The Power Of Yellow
Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, will know that I am an avid juicer, but not for a pure detox, more for a daily vitamin fix. I’m a great fan of Jason Vale and find his enthusiasm for his subject quite inspiring to say the least. Earlier posts, if you are new to this blog, will explain more!
Last year I had seen a few clients reduce their hay-fever symptoms considerably due to a daily Ginger Shot, and I was interested to try turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory properties as an addition to the morning juice. As it is a similar rhizome to ginger, I just started juicing it in the same way. I soon started to notice quite a difference with the pain I suffer in my hips and lower back on waking each day, although this is often remedied by drinking more water and not sitting down all day. Regular massage and acupuncture have helped, and it is still unknown whether the onset of menopause is playing a part too.
There are also many other benefits to taking turmeric:
Antiseptic on wounds
Helps with gastric issues
So, turmeric with its amazing anti-inflammatory properties, was working for me, but I soon discovered that it is not easily absorbed by the body. Due to it not being water soluble, juicing it is not ideal, as the major active chemical contained within it – curcurmin (the yellow pigment) needs to be either heated, mixed with oil, or taken with black pepper (so the piperine activates it) and makes it more bio-available to the body. If you are going to cook with it daily, that would heat it up, and as with Indian cooking you would use ghee or maybe coconut oil in a dish, so using it fresh or powdered you would ‘activate’ the curcumin that way.
As I normally take an omega 3 & 6 capsule with my juice, I was effectively taking it with an oil, but to cover all bases, I started grinding 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 sweet 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.
I have also recently discovered 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. Worth a look! 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!
You will need:
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. It may end up a different consistency to others, but it will still work. So many people on the Face Book site get hung up if it doesn’t ‘look right’. They worry that it’s 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.
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 shall be giving 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. Seems to work nicely!
If you would like fresh Turmeric, which also gives a wonderful depth to curries, you can now find it next to the ginger at Granny Smiths in Taunton. (Watch out for the staining though…. its very, very yellow!)