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Health and wellbeing | 16.06.2016

The amazing health benefits of turmeric in one magic drink

 

 The incredible health benefits of turmeric have been known in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for more than 4000 years and now Western scientists are sitting up and taking notice.

Turmeric is a potent superfood and healing herb that acts as an all-round immunity booster and can ward off a variety of illnesses. 

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is responsible for that gorgeous golden colour. Curcumin is now being studied around the world for its potential health benefits in warding off dementia and cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, there is currently no research evidence to show that the health benefits of turmeric extend to preventing or treating cancer, but early trials have shown promising results. 

Research has shown that there are low rates of certain types of cancer in countries where people eat curcumin at levels of about 100 to 200 mg a day over long periods of time.

Cancer Research UK says a number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that curcumin does have anticancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells, but more research is needed.

One suggested explanation for the health benefits of turmeric is its high antioxidant levels, natural anti-inflammatory properties and circulatory effects. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, it may help prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as ulcerative colitis and bacterial and viral infections.

Another reason why the health benefits of turmeric are so great is that it detoxifies the liver and kidneys. It helps to flush out accumulated toxins, and acts as an all-round skin tonic for all types of skin conditions, as well as a weight loss elixir that can assist with boosting the metabolism.

homemade Jamu (kuyit asem) recipe

Jamu is known as a traditional Indonesian medicine in the form of herbs, drinks, pills and pastes. When I lived in Bali, I made sure I had a daily shot of Jamu and as a result avoided the flu and any other type of illness.

If you want to ward off the winter blues and avoid the dreaded lurgy, try this homemade health tonic to see you through the next few months:

INGREDIENTS:

Method:

  1. Prepare turmeric and ginger by peeling and grating (you can wear gloves to prevent turmeric staining the skin, although it does tend to wash off).
  2. Place turmeric in a small saucepan and cover with filtered water. Allow it to boil and then continue to simmer on a low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the turmeric is soft and the water is vibrant orange.
  3. Remove from heat and add tamarind paste. Stir to dissolve using a wooden spoon.
  4. Place 1 litre of coconut water into a blender (a glass blender is preferable as the turmeric will stain plastic). Then add the turmeric, ginger and tamarind water mixture plus the juice of limes and honey to taste. Blend well until the turmeric has dissolved into the liquid. You can sieve if there are any leftover particles.
  5. Store in a glass bottle or jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for 4–5 days. Consume at least 1 glass per day. It's an acquired taste and slightly bitter and spicy at first sip. If you have it on an empty stomach you can feel the effects of its potency immediately.

Harnessing the health benefits of turmeric in your food 

Turmeric grows in abundance in tropical and subtropical climates. It prefers humidity and can also be grown indoors. It grows from cuttings or rhizomes, similar to the ginger plant.

Most eastern curry recipes contain turmeric, which imparts a rich, golden hue, and it can be incorporated into other dishes to add colour and flavour.

If you want to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric into your food, try adding a sprinkle to complement any vegetable dish, such as greens, potatoes, corn, onions and cauliflower. Or add it to a batch of scrambled eggs, or chicken and rice dishes, for a spark of colour and taste. 

One downside of using turmeric as noted before, is that it can stain, so ensure you wash all surfaces, boards, pots and pans down straight away.

Are you a turmeric convert? If you have any turmeric tips you'd like to share with us, please do so in the comments section below and you'll go into our bi-monthly draw to win a selection of Mukti Organics goodies.

@bymukti

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