The Hidden Powers of Turmeric

That jar of bright orange powder in your kitchen is your very underestimated friend! Did you know that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and disease preventing spice? After Dr. James Duke reviewed more than 700 studies on turmeric, he concluded that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals against chronic diseases, with practically no side effects. Turmeric has been shown to address Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and arthritis.

Turmeric is a potent immune stimulant and one of my first lines of defense for weakened immunity. It is a superb cold remedy that helps the upper respiratory system by removing excess mucous and reducing inflammation in the sinuses.

Not only is it great for adults, but turmeric is safe for children, too. I frequently give it to my kids at the beginning stages of a cold with great success. Mixing it with honey masks some of the bitter taste. A spoon full of honey does helps the medicine go down:)  Mix equal parts of the powder with raw honey into a paste, take it by the spoonful and follow with a glass of warm water. Kids can take between 1/4 and 1 teaspoon (depending on their age and weight) every couple of hours at the beginning signs of a cold and for acute infections, tapering down to 3 times a day until symptoms subside.

Adults can take a teaspoon with honey every hour for acute conditions. Turmeric is widely available in most grocery stores. The more convenient tablets can be taken daily for prevention or every couple of hours for an immune boost in acute situations. I like Banyan Botanical tablets – certified organic and they go down smoothly.

Cooking with turmeric is another way to benefit from it. Add it to stir-fries, vegetable and lentil soups, curry dishes and even egg salad.

And one word of caution – turmeric stains! Watch your counter tops, cutting boards and fingers. Years ago when I had a small herbal products company, turmeric was an ingredient in one of my products. My fingers stayed yellow for at least a few days after making each batch, and I had to scrub the grout on the countertop vigorously to remove the color. Just a word of caution!