And that is my ode to the Beloved Turmeric plant. One of the most highly studied and revered of the Ayurvedic healing spices. Of late it has been gilding my kitchen counter and fingertips with its luminous stain as I juice, grate, chop, slice, sprinkle, and blend it into EVERYTHING.
I am obsessed.
The obsession started because of stubborn inflammation in my neck from whiplash. Accupuncture, massage, compresses, and warm Ayurvedic oils were helping but only symptomatically. I knew this was an inside job. I decided to dramatically up the dosage of turmeric in my diet. I have always cooked with turmeric and also added it occasionally to aloe juice or smoothies to reap the blood-purifying benefits especially in the warmer months.
I wanted to enhance the effects as an anti-inflammatory so on top of the regular turmeric in my diet of one to two teaspoons I increased the daily amount by adding 500mg of supplemental curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory proven to protect and improve the vitality of practically every organ in the body. Although this spice offers miraculous outcomes curcumin is not easily bio-available and needs help with absorption into the blood stream. Black pepper (piperine) serves this purpose.
IN JUST 3 WEEKS I AM NOTICING THE BENEFITS.
The inflammation in my neck has significantly reduced and I’m sleeping comfortably through the night with no pain. My skin is glowing. My appetite for sweets has decreased. I feel generally much better, and easier in my body. My knee joint isn’t cracking quite so loudly anymore either when I bend it.
Not surprising really. Turmeric has earned a growing scientific reputation as one of nature’s most powerful plant medicines. Some of the most prevalent health threats such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis have been found in multiples of studies to dramatically improve or disappear with therapeutic doses of curcumin.
The botanical name is curcuma longa and comes from the Zingiberaceae family (same as ginger). In Sanskrit this magnanimous plant has a number of worthy names, the most glorious being Kanchani – Golden Goddess. It is a sacred name well lived up to as it truly brings great healing when approached with mindful reverence for nature’s gifts.
Turmeric benefits all seven dhatus or tissue layers of the body; plasma (rasa), blood (rakta), muscle (mamsa), fat (meda), bone (asthi), marrow/nerve (majja), and reproductive tissue (shukra).
My exquisite organic, wildcrafted Turmeric essential oil arrived just in time this week from Aromatics International to make these super-nourishing turmeric bliss balls. I had never used turmeric essential oil in food and WOW. Only 2 drops is needed. Taking EO’s internally is not recommended unless they are organic and blended in very low doses into a carrier of fat/oil where they can emulsify. (yummy recipe below)
Turmeric purifies the subtle channels of the body. What this means is the actions of this beneficial plant are sattvic or pure and work not only on a physical level to clear obstructed channels and ‘enlighten’ the tissues but also on a finer spiritual level to bring consciousness to the yogic practices. Through inhalation of the essential oil, one can cleanse the subtle energetic channels in preparation for breathing practices such as alternate nostril breathing (nadi-shodhana).
NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC. Turmeric is an excellent natural antibiotic, while helping to improve internal flora and strengthening digestion. With all the current resistance to antibiotics turmeric is a safe and extremely potent antibacterial, boosting immunity and healing on a deep level with no known side effects. This is good news for those who are chronically ill with a weakened immune system.
BLOOD PURIFIER. Turmeric cleanses the blood as well as boosting formation of new blood tissue (rakta dhatu).
ANTIOXIDANT. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. Chronic inflammation has been shown to activate or advance many of the prevalent diseases of our day. Oxidative damage in the tissues is created from external factors such as pollution, excess sunlight and internal factors such as incorrect diet and careless lifestyle choices. This all leads to inflammation-induced premature aging and disease. Turmeric is known as one of the safest, most powerful and effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant medicines.
SKIN TONIC. Another important benefit of turmeric is to heal skin conditions that stem from inflammation. Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, itching skin, rashes, and blemishes can all be reduced or prevented by simply including Turmeric in the daily diet. Incorporating turmeric powder and/or essential oil into carrier oils such as coconut, jojoba, or sunflower oil is a good topical application. Yes, the skin may go a golden color but this is temporary and so worth it. You will notice a shift in the quality of your skin in a fairly short time.
In my previous blog I introduced the AromaDosha Blueprint™ for Tridosha. Turmeric is listed as one of the primary spices for (restoring and protecting) the tissues of the body. Taken daily as part of your aromatic herbal routine it seems science is confirming what the sages have known for centuries; this golden spice will act as your most reliable health tonic and guardian of your wellbeing. Begin to build your intentional health-care routine by adding one herb, spice, essential oil, and food at a time, mindfully incorporating them into your personal daily practice as works best for you. Begin with Turmeric.
Dr. David Frawley, one of my teachers in Ayurveda and founder of the American Institute of Vedic studies says “If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would choose turmeric…it is a spice that everyone should get to know and live with”
PLEASE NOTE: As with any plant medicines a therapeutic dose taken in supplement form (curcumin) is for shorter-term use (3-4 months) until symptoms are gone. Whole turmeric however can simply be taken daily by adding either the raw rhizome or dried powdered spice to food and warm beverages. Ayurveda is not a one-size-fits-all philosophy and circumstances will vary. Sharpen your observations around your health and notice how the aromatic foods, herbs, spices, and essential oils affect you. This is your personal AromaDosha Blueprint™
If you have a serious medical condition please consult with a healthcare practitioner.
When it comes to our health….we all deserve the gold and with a daily dose of Kanchani, the “Universal Healer” we can make sure we have it.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions or experiences with Turmeric in the comments below and let us know how you are doing!
With Fragrant Blessings,
Glynn and Mel
TURMERIC BLISS BALLS
12 medjool dates soaked, pitted, and mashed
1 cup almond meal (I use the leftover grounds from making almond milk)
1 TBSP Ashwagandha powder (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBSP ground turmeric
1 TBSP sesame paste (tahini)
1 generous TBSP coconut oil (solid)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 drops Turmeric essential oil (optional)
2 drops cardamom essential oil (optional)
1 tsp raw cacao powder
Unsweetened coconut for rolling
Mash everything together until creamy. Place in fridge for 20 minutes to firm up (makes it easier to roll)
Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in coconut. Sprinkle ground turmeric on top.
Refrigerate and enjoy as a restorative and nourishing super-snack.