Ancient Medicine