While turmeric has been all the rave the last few years (Google tells me that it’s popularity has been rising as of 2017), this spice has been actively used by the Indians for almost 4000 years. Not one, not two, but FOUR thousand years. There’s something to say when a practice has been constant for so long. During that time, turmeric was being used in space of cooking, medicine and religion. Even though we may be a little behind, we’re quickly seeing how powerful it truly is.

Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family – similar in their roots, but carries that bright yellow color we all know and love. Also referred to as “Indian saffron” or “golden spice”, it can be bought as the whole root or in powder form. This is a simple ingredient that can squeeze its way into so many meals – sprinkled onto a scramble, tossing a nub into your morning juice or smoothie (yes i said nub), winding your day down with some golden milk, and the variations in curries are endless.

The most important and the bioactive ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, part of the curcuminoid family. The compound curcumin is what gives turmeric its great medicinal qualities. With high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antimicrobial properties, we’re really seeing the positive effects this simple spice can have on health. This is where I get excited, and I hope you do too – it is amazing to think about certain compounds in food work in correlation with our body.

Turmeric has been known to improve our immune system, digestive system, and to decrease inflammation (a big one here). Numerous studies have displayed its ability to decrease inflammation in the body (diseases ending in the word -itis indicate inflammation). Particularly beneficial for those who struggle with Arthritis. Other known benefits may be improvement in liver function and skin health.

While being a great natural remedy for management of Arthritis, it’s also important for prevention. What we are finding now is that most diseases are caused by low-grade inflammation in the body – triggering Diabetes, Heart Disease, Dementia, Anxiety, Depression, Cancer, and so on. This is just one of the many preventative practices we can take to decrease inflammation and boost our antioxidant intake.

Yet, turmeric alone does not absorb too well into our bloodstream. For best bioavailability, pair with black pepper – a component in this spice actually increases absorption by 2000%. So, with allll that being said, I plan to prep some turmeric lattes for the nights ahead 🙂

Stay well. Xo


Watson K. Turmeric side effects: Health benefits and risks. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318405. Published July 12, 2017. Accessed April 30, 2020.

Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 13.Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/

Gunnars K. 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section7. Published July 13, 2018. Accessed April 30, 2020.

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