What do you think of when I say “turmeric?" If you love Indian food, you probably shouted “Curry!” If you aren’t familiar with the spice, it may be that unopened bottle of yellow powder in your spice rack. Would you be surprised to know that ginger (read my post on ginger here) and turmeric are closely related? People value them for their rhizome or root for culinary purposes, and in the East for their medicinal properties. Heaps of adoration are thrown on Echinacea for its immune enhancing effects, which might explain why turmeric is a lesser known herb here in the West. Read on for more about this unfamiliar spice’s history and health benefits!
What Are the Benefits of Turmeric?
Many cooks include ample amounts of turmeric in dishes like curry, but as I said, many cultures in the world know it for its healing properties. You can count on turmeric for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting properties. Turmeric is also an effective topical anti-bacterial when made into a paste. Modern science also shows that it can effectively help manage arthritis.
Turmeric and Ginger Tea Recipe
Besides sprinkling a little in your morning shake or evening chicken soup, I found an earthy anti-cold and -flu tea for you to try this fall and winter on the Kitchn blog. I linked the post here, but also jotted it down for you below:
For one cup of Turmeric Ginger Tea:
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
A splash of milk
Honey or maple syrup, to taste
In a small saucepan, boil your water. Add the turmeric and ginger, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in milk and strain the tea into a cup. Add the honey or maple syrup to taste. Toy around with the spice proportions and let me know what works for you in the comments!
Quick Nutrition Guide:
Origins: Used in Eastern cultures as a medicinal and culinary spice for centuries
- Can be used as a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping manage arthritis
- Can be used to treat coughs and chest colds
- Can stimulate the production of bile, aiding in digestion
- As a paste, it can be used to topically treat skin infections like ringworm
- May help lower cholesterol (based on a clinical trial conducted in China in the 1980s)
Macros for 1 tsp. (2 grams) of Ground Turmeric:
Protein: 0.2 g
Carbohydrate: 1.3 g
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Blog post on Ginger: https://susanhoff.fitness/spicy-and-soothing-ginger-can-be-both/
Nutrition Data: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/212/2
The tea recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-turmericginger-tea-104084
Medicinal properties: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide (book)