The Benefits Of Turmeric + How To Use It

Turmeric is a spice that has long sat on my spice rack looking lovely and golden, yet remaining largely unused. Recently however, I’ve been reading more and more about this exotic spice, which is thought to be one of the most beneficial and potent antioxidants in the world, and I’ve realized: It’s time to make turmeric a main ingredient.

With its warm yellow-gold color, earthy scent, and peppery taste, this beautiful spice is perfect for autumn, a time of year when we should all be boosting our immune systems and warming our bodies from the inside out. Native to India and other tropical Asian regions where it has been harvested for over 5,000 years, turmeric — which comes from the curcuma longa plant, a close relative to ginger root — is most notably used in Indian cuisine (usually in curries) and ayurvedic medicine, and while it’s long been known to be a healthful addition to recipes, recent studies have shown that Turmeric is a powerful healer – one that we can all benefit from.

Benefits of Turmeric

So, besides adding flavor and incredible color to your food, just what is so special about this spice? Turmeric contains bioactive compounds (chemicals found in certain foods that promote health) called curcuminoids, the most powerful of which is curcumin. Curcumin is, essentially, the antioxidant to end all antioxidants. Along with being a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that can bring relief to people suffering from joint pain, studies have shown curcumin to be anti-tumor, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, as well as being a powerful assistant in liver detox, because of this, turmeric has been used for centuries to promote healing of the stomach, gut, and liver.

Curcumin is tricky though, and it isn’t quite so easy as adding turmeric to your food to reap all the benefits of this antioxidant. To get the most out of turmeric, it is best to combine this autumnal spice with black pepper, which contains piperine (the compound that makes pepper so peppery) – piperine increases curcumin’s absorption by 2000%!

With the new season finally here, autumn is the perfect time to increase your intake of turmeric, and the easiest way to do that is with Turmeric paste. Keep this simple paste in your fridge and you’ll have the power duo of curcumin and piperine available anytime. I’m sharing the recipe below, along with a few ideas on how to take it, besides using it in your cooking:

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric Paste

Ingredients:

1/2 cup filtered water (not tap)

1/4 cup organic turmeric powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric stains easily, so if you’re wearing clothes you’d rather not ruin, I recommend wearing an apron. Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a thick paste (about 5 minutes). Carefully transfer to a resealable glass container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

If you like the taste, you can take turmeric paste by the teaspoon as-is, or if, like me, you prefer it mixed into something, try the following:

Benefits of Turmeric 1

Golden Milk

Golden milk is a delicious way to take turmeric. Combined with your preferred milk turmeric boosts calcium absorption, while the added fat from the coconut oil aids in your bodies ability to absorb and reap the rewards of turmeric. This soothing drink is the perfect thing to incorporate into your nighttime routine to help promote a restful night’s sleep and boost immunity.

Ingredients:

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric paste

1 cup milk (almond, soy, coconut, or dairy)

1 tsp coconut oil

Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar to taste

Cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

Combine turmeric paste, milk, and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat on medium high, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from coming to a boil. Once heated, transfer to a mug and add the honey and cinnamon if using.

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric Tea

Lighter than the golden milk, this warming tea gives you all the benefits of turmeric and can even be enjoyed iced.

Ingredients:

1 tsp turmeric paste

2 cups filtered water

1 lemon wedge

Honey to taste

Combine turmeric paste and water in a small sauce pan and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly. Once heated, transfer to a mug and add lemon and honey to taste.

Benefits of Turmeric

Golden Smoothie

Enjoy this smoothie in the morning or after a workout to help replenish and restore.

Ingredients:

1 tsp turmeric paste

1 cup milk (almond, soy, coconut, or dairy)

1/2 banana

1 cup spinach

1 tsp melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tbsp protein powder (optional)

Honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar to taste

3 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Transfer to a glass and enjoy!

Benefits of Turmeric

Do you have a favorite way to incorporate this spice into your daily routine? I’d love to know!

More healthy eating ideas from the BLDG 25 blog.

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Comments

  1. Tumeric is really great in authentic curry dishes and with rice! So if you know how to cook curry, it’s a great seasoning.

    wwwamandanuri.com

  2. I have struggled with High Cholesterol for some yrs. Now. I was told at just 37. I am disabled with Epilepsy and now GRAVES Disease and gone thru Radiation to kill 5 nodules and the Graves itself. Eating correct is a struggle financially. BUT, I try my very best. My recent blood work now has my Collateral at 200. I was already placed on 1 STATIN and was given the warning signs to watch out for. Just 2 weeks later, I woke in excruciating pain and had to stop. My new doc has given me another to try. We talked about NATURAL ways. He finally said RED YEAST RICE would help, but not much. I am PRAYING that with all these qualities, that it will help lower my cholesterol levels too. I just bought some more recently. I had a tooth infection and read that mixing this, apple cider vinegar (I only had Rice Vinegar) cinnamon and honey into some water (paste would have been ALOT eaiser:)) and drink 2-3 xz a day. It worked QUICKLY:) I have also made a paste for dark circles. Works well too. Thank you for all the great recipes, the paste will be a great help.

