Turmeric 101 | Benefits + 5 Easy Uses To Try Today

You know it’s good for you, you know you should be incorporating it into your routine, but how? Girl, that’s the easy part…

I’m typically not a fan of the “unless you’ve been living under a rock” construct when it comes to letting people know how important or pervasive something is. I get why this sort of setup works, but I also think it tends to make someone who hasn’t heard about whatever the topic is feel crappy and dumb. And what if they have been living under a rock?! Then it’s just downright rude to the place they call home.

But just this once, I’m going to defy myself. So apologies to anyone reading this who makes their home beneath anything igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re bound to have heard by now about the wonderfood that is turmeric. It’s near-impossible to go one day without seeing a headline touting the health benefits of the stuff, a new product that contains the marigold-hued powder, a fancy coffee shop boasting of their turmeric-infused latte. And while this all may seem like it verges on overkill, it’s not a crock.

Turmeric Benefits

The world at large is finally wising up to the health benefits of turmeric, knowledge that’s been around for centuries at the heart of ancient, traditional medicine. That’s right: for thousands of years, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine have used turmeric to treat everything from respiratory issues like asthma and allergies to liver disorders, stomach pain to sprained joints, poor circulation to sore throats, depression to acne. Maybe they should change the phrase to “a spoonful of turmeric a day keeps the doctor away.”

It’s an antioxidant gold mine, with the ability to scavenge free radicals and increase antioxidant enzymes. It’s also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal and has even shown anticancer activities. Go ahead and google “turmeric benefits” and you’ll find yourself confronted with pages and pages of links to actual, real-life scientific results and studies. No speculating here: Turmeric is the real deal. Ancient medicine doctors knew it centuries ago, and scientists and the health community know it now. So get on board!

Turmeric’s health benefits—and that gorgeous golden color—are the result of a group of flavonoids called curcuminoids. Quick refresher on what this all means for anyone who forgot: Flavonoids are nutrient compounds found in plants that are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also contribute to the vibrant colors of plants. (That whole “eat the rainbow” thing is real.) In turmeric, the primary flavonoids are curcuminoids. And to make things even more complicated, curcuminoids are a family of active compounds made up of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Phew!

But all you really need to know is that of these curcuminoids in turmeric, the one that’s most abundant and packs the healthiest punch is curcumin. What does this mean? All those health benefits I listed earlier have curcumin—a small component of turmeric—to thank.

Turmeric Uses

Alright, you know it’s good for you, you know you should be incorporating it into your routine, but how? Girl, that’s the easy part.

Eat it.

The simplest way to get your daily dose of turmeric benefits? Cook with it. Mix it into curries, coat your roasted veggies in it, add it to soup, blend up some homemade nutmilk with a teaspoon of turmeric…you get the idea. Since the flavor of turmeric is fairly mild, you’ll barely notice it in your food other than the beautiful hue it imparts. Just make sure you’re cooking with stuff that’s 100% organic—like the Golden Turmeric Powderfor full health benefits.

Drink it.

Want a refreshing, caffeine-free, Ayurvedic afternoon pick-me-up? Get ye’ a cup of some Golden Turmeric Tea! Organic ingredients like turmeric root from Sri Lanka, ginger, lemongrass and cinnamon blend together for a vibrant, earthy, restorative cup of tea. And since ginger and cinnamon are also anti-inflammatory, you’re looking at a seriously streamlined system.

Sip it.

I know drink and sip are almost the same activity, but when it comes to turmeric lattes, you’ll want to take your time and savor every single delicious, golden sip. Coffee shops in cities all over the country are adopting this trend, but you can DIY to your heart’s content with Wunder Workshop’s Instantly Golden Turmeric Latte. Not only is this blend organic and vegan, it also includes coconut milk powder and black pepper. Why is this so crucial? As great as turmeric can be for you, curcumin has fairly low levels of bioavailability, meaning most of it gets ingested and metabolized before it can be absorbed and put to work. By adding black pepper to the mix, piperine, the spice’s key chemical, helps make the turmeric’s curcumin more bioavailable. So not only is this stuff delicious, it’s also has even more health benefits than straight-up turmeric.

Drizzle it.

You already know that honey and coconut oil are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting ingredients around, so why not mix ‘em with turmeric for a serious trifecta? The Golden Turmeric Honey from Wunder Workshop is a healthy, delicious and natural way to get all three at the same time, so go ahead and drizzle some on your morning oatmeal, in your tea, across some toast…or just eat it directly off a spoon (I won’t tell anyone).

Apply it.

You didn’t think turmeric’s uses were limited to ingesting, did you? Those antibacterial, anti-inflammatory benefits work just as well topically as they do internally. And when you combine the root powder with ingredients like ginger, tea tree oil, beeswax and sunflower oil, you’ve got a powerful blemish-fighting, skin-brightening, skin-calming, moisture-locking weapon in your skincare arsenal. So let’s all say a big thanks to Cocokind Collective and their TURMERIC Spot Treatment, which is not only a cinch to apply but is also one of the most potent-yet-gentle things you can reach for when your skin is freaking out. Soothed skin, fading dark spots, invisible acne, even tone? Don’t mind if I do.

+ Have a favorite turmeric hack yourself? Drop us a note in the comments below!!

Read more beauty tips and tricks from Allie White here!

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My parents have recently discovered the gem that is turmeric. They’re doing great, incorporating it into their diets daily by cooking it with rice. I still need time to adjust to it myself, though… I don’t know why but the smell/scent of it makes me really sick!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

5 years ago

I wasn’t aware of all the benefits turmeric has. I’m so pumped.

5 years ago

Love turmeric and the lattes too…so yummy! I def want to try that turmeric spot treatment for blemishes and I love how it’s organic and affordable!

Shannon fischer
5 years ago

Coconut oil
Peppermint oil
Makes super awesome tooth whitening toothpaste.
Try it.

5 years ago

I really love the turmeric tea from Traditional Medicinals – yum!

Also, if you use it topically does it stain your skin? Interested to try it!


5 years ago

It cannot get much better than that!

5 years ago

amazing!so happy you stock Wunder’s turmeric products. I have been seeing them all over instagram!

Galila turkienicz
2 years ago

I am on blood thinner. clopidogrel. Can I add turmeric supplement to my daily diet and how much?

2 years ago

Thank you for reading, Galila! As with any nutritional supplement, we advise you to speak to a health care professional before integrating any herbal remedies into your existing medical regimen. Sending you love and healing energy. XO