Turmeric Root- Rhizoma Curcumae Longae- Jiang Huang
Turmeric (known as Jiang huang in Chinese medicine) is the ultimate superfood, a culinary genius, and a health superstar. It is widely used across the globe in various cultures to lend its golden color to the most delicious curries as well as its medicinal properties to some of the best supplements. In the Chinese Materia Medica it falls into the category of Herbs that Regulate the Blood. It has a warming, acrid and bitter taste and it enters into the Spleen, Stomach and Liver meridians.
This powerful root is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its impact upon menstruation. Since it is known to invigorate the blood, it can help ease menstrual pain/cramps and eliminate blood stasis in the uterus. Please note that turmeric in therapeutic dosages is contraindicated during pregnancy. And this herb is to be used with caution for people taking anticoagulants medication such as heparin, warfarin/ Coumadin and enoxaparin/ Lovenox, or antiplatelet medication such as aspirin, “as concurrent use may have an additive or synergistic effect.”
Since it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory herb, It is especially helpful for dealing with pain and chronic injuries especially in the upper body, arms, neck and shoulders.
Curcumin is the main active constituent of turmeric and many supplements extract this active ingredient to make supplements out of. Many people have opposing views of which is more beneficial- the whole plant extract or the active constituent of curcumin, but it seems to be agreed upon that consuming this herb with black pepper defiantly makes it more bioavailable. (Curcumin is also fat-soluble, so make sure to take this with a meal)
It can be used fresh, dried, ground, encapsulated or in tincture form. I love to cook with turmeric. It adds such a beautiful color to smoothies and elixirs as well as a deep flavor. I have added some of my favorite recipes below.
High in Anti-oxidants
Known for its exceptional Anti-inflammatory impacts
Invigorates the blood, breaks up blood stasis
Promotes movement of Qi and Blood
Great for skin health
Turmeric Bliss Balls
1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tsp organic ground turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp organic ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon- Ceylon cinnamon is best!
1/2 tsp sea salt
Place the shredded coconut into a food processor (or blender) and mix until its starts to break down and get a bit oily. Add the cashews and pulse until they breakdown.
Add the rest of the ingredients one by one until your have a nice sticky mix.
Press the mixture into balls, and place into fridge.
Let sit in the fridge to harden for a few hours.
You can also add black sesame seeds/paste to help strengthen the blood tonification properties of these delicious tasty treats.
Turmeric Paste Recipe
½ cup of organic ground turmeric
½ cup of ghee/ or coconut oil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoons cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons cardamom powder
1 ½ teaspoons ginger powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
1–1 ½ cups filtered water
A pinch of sea salt
A clean glass jar for storage
1. Mix the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and pepper into a bowl and set it aside.
2. Simmer the turmeric powder and 1 cup of water together in a saucepan on low-medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the turmeric has been thoroughly stirred in, add an additional ½ cup of water if desired. Keep stirring until the mixture has reached a paste-like consistency. This can take anywhere from 3–10 minutes. (You can experiment with the amount of water added if you want a thicker or thinner consistency of the paste.)
3. Simmer the mixture down and slowly stir in the other spices.
4. Add ghee or coconut oil and blend thoroughly.
5 .While the paste is still warm and runny, pour it into the glass container
6. Let cool, and refrigerate. The mixture will thicken as it cools. It may be stored in the fridge for 2–3 weeks, or frozen immediately and thawed for use.
One of my favorite things to do with my turmeric paste is to make Golden Milk!
1-2 tsp. Turmeric Paste (recipe above)
1-2 cups Milk of your Choice
Optional sweetener and additional spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger
Optional herbal adaptogen powder such as reishi, maca or cordyceps.
Add 1–2 teaspoons of the paste to 1–2 cups of milk (your choice) I love to use almond milk.
In a small pot, gently heat the milk on low until warm.
Add the turmeric paste, stirring until mixed completely. Add your desired sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup or date sugar. You can add additional spices if you desire.