Need some Turmeric in your diet?
I’m always interested in anything natural that can help health and wellbeing, and last year I discovered the powerful ways of the turmeric root. Turmeric in your diet used to be just in your curry powder. Looking like ginger, but more orange, you can now find this fresh rhizome in most good veg shops near the garlic, and chilli. Famed for anti-inflammatory properties I have been adding it to my morning juice every day.
There are many benefits of taking turmeric:
Antiseptic on wounds
Helps with gastric issues
The active ingredients
Research states that the active ingredient within turmeric – curcumin – is not easily absorbed by the body, due to it being insoluble in water, so juicing it is not ideal. It needs to be either heated, mixed with oil, or taken with black pepper – so the piperine in the pepper activates it making it more bio-available to the body.
As I normally take an omega 3 & 6 capsule with my juice, that covers the oil needed but I also grind some black pepper on the top. That may sound odd to those of you who don’t juice, but most of my ‘recipes’ are for vegetable based juices and not fruit laden smoothies, so adding it to carrot, parsnip, ginger, apple turmeric was quite nice. I’m sure that if you have a nutribullet it would just get whizzed in with everything.
There is a group on Face Book – Turmeric Users Group – which has some great information and offers support for those starting to use this powerful spice. There are many posts about dogs and in particular, horses. However, pets won’t be able to take a juiced fresh turmeric dose, so I have learnt to make Golden Paste.
This is a clever way of combining ground turmeric, oil, and black pepper together in a paste that can be kept in the fridge, and either used in your pets food or added to your own smoothies, yoghurt or cooking. If you delve in to this in more detail, some people take a ‘dose’ three times a day like a medicine, as turmeric doesn’t stay in the body very long, so regular doses are required.
It will depend what you are taking it for, as to how much you need and how much you can tolerate. Too much given to a dog will give him an upset stomach, and I’ve heard some dogs can smell of cat wee until they get used to it! There are varying doses, different amounts for different breeds and as for horses, well, that’s another ball game!
Make Golden Paste Yourself:
125g turmeric powder
500ml water or thereabouts.
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
70ml cold pressed virgin coconut oil – I get mine from Elements for Life as I also use it to make Raw Chocolate
You may find that quantities of water needed will vary depending on your turmeric, so don’t add it all the water in one go. Stir the turmeric and water over a low heat until thick. This takes about five minutes.Then add the coconut oil and pepper – use a balloon whisk if that’s easier. Remember all you are doing is combining the turmeric with an oil and black pepper, so there is no need to ‘cook’. It may end up a different consistency to others, but it will still work. So many people worry if it doesn’t ‘look right’ and not the same consistency as another post they have seen. You’re just combining the ingredients together. That’s all. Just to make it stay in the body longer. It’s not a cake. It’s just a natural remedy.
Make storage easy
Fill sterilised jars or ice cube trays if you would like to freeze it. As it keeps in the fridge for about four weeks, if you’ve only got a small dog, or you’re only taking it once a day, freezing it in single doses is a good idea. Generally give a 1/4 teaspoon to a small dog and up to a whole teaspoon for large breeds, but start small and work up. Some pets don’t like it at all, so it may need to be mixed with their food. For human consumption, take it as you like, I give it to my dog for his joints, but my morning routine will still be a herbal tea, two Omega capsules, and a few twists of black pepper on the top of a turmeric infused juice.
I’m so pleased that a few local stores now sell fresh turmeric, and I’ve even spotted it in Sainsburys, but not consistently. Abel and Cole Organic veg box suppliers also sell it, so you can add it to your regular order.
You can always grate it with ginger to use fresh in curries, but be careful, it stains! There’s always some in my cupboard now.