  3. I just wanted to add that you are my folder of favorite Blogs love yours and look forward to learning much more,)

  4. Being Asian and a lover of rice, turmeric is a kitchen staple. If I am not eating it through curry and vege stir-fry dishes, I am using it for my face. I mix turmeric, chickpea flour, coconut oil and water as needed to make a facial mask. Turmeric is cooling to the skin and it also helps to lighten scars and sun spots. It also acts as as gentle exfoliation for my face.I love this spice <3

    missreverie | Fashionista NOW

  5. I toast a crumpet. Smear with peanut butter. Sprinkle 1 tsp each of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, enough honey to cover all then stir it around starting at edges so it doesn’t run off crumpet. Or you can mix the dry ing evenly then put on top of crumpet befor adding honey on top then you won’t have to stir. It is very tasty. You can also put a few banana slices over all. Then eat it as you would a pancake. I love this. Have not tried black pepper. Have tried red pepper.

  6. So wonderfully simple to make this paste earlier today, a batch is now ready made? Golden milk makes THE most dreamy bedtime drink – thank you for sharing.
    Namaste x

  7. I’m a neuroscientist, my colleagues James Johana and I do research on turmeric & the benefits for the nervous system. This stuff is dynamite

  8. Love the Golden Milk. I altered mine a little though. I minus the coconut oil & add ginger to the mix. Love it & thanks for sharing.

  9. How long will unused turmeric paste keep fresh in the fridge?

    Thank you for all these wonderful recipes :) The Golden Milk & Tea are perfect for the autumn.

  10. My mom makes this amazing dish for breakfast- you cook sliced tomatoes tumeric and oil and pepper in a pan. Then you serve them with scrambled eggs. They’re peppery and balanced by the buttery eggs. It makes a great breakfast sandwich too!!!!

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  12. I am a huge fan of turmeric. Its a wonderful herbal remedy. I love drinking this before bed as it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.

  13. Went to Maui for Christmas, my knees hurt the whole nine days, on plane ride home my feet and hands swelled. I bought some Tumeric root when I was there. Looked up on Pinterest what to do with it. found you. Ground it up with some ginger and made drink next morning. By noon swelling gone, and knees feeling good. With in two days no more knee pain…..I am astonished. Its been two weeks and I am having the tea every few days. My joints all feel better. I love this stuff, what a lucky find. Thanks

  14. thanks so much for this recipe! I woke up with a horrible sore throat this morning and remembered reading this article so I had a few cups of the tea in the morning and made the golden milk at night! Both were so delicious and comforting. My throat even feels a little better too :)
    I also added ginger to both of the recipes for an extra boost and some warming spice.

  15. i just made the paste and its VERY liquidy, not a paste at all. Are we sure the ratio of turmeric to water is right??

  16. Amy – You may need to cook it down more, the ratio is what I used to make the paste shown above. You could also add more turmeric, but it should be cooked down until most of the water evaporates :)

  17. Just made the paste and then the Golden milk. My boyfriend was just Dx with Crohn’s disease and we are hoping this helps with his symptoms as I do not want him to have to start Humira as the Dr is recommending. Thanks for your recipes and all that you do!!!

  18. I have not been a fan of the taste of turmeric, so I have been making my own capsules. I have the “00” size and mix the turmeric and black pepper together and put them in the capsules. Works great!

  19. Erica, I would like to know how the did it help your boyfriend with Crohn’s disease.

    Ref:
    April 19, 2015, 1:33PM
    Just made the paste and then the Golden milk. My boyfriend was just Dx with Crohn’s disease and we are hoping this helps with his symptoms as I do not want him to have to start Humira as the Dr is recommending. Thanks for your recipes and all that you do!!!

  20. Thank you for this post. I just made the golden milk. Going to drink it up and take a nap. It taste way better than I expected. Considering that there is pepper in it, I though I was not going to like it. However the bit of coconut oil makes all of the difference. I am sure if I added more honey this would be wonderful for children. Its like a yellow hot cocoa. mmmMMMMmmm Good.

