Turmeric – Ingredient Spotlight Written By Kate O’Brien
I’ve been preaching about the benefits of turmeric for some time now so I am delighted that this powerful Indian spice is finally enjoying its superfood moment. I use it so often that the tips of my fingers even have a rich saffron tint from peeling and chopping the root.
History Of Turmeric
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is often referred to as ‘Indian solid gold’ and has long been used to help curb inflammation and treat a wide variety of disorders from infections to stomach upsets and arthritis. Mixed with honey it forms a thick paste which can be taken orally for sore throats and colds. The sticky paste can even be applied directly to the skin to relieve infections and skin concerns like acne and rosacea.
The active ingredient responsible for these and numerous other benefits is a group of polyphenol plant pigments called curcumin, which gives the distinctive saffron/orange colour. Studies have shown how powerful curcumin is as it helps protect against arthritis-related joint pain, inflammation, high cholesterol, age-related cognitive decline and much more too.
How To Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Life
If you are wondering how best to get your daily turmeric dose – try either of these simple and fast recipes. No excuses as they are SO easy to prepare and will fix you up for the day. I prefer to use the fresh variety as I prefer the taste and it’s now so widely available but the powdered is a good alternative. You could also add the spice to juices, smoothies and of course, curries,tagines, stews or basically any meal it can be incorporated into where it won’t adversely affect the taste.
Mix a fingernail-sized slice of grated fresh turmeric or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder with 1/2 tsp black pepper in a glass of warm water. The pepper combined with the turmeric is thought to prolong the activity of the turmeric in the body (although not sure how much scientific proof exists to support this!).
Turmeric & Lime Tea
Mix a fingernail-sized slice of grated fresh turmeric or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder with a large slice of fresh lime. Top with boiling water and drink.
After 18 years living and working in Asia, I returned to Ireland in 2013. With my husband and 3 young children. I’m a qualified nutritionist with a diploma in Cosmetic Science from the Society of Cosmetic Scientists in London and am passionate about all things wellness related (skincare and fragrance in particular). I am a founding judge at the prestigious annual Asia Spa awards in Hong Kong and have experienced some of the world’s most perfect spas and retreats, with few (hot or cold) stones left untouched, in my quest for the best.