- Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
- Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
- Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your body's own antioxidant enzymes.
- Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.
- Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
- Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
- Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.
- A study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition.
- Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity.
How do we grow this plant?
You will need a 14- to 18-inch pot or planter for each 6 to 8 inches of rhizome, and enough potting soil to fill it. But to start, it's more practical to sprout your rhizomes in smaller containers and then transplant them into the larger containers once they have a few leaves and are growing well. Here's how:
- Cut your rhizomes into sections, with two or three buds on each section.
- Fill 3-inch pots halfway with a good potting soil.
- Lay the rhizome sections flat on the soil, and cover with more potting soil.
- Water well and slip the pots into clear plastic bags.
- Place the pots or clamshells in the warmest place you can find (86 to 95 degrees is ideal). Sprouting at lower temperatures will be very slow and your rhizomes may even rot rather than sprout. No toasty location? You can make a great germination chamber with a heating pad or a small desk lamp, a picnic cooler, and a thermometer. Or you can buy a small germination chamber for home use. Light or no light is fine at this stage.
- Turmeric & chilli butter naan soldiers
25g softened salted butter
pinch of chilli flakes
½ tsp turmeric
1 large egg
½ a large, fresh shop-bought garlic naan
½ tbsp chopped coriander
Mash together the butter with the chilli flakes and turmeric. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the egg and cook for 5 mins. Take the garlic naan and spread with the butter, then grill for about 1 min or until the butter has melted. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander, cut into soldiers and dunk into the egg.
- Turmeric Honey Chicken
Oyster sauce or soy sauce
- Add the garlic, honey, oyster sauce, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper and salt to the chicken, stir to combine well.
- Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) on medium heat and add the oil. Transfer the chicken to the skillet and cook on both sides, until they turn golden brown, crispy on the bottom and nicely glazed and browned on the skin side. Dish out and serve immediately.
- Turmeric Tea
1 cup of organic coconut milk (buy organic full-fat coconut milk in a bpa-free can ), OR, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk plus 1 teaspoon almond oil or coconut oil*
1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric OR 1/4 teaspoon of golden milk paste (see below in notes for how to make the paste)
big pinch of freshly ground black pepper if using ground turmeric (omit if using the paste)
1 small (1/4 inch) piece of ginger root (peeled and grated)
1 big pinch or sprinkle of ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon raw honey added off the heat (optional for a little sweetness)
- If using the paste: simply heat your milk on the stove. Remove from the heat and add the paste. The measurements don’t have to be exact, but generally 1/4 teaspoon of golden milk turmeric paste to one cup of milk works perfect. Add a dash of your desired spices from the list above and you’ll be set to go.
- If not using paste, blend or whisk all ingredients together, then warm through on the stove over medium heat for 15 minutes. Let it very gently simmer for 15 minutes but not boil.
- You can blend the ingredients manually by hand or in a high-steed blender for a frothier drink.