I think by now most of you have heard about the amazing spice, turmeric.  The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin.  Turmeric is a popular spice similar to ginger, known for its bright yellow/orange color and is used in curry powders and mustards.  This plant grows across India and other areas of Asia and Central America and is considered an Ayurvedic medicine.  Ayurvedic medicine (or Ayurveda for short) is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing system.  It was developed almost 4,000 years ago for medicine in India and is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit.  Unlike traditional medicine, Ayurvedic medicine’s main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease, however treatments may be geared toward specific health issues.  Turmeric has now been studied extensively and there are more than 15,000 manuscripts published about curcumin and about 50 manuscripts are added to this collection every week, according to the National Institute of Health.  There just has to be something to this.   So why is turmeric so popular?  Because according to the majority of users, it simply works.  Its main use is for its anti-inflammatory properties.  You will find it in almost all arthritis formulas and is endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation.  The foundation recommends taking 400 – 600 mg of turmeric up to three times per day for inflammation relief.  It is also great for pain because inflammation causes pain.  Reduce inflammation, reduce the pain.  Also, some studies show that turmeric (at 800mg levels) seems to work as well as ibuprofen in people with arthritis in their knees.  Turmeric is also gaining a lot of attention for improving liver function because of its powerful antioxidant properties.  In fact, the antioxidant effect of turmeric appears to be so powerful tat it may stop your liver from being damaged by toxins.  This is great news for people who are taking strong medications long-term, which have a negative impact on their liver.  You will find turmeric (curcumin) in many liver detox products.  Turmeric has also shown to have anti-cancer properties and as a treatment for cancer.  Turmeric can hep with digestion so add it to as many foods as possible when cooking.  Not only does it add a lot of flavor, turmeric can contribute to healthy digestion due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as healing gut permeability and gut inflammation so if you have gut issues such as IBS, learn to cook with turmeric.  You can get turmeric in your diet in a number of ways.  Add turmeric to your salad dressings, marinades, spice mixtures, eggs etc.  You can certainly get turmeric in powder or capsule form at your local health food store.

Why Not Drink Turmeric Tea (aka Turmeric Milk)?

You can make your own turmeric tea using your own recipe or you can purchase it already made at your local health food store.  There now are a number of turmeric milk powders to choose from but I have two favorites.  The first one is the “Botanica Turmeric Golden Mylk” which comes in regular and chocolate flavor and packs a whopping 2,000mg of turmeric per serving in the regular flavor and 1,000 mg in the chocolate flavor!  Its all-natural ingredients are made with cinnamon, ashwagandha (another ayurvedic ingredient), cardamom, dates, coconut, and black pepper.  They recommend that you add one teaspoon into warmed almond or soy milk.  Some may like to add a little sweetener such as stevia or honey for a little sweetness.  My second favorite is “Organic Traditions Turmeric Latte with Probiotics and Saffron”.   This powder contains dried turmeric along with a supercritical turmeric dual extract, saffron, probiotics (I billion per serving), supercritical ginger and cinnamon dual extracts in a base of coconut milk and coconut palm sugar.  This one you shouldn’t need to add any additional sweetener to it due to the coconut palm sugar.  It only has 1g carb and 1g sugar so it is great for people following a low carb/low sugar diet.  You can make a nice warm latte with either of these powders or you can add them to a smoothie.  You can even add it to your coffee!  I suggest you try it because it is by far one of the healthiest drinks you could possibly sip on.

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