I am so excited to be bringing you this post today! Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of my absolute favourite medicinal herbs to work both in my clinic and in my home remedies. I use it in tinctures, bone broth, fire cider and my new favourite way; Golden Milk.
As a herbalist I would be hard pressed to find a plant that can match Curcuma in it’s anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, turmeric can be used to treat inflammation in all parts of the body – cardiovascular and digestive systems, liver and gallbladder etc. In addition to it’s anti-inflammatory properties. turmeric is also an amazing anti-oxidant.
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Oxidation damage in the body, caused by free radicals, leads to cellular damage and inflammation. So not only does Curcuma help to treat any inflammation already present in the body, thanks to it’s ability to scavenge for free radicals, it can also help to prevent further damage.
As a very interesting side note, I was reading Herbal Academy’s post on Curcuma and they mentioned that one of the Sanskrit names for turmeric is Kanchani which means Golden Goddess. What a lovely name for such an amazing plant!
As we already discussed, turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory which means in the digestive system it will help treat conditions such as sore throats, ulcers, colitis, tonsillitis and gastritis. It’s also what us herbalist’s refer to as a warming carminative which means it will also help with functional digestive issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion and general digestive upset.
Because Curcuma is so famous for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, we can easily forget that it provides amazing support for the cardiovascular system. Thanks to the aforementioned properties, turmeric is useful for heart conditions that are rooted in inflammation such as arteriosclerosis. However, it is also an amazing hypocholesterolemic and hypolipidemic lending to it’s ability to reduce cholesterol and lipids.
Liver and Gallbladder
Curcuma is both a cholagogue and choleretic, both properties aiding in the production of bile. This will help to support digestive function and support the liver. Combine this with those wonderful anti-inflammatory properties we were chatting about earlier and you have an amazing ally against liver congestion and inflammation (e.g. Hepatitis).
Conditions Rooted in Inflammation
Research is finally catching up and we are discovering that most conditions in the body are rooted in inflammation. In addition to the digestive, cardiovascular and liver conditions, turmeric is extremely beneficial in treating acne, psoriasis and eczema. It’s also a fantastic anti-rheumatic which can help to reduce spasms and pain associated with both arthritis and rheumatisim.
Safety and Contraindications
In general Curcuma longa is a very safe herb however there are some situations where this herb should be used with caution. Due to it’s effect on the cardiovascular system folks on heart medications should use this with caution (just a quick chat with your doctor or pharmacist before using it daily is a good idea).
Golden Goddess Milk Recipe
Step One: Turmeric Paste
Some folks make their Golden Goddess Milk using powdered turmeric but I find it mixes into the milk better if you make a paste first. If you plan on making this a regular addition to your life I would highly suggest going the paste route. It stores in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks and it’s simple to make. Here’s how:
- 1/4 cup powdered turmeric
- 1/2 cup of water
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan
- Simmer and whisk until a paste forms
- Once cooled store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
Step Two: Make Golden Goddess Milk
I’m sure that this recipe will quickly become a favourite herbal nightcap for you! A note about some of the ingredients; the addition of coconut oil is not only a healthy fat but it will help your body absorb the fat soluble constituents in Curcuma so you definitely need to add that in. In a similar fashion, black pepper helps to increase the absorption rate of turmeric by 2000% so that is a must add as well!
- 1 cup of milk (cow, goat, almond, coconut etc.)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of turmeric paste (or just use the powder)
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 1-2 grinds of fresh black pepper
- maple syrup or raw honey to taste
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon as a dusting on top
- On the stove top bring warm your milk (be careful not to burn it as this can happen quickly with milk).
- Add in your turmeric paste, coconut oil and black pepper. Continue to stir until the paste is well incorporated and your coconut oil has melted.
- Pour into a mug and add your sweetener of choice.
- Dust with cinnamon and enjoy!
Some folks like their turmeric milk cold, but personally I prefer it nice and warm. It’s like a golden hug on a cold winters eve. I love to enjoy this at night before bed, preferably cuddling up with a nice warm blanket and a good book.
Many herbal blessings my friends!