Herbal Medicine Spotlights: Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Medicinal properties: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, cholesterol lowering, stimulates digestive enzymes, anticoagulant, liver support, cardioprotective.  

Safety/contraindications: it is not advised to use this herb for medicinal purposes during pregnancy or while trying to conceive. Should not be used if there is know bile duct obstruction. Do not use with anticoagulation therapy unless you are directed to do so by your physician. Turmeric can interact with some prescribed medication, talk to your doctor about using this herb if you are taking prescription medications.

Ways to use the herb:

  • Use grated fresh herb or dried powder in curry, soup, and vegetable recipes.

  • Golden milk or turmeric chai tea

  • Add to homemade smoothies and juices.

  • Turmeric can also be purchased in supplement form in most health food stores.

References:

“Herbal Medicine: From the Heart of the Earth” - Dr. Sharol Marie Tilgner

“Prescription for Herbal Healing” - Phyllis A. Balch CNC



Recipes:


Golden Milk: (from epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, preferably coconut milk beverage or almond milk

  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

  • 1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, unpeeled, thinly sliced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric

  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk or virgin coconut oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • Ground cinnamon (for serving)

Directions:

  • Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.

 

 Coconut curry soup: (adapted from https://www.simplyquinoa.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped

  • 1 large broccoli cut into florets

  • ½ cup white onion diced

  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes

  • 2 14.5 oz cans coconut milk

  • ¼ cup quinoa

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

  • 1-2 tbsp freshly grated turmeric (or 2 tsp ground)

  • 2 teaspoons tamari sauce

  • 1 tsp miso paste or additional tamari

  • ½ tsp chili flakes

  • ¼ tsp ground pepper

  • Add additional chopped veggies to your heart's content!

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, starting with 1 cup of water. Stir until everything is fully incorporated.

  • Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 3 - 4 hours until sweet potato cooks through and the curry has thickened.