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The Magic Spice: Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most healing spices. It is one of the most well-known and researched Ayurvedic spices in the world. Turmeric has powerful antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory that helps support and protect your body. It is a natural antibiotic, which helps rid your system and cleanse your gut, while still protecting by strengthening your digestion and improving your intestinal flora. As an antibacterial it can help those who are ill, weak, or constantly facing colds. Turmeric works in two main ways by cleansing and supporting your system. This makes it one of the most beneficial spices to use.

Turmeric is root that is easily identified by its bright golden color. We like to think of it as reflecting the properties of the sun– cleansing and healing! It’s bright yellow color is commonly used in curry powder found in most indian dishes.

Turmeric can be used both internally and externally to heal wounds, relieve pain and inflammation in the limbs, and heal sicknesses such as colds. Turmeric purifies the blood and stimulates the formation of blood tissues. In this way, it helps to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce fevers and nosebleeds. Turmeric is tri-doshic so it can be used for everyone’s unique body constitution.

More benefits:

Promotes proper metabolism

Aids in the digestion of protein

Lessens PMS symptoms

Balances hormones

Lowers blood sugar for the treatment of diabetes

Prevents gallstones

Reduces bruises and injuries

How to Use It

Turmeric can be used in root, powder, or tablet form. The powder can be used in recipes, as a paste, or as a supplement. Look below for a variety of recipes with turmeric.

Turmeric that is powdered, root, or freshly ground from the root, can be used in most foods. Cooking with turmeric is the easiest and best way to make your kitchen your pharmacy. Precautions: Turmeric can burn easily if added straight to hot oil (ghee) and too much can give it a bitter taste. As a supplement it can be used by taking a teaspoon of turmeric powder to warm water, milk, or milk alternative. One to two cups can be taken daily for menstrual cramps and lessening of inflammation.

For Colds:

Take ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tbs raw honey. 3x a day for the next week (Under 120 lbs.) 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tbs raw honey. 3x a day for the next week. (Over 120 lbs).


~Ayurvedic Oatmeal~

I cup steel cut or rolled oats 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp of freshly chopped ginger 1 tbs of ghee 1 tbs of flax seed Handful of raisins or honey for sweetener. Another option is to make it more savory and cook dark greens, such a kale, in ghee and add that on top!

~Kitchari~ Ayurvedic Staple Servings: 2

1/2 cup of Red lentils 1/2 cup of white basmati rice 4 cups of filtered or tap water Freshly grated or finely chopped ginger (1 teaspoon) 5 cloves of garlic 1/2 medium size nicely chopped red onion 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder 2 medium size carrots (nicely chopped) I teaspoon of cumin seeds 1 teaspoon of dry Jimbu (Himalayan grass) – optional salt to taste 1 tablespoon of ghee

Mix the lentils, rice, water , and rest of the ingredients in a big pot in a medium heat for 30-45 minutes. Cook for about half hour until it looks like porridge. Turn off heat.

In a separate small saucepan, heat the ghee or oil of your choice and add coming seeds and jumbo. Once they turn brown, add them into the pot of kitchari. It is now ready to serve. You can garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if you prefer.

~Sautéed Greens (Leeks, Kale, Spinach, and Beet Greens)~ Serves 2-3

Ingredients: 1 bunch of kale of your choice 1 bunch of spinach of your choice 1 bunch of beet greens (tops from beets used in Beet Dahl) 1 bunch of leeks 2 Tbsp of oil of your choice (sesame, mustard, ghee, coconut, avocado) 1/2 tsp of ajwan seeds (optional) 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder 1/2 tsp of salt (to taste)

Wash the greens well and chop them nicely. In a wok or a pan, heat the oil in a medium heat. Add ajwan, cumin, coriander, fenugreek. Once they turn brown, add greens. Let them cook for few minutes. Add turmeric and salt. Stir it well. Cook for few more minutes and turn off the heat. It shouldn’t be overcooked. Enjoy!

Check out our next cooking workshop to practice using turmeric in person!

Many Blessings, Santa Cruz Ayurveda

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