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Turmeric - Herbal Wisdom Wednesday

curcuma longa curcumin herbalism herbalwisdomwednesday herbs turmeric turmeric recipes

We hope this finds you all well & finding joy where you can!  

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has really gained momentum in the scientific and lay communities as one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs available.  It's effectiveness appears to be comparable for many users to available pharmaceuticals and has been utilized in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries (at least) as a primary reducer of inflammation. Here is a bit more info about this remarkable herb if you would like to dig a bit deeper to see if you should add it to your herbal pharmacy.

Turmeric is a pungent, warming carminative which enhances digestion. Turmeric increases blood flow to the digestive system, and helps to warm the body from the core. One can cook with turmeric to improve the digestibility of foods.

Turmeric acts as an antispasmodic to the smooth muscles. It inhibits prostaglandins, which are agents that can cause the smooth muscles to spasm. Consuming turmeric on a regular or semi-regular basis can help to improve digestive conditions which result in cramping or intestinal spasms, as well as to reduce menstrual cramping.

Turmeric can even be beneficial as a tonic for some individuals with asthma; as decreasing prostaglandins can reduce respiratory spasms. It is most specific for asthma which is aggravated by cold weather, and when the mucus is clear or cloudy.

Additionally, turmeric has liver protectant properties. It shrinks engorged hepatic ducts in the liver and encourages bile secretion. Turmeric’s cholagogue properties encourage detoxification via the liver and the gall bladder, as well as enhancing the digestion of fats. Turmeric can aid in the treatment of some liver conditions, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice. Additionally, both the anti-inflammatory properties and detoxifying actions are beneficial for some individuals with skin conditions.

**Contraindications: avoid consuming turmeric regularly if one has night sweats, hot flashes, or yin deficiency with heat signs. Turmeric should be with caution by individuals with anemia or blood deficiency. Use in moderation during pregnancy.**
-By Herbalist Christa Sinadinos for Moonrise Herbs

Method and Dosage:
Method: It's best to ingest turmeric with fresh ground black pepper as it contains piperene which increases the bio-availability of the turmeric by 2000%! It is also good to ingest it with a bit of fat or oil as it is lipophilic which means that it is fat/oil soluble.

Dosage: For adults, a tonic dose is about 0.5g or 1/3 teaspoon 3 times per day. A therapeutic dose (for acute attacks of inflammation) is about 2-3g per day. Older children and those over 65, should start with a low dose. 

Please use caution when adding any new herbal therapeutics to your routine. 


Turmeric Switchel
by Emily Han
*A switchel is a vinegar-based drink.

1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey, or more to taste
1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or 1/3 teaspoon dried
Tiny pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 cup (235 milliliters) water

Combine the honey, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, turmeric, ginger, and black pepper in a jar or glass and stir to dilute the honey. Add the water and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a day. The longer it steeps, the stronger the turmeric and ginger flavors will be.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids. Taste and sweeten with additional honey, if desired. Serve over ice.

Turmeric Latte
by Lynn Hoefer

2 cups of oat milk or unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of raw honey (or coconut syrup if vegan)
1 cinnamon stick or ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3 cardamon pods
a small pinch of ground ginger
a small pinch of black pepper
Add the almond milk to a small pot and heat on low temperature.
Add the turmeric, cinnamon stick, cardamon pods, raw honey or coconut syrup, and pepper and stir frequently for about 3 minutes until the milk is warm, but not boiling.
Remove from heat and take out the cinnamon stick. You can reuse it a couple of time. Strain the milk either through a strainer or small colander.
Froth the top of the milk for a few seconds with a milk frother.
Add more raw honey or coconut syrup for taste.
 *If you'd rather not blend your own, we have a pre-blended powder blend available for $24.00 from Gaia Herbs.  Just mix in with your favorite milk and drink!

Mango and Turmeric Raw Cupcakes (grain-free & vegan)
By Nirvana Bakery
Crust layer:
80g almonds (1/2 cup)
70g sunflower seeds (1/2 cup)
6 medjool dates, pitted (raisins or figs could be used if preferred)
1tbsp coconut oil
1/2tsp cinnamon
pinch Pink Himalayan Salt
Mango turmeric layer:
200g creamed coconut/coconut butter (1 cup)
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1 large mango (about 1 cup pureed)
2 tsp fresh turmeric or ½ -1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ tsp cinnamon

Place almonds and sunflower seeds into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse few times until they have broken down into a coarse texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture comes together.
Divide the mix evenly into 8 cupcake holes, spread onto the base and press tightly down. Set aside.
In a small pot gently melt coconut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup stirring frequently. Set aside and leave to cool down for a bit while preparing the mango.
Peel mango, turmeric and ginger and place into a blender with lime juice and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Stir into the melted slightly cooled coconut butter and mix well. Spoon the mixture onto the crust layer and smooth out evenly.
Place into a freezer until set and the top feels firm.
Once set leave on the counter for a bit and then run sharp knife carefully around the edges to release the cupcakes from the tin.
Store in a fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
Turmeric Gummies
By Sophie Van Tiggelen

2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional - see note below)
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder or vegetarian substitute
 9" x 6" ( or 2 quarts) Pyrex dish 
In a saucepan, combine water, turmeric, honey, and coconut oil. Heat on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Check sweetness and adjust to taste.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle gelatin powder over warm liquid.
Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute, ensuring gelatin powder is completely dissolved.
Pour into a dish and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until gelatin is firm and you can cut it into small portions with a knife.
Store in an airtight container. Will keep up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
The coconut oil is optional in this recipe. It is used to enhance the absorption of the turmeric powder but may create a thin white layer on the surface of the gummies

*If you would rather purchase turmeric gummies, we have a daily gummy option here from the amazing Gaia Herbs!

Turmeric Facemasks:
We've heard quite a bit about the brightening and clearing qualities of turmeric for the skin, so Irene and I decided to test a couple of recipes to see how they worked. As it turns out, they worked fantastically!  We highly recommend you try these super-simple and quick masks for yourself.  There is always a concern with staining with the turmeric but we didn't have any issues with it staining our skin.  Irene wants me to warn those with light or grey hair, you may wish to cover your hairline as the fine hairs there do pick up some color.

Irene's Smooth & Glow Mask:
1 tablespoon plain Yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
Blend and apply to clean skin. Leave on for about 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

Raquel's Brighten & Tighten Mask:
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Blend and apply to clean skin. Leave on until mask feels flaky.  Rinse with warm water or a warm, damp washcloth.

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