  21. Whole oats in milk, with a spoon of peanut butter and a spoon of golden paste, microwave for 3mins, stir and top with mixed berries…very tasty, low GI meal that keeps you full for many hours. Great for reduced joint pain too,t

  22. Great info I am going to try a mixture of fresh pounded turmeric, ginger , black pepper in a mortar and pestle then add to melted copha, heat slightly then as it cools roll into small pill size balls shake them all in a bag of sesame seeds to cover then set in the fridge . I figure taken as a pill this will prevent the tumeric staining my teeth and the fat will help preserve the spices

  23. I used as a cream with olive oil and chickweed to remove a tumor in my shoulder an it works , the tumor is gone after a month of use every night.

  24. So many good ideas in the article and the comments!! Currently we use turmeric in a “vinegar and honey” drink before dinner. I am hoping that a facial scrub as mentioned above may help with my rosacia. Amanda’s idea about “pills” gives me the idea to make a sort of turmeric candy/fudge to keep in the fridge. Thank you everybody!

  25. I have some type of arthritis in every joint. The worst being osteoarthritis in my hips. My knees keep me awake at nights. Someone suggested turmeric. I started using it last night. I put it on graham crackers with peanut butter, not bad. This morning I sprinkled it over scrambled eggs that I topped with sauté veggies and a little left over spaghetti sauce. That was pretty good. Can’t wait to try the golden milk tonight.

  26. Hi I have just made a batch of turmeric paste .

    I have have FM and have had it for 4 years.
    I now have an inflamed rib bones Costochondritis and the pain is unbelievable but improving
    Fixes itself in 12 weeks.
    I bought some turmeric caps 30 at 25 dollars idiot take caps as suggested I will have used them all in 4-5 days. I thought I can’t keep this up as the caps Redoid for FM S well.
    Any way I made this paste this am and have applied to my R shin, my L shin does not have this pain.
    Thanks, I would like to know how often should I renew the paste on my shin.?
    I have pains in all my limbs so at this time I want to watch how long for improvement and if indeed this paste works. A y information would be great.

  27. Robyn -February 23, 2016, 6:50PM
    Hi I have just made a batch of turmeric paste .

    I have have FM and have had it for 4 years.
    I now have an inflamed rib bones Costochondritis and the pain is unbelievable but improving
    Fixes itself in 12 weeks.
    I bought some turmeric caps 30 at 25 dollars if i the take caps as suggested I will have used them all in 4-5 days. I thought I can’t keep this up as the caps for FM S well.
    Any way I made this paste this am and have applied to my R shin, my L shin does not have this pain.
    Thanks, I would like to know how often shouldI renew the paste on my shin.?
    I have pains in all my limbs so at this time I want to watch how long for improvement and if indeed this paste works. A y information would be great.

    Source: The Benefits Of Turmeric + How To Use It http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/09/benefits-turmeric/#ixzz412RCYPkR

  28. Lori – The piperine in the black pepper actually helps to activate the turmeric, allowing your body to better absorb and reap its benefits by making it more bioavailable. You can leave the pepper out, but your body will metabolize most of the turmeric before it’s able to absorb it. I’d recommend talking to a doctor about alternatives :)

  29. I believe ginger can be substituted for pepper. I’ve read black pepper, ginger, and a bit of fat all help with bioavailability.

  30. I’ve been taking a turmeric supplement for a few mos now in addition to making a drink in mornings. I don’t believe I have not been reaping the benefits as I have not taken it with a healthy fat

  31. Nice one.. Turmeric is used in several food and drink..especially in our DAL and Indian Food.. It is way to sure cancer.. Turmeric used in making Masala Milk drink.. really awesome to drink.. with lots on dry nuts..!

  32. I am more interested to know the following please:
    The yellow pigment in curcumin stains, my containers, my counter top (if it drips as a part of a liquid), what about our teeth? It seems like the ‘perfect’ pigment to stain our teeth, any suggestion about that? (not always your tooth brush is available to use right after a food or a drink that contains curcumin.
    I am more interested to know how it works in order to lift the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which I was told are very low in my brain. How much curcumin a day would it be recommended to consume, in order to feel the difference of those hormone level rise and how it affects in everyday life?
    Thank you so much..

  33. Regarding staining – I made the paste, then the Golden Milk, which was quite tasty. I did see in your description to be careful, as tumeric does stain. What I was not prepared for – hours after drinking this when I brushed my teeth – my toothbrush totally stained yellow. I’m going to use some peroxide to clean it, but I too am concerned about staining my teeth. Is there a suggestion of how to avoid this?

  34. Hi. I just starting using turmeric paste and experimented with options for teas. After many tastings, my preference is 1/2 cup almond milk unsweetened, 1/2 cup of bengal spice tea brewed and 1/2 tsp of paste. Hope many of you will enjoy this recipe!

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