Zingiberaceae family. I have a slight reaction to cardamom, in the same family, but for some unknown reason I do not react to turmeric. Turmeric is a beautiful root vegetable that is commonly used as a seasoning in curries and other Indian cuisine. Personally, I enjoy putting a bit of turmeric onto my popcorn for a sweet creamy flavor.

turmericSo many people are using turmeric for their health these days because it is an excellent antiinflammatory herb. As a general rule of thumb, any herbs, spices, or foods that are bright in color are high in antioxidant molecules. The vibrant orange color of turmeric is just that. Curcumin, the antiinflammatory molecule of turmeric, lends it the orange color and associated antiinflammatory properties.

The wonderful medicinal benefits of turmeric are not limited to reducing inflammation through the whole body. Turmeric is also an incredible antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal herb. The most stunning of these is it’s antiviral properties. Most conventional antiviral medications are damaging to the body in addition to the virus. Turmeric provides a number of different antiviral activities on a wide variety of viruses tested including HIV, HPV, and influenza (doi:  10.1155/2014/186864).

raw-ground-turmeric-653x0_q80_crop-smartTurmeric’s activities stretch beyond these to supporting a variety of digestive upsets, renal challenges, cardiovascular struggles, and more. How then do we get this herb into our diet on a daily basis and in the quantities needed for the benefits. One common thing is to take capsules. Turmeric is a food herb so much higher quantities are needed for the effects and that number of capsules can start to weigh on the digestive system. I already mentioned putting turmeric on my popcorn and I actually think that is a excellent way. I can easily put a whole tablespoon of turmeric powder into my popcorn bowl that I munch on through the day for my healthy snack.

Here are some other ideas of foods you can mix your turmeric into for your daily dose:

  • Yogurt/Sour Cream as a veggie dip
  • As a spice on spaghetti squash
  • On potatoes, pasta, or just about any carbohydrate
  • Mixed with coconut milk and thickened for it’s own super simply curry like sauce
  • Scrambled in eggs
  • Added to home baked bread (fun for halloween time)


The possibilities are endless! Let us know in the comments what you do to add turmeric into your foods and be sure to share pictures! If you are interested in working with turmeric or other herbs for your personal health and wellness, consider a consultation with one of The Dancing Herbalist’s Practitioners.

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