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Herb of the month (April): Turmeric

Updated: May 27, 2020

Go Gah-Gah for the golden goodness this spring



English Name: Turmeric


Sanskrit Name: Haridra/Haldi


Botanical name – Curcuma Longa


Stifle the sneeze


In the western world, many of up welcome spring with a latent sense of dread, knowing seasonal allergies are just around the corner. Fortunately, this golden goodness is the perfect remedy to stifle the sneeze so you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of our world waking up after a long slumber.


A key Ayurvedic ingredient


In the Ayurvedic kitchen, Haldi/Haridra is a culinary staple. Not only does it bestow a beautiful golden colour to curries, rice dishes and drinks but packs a punch in the healing department. Turmeric is well known for possessing extensive health benefits from detoxifying the liver to preventing and managing allergies and other inflammatory conditions. Who wouldn't want that in there kitchen armoury.


Health benefits


Turmeric, being warming, bitter and astringent, is used primarily kapha disorders such as when there is ama (heavy toxic load), weight gain and congestion. With Spring being a kapha dominant season, adding Turmeric to your diet will help clear the kapha so you are feeling fresh for summer!


As a potent detoxifier and anti-inflammatory, Turmeric helps to reduce irritation from seasonal or on-going allergies and can reduce to reduce the pain of inflammatory conditions such as ama vata (rheumatoid arthritis)


Good news if you suffer from chronic issues with your skin too, Turmeric boosts skin cleansing and repair by reducing toxic load in the lymph glands helping to give a cleaner, clearer complexion. Side note - this happens through adding to food and drinks, don't apply directly to skin or you will look like you've been tangoed!


Ayurvedic perspective

Taste (Rasa): Pungent (Katu), Bitter (tikta)

Qualities (Guna): Light (Laghu), Dry (ruksa),

Virya (Potency): Hot (usna)

Vipaka (Post-digestive effect): Pugent (katu)

Dosha: Pacifies all dosha but vata (air/space) and kapha (earth/water) dosha mostly


Ayurvedic actions:

- Increases appetite (deepaniya)

- Reduces toxic load (pacaniya)

- Improve complexion (varnya)

- Reduces skin disease (kusthagna)

- Reduces coughs and wheezing (svasakasahara)

- Reduces pain (vedana sthapana)

- Supports bone healing and repair (asthi-bagna)

- Cleanses the head (shirovirechana)

- Supports management of rheumatoid (amavatahara)

- Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral (bhutagna)

- Reduces fevers (jvaraghna)


Scientific actions – Appetiser, digestive, antibiotic, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, liver stimulant, blood tonic, emmengogue, anti-tumour


Contraindications/when not to use Turmeric


- Do not use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.

- Bleeding problems: Taking turmeric might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

- Diabetes: Curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes.


How can I add Turmeric to my diet?


Go for the golden goodness with golden milk

This delightful alternative to hot chocolate at night is beginning to take the UL by storm, even Pret a Manger now sell golden milk and we could't be happier. But why is it a thing? Well, as Turmeric is hot, light, dry, bitter and astringent and milk is cold, heavy, wet, sweet and sour (the complete opposite and quite bad for kapha types) adding Turmeric, according to Ayurveda balances out the milk making it easier to digest, less congestion and all round more beneficial. Try it for a night cap sometime or instead of coffee, with a little coconut sugar, its pretty good!


Spice up your life (and your meat)

As Turmeric encourages more efficient protein absorption seasoning your (we hope lean, organic, grass fed) meats with a little Turmeric before they are are tossed in the pan or grill will help them go gown easier and will add a little sunshine to your place.


Who needs allergy medicine when you have Turmeric and Honey

Don't splash your cash on nasty chemical formulas in the hope of relieving your allergies. In the long-run these off the shelf remedies only hamper your digestion, so you develop more toxins and keeping you stuck in the sneezing cycle. Instead, break the loop and integrate a daily spoon of Turmeric and Honey into you life. These natural beauties will reduce inflammation, cleanse the head, throat and chest and clean up the toxins which are making your immune system go hay-wire, all while providing vitamins, minerals and nutrients to boost your immune system and digestion. As someone who has always suffered from severe allergies and blocked nose and now does not I can't attest to this enough!


Awesome Turmeric Recipes










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