Turmeric is Terrific


When we were little and had sore throats, the first thing we got was a bit of turmeric with honey. This mixture coats the throat (the honey) and helps to prevent infection (the turmeric). It tasted nasty! but 9 times out of 10, the sore throat was gone in a day or so, as long as you had a little turmeric with honey, a couple times per day. I remember even an ENT surgeon in my early years, who happened to be my friend’s dad — if you went to him with a sore throat, then after checking you for strep or anything serious, he’d say go home and eat the turmeric! There is no need for heavy antibiotics or medication when the problem is not so serious.

More recently, I finally got to the point in life that if I start feeling a sore throat, I go back to this tried and true remedy. If I don’t feel better soon or if I get worse, of course I go to a doctor, but turmeric and honey is a great first defense. Many people in India, including the most famous cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar drink a solution of turmeric in milk every day. It is known to boost your immune system and prevent common cold-like infections. Here are a few recipes using turmeric.

Content below was originally published at Naturopath.ca …

Turmeric is that yellow powder you see in most Indian foods and in curry dishes all over Asia. It is a root just like ginger, which is dried and ground into a bright yellow powder. Although turmeric is one of the primary spices in an Indian spice box, it is only used in small amounts due to its strong, pungent flavor and its potent effects on the body. Turmeric is what gives a curry powder or paste its yellow color, and its potency has led to its use as a natural coloring agent in many foods.Turmeric in India has always had a lot of traditional medicinal use. It was the first thing we were made to eat if we had a sore throat, in a mixture with some honey, as kids growing up in India. Up to this day some people drink warm milk with turmeric in the morning to boost their immune systems and prevent common infections. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric paste is used to cover wounds, acting as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric is great for the skin and has played a role in beautification since ancient times. You still see it used as a part of the traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, pithi, where the bride, the groom, or both are covered in turmeric paste before their wedding day, to give their skin an extra glow for their big day :)Turmeric’s health benefits more modernly have proven to be anti-cancer, anti-Alzheimer’s, and anti-inflammatory. It is the Curcumin in turmeric that has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it can be an anti-histamine. Turmeric is good for the liver and for lowering cholesterol, as it helps prevent blood clots. Scientists think that turmeric might be one of the reasons why Asians have low Alzheimer’s rates in general.

In your cooking, this is also one of those spices where a little bit goes a long way. You should almost never use more than 1/2 to maybe 1 teaspoon of turmeric for family portions of most Indian dishes. Too much turmeric will make your food taste pungent. Also, remember not to get it on your clothes! While turmeric is a great natural food color, get it on your clothes and you’ll have a food tie-dye forever!

Two of my own recipes using turmeric include Tandoori Tofu Kebabs and Yellow Hummus and Pita Chips. Give them a try!