Modern research has primarily looked at the medicinal action of curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric.
If you’d like to take curcumin on its own, many commercial supplements have been developed that only contain curcumin.
But the whole turmeric has been used in the remedies included here for thousands of years. The sheer history behind turmeric’s use as a remedy for a range of acute and chronic diseases is proof enough that it works for many people throughout the world. It’s our sincere hope that these remedies can also work for you.
One important fact modern research has revealed is that curcumin is poorly absorbed by the human body, whether it’s taken alone or as part of the whole turmeric. Luckily, science has also discovered how to remedy this situation.
It’s been found that black pepper contains piperine, which can enhance the absorption of curcumin by a staggering 2000%. Curcumin is also fat-soluble. That means eating it with fats, such as olive oil or ghee, will help you absorb it better.
Turmeric is already a delicious addition to curries and many other dishes. Just make sure you also add some black pepper and fats to your meal to get the most out of this exceptional spice.
And for a brief word of caution, note that the natural pigments in turmeric can stain anything absorbent in a bright orange or yellow color. This includes clothing, carpets, furniture, or anything else turmeric might come in contact with. Don’t wear your best clothing when preparing a turmeric dish or remedy, and avoid any spills on carpets and furniture.
Turmeric Tea, Infusion and Decoction
Turmeric teas provide a tasty way to help relieve a sore throat, cough, digestive upset, or mouth ulcer. They’re also a great way to get your daily dose of turmeric for ongoing health.
Turmeric Tea – Plain turmeric tea can be bitter on its own, so turmeric is often combined with other ingredients for a tea. For example, try putting 2 slices of both fresh turmeric and ginger in a cup with about half a teaspoon (2 grams) of tamarind paste. Add 1 cup (250 milliliters) of boiling water and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain out the ingredients and season with honey if desired before drinking.
Turmeric Infusion – Slice a 3- to 5-inch (8- to 13-centimeter) piece of fresh turmeric root as thin as possible, then mince the slices well. You can also use 1-2 tablespoons (13-26 grams) of dried turmeric. Simmer the turmeric in about one quart (liter) of boiling water in a saucepan for at least 2 hours. Use a strainer or cheesecloth to remove the turmeric before drinking.
Variation: Add ½ a teaspoon each of whole cloves and black pepper, and a tablespoon of cumin seeds to the water. Simmer with the turmeric and strain out at the end.
Turmeric Decoction – Make one or more recipes of the Turmeric Infusion or Variation above. Once you’ve removed the ingredients, return the infusion to the stove-top and simmer for another 2 hours, or until the liquid volume is reduced by half.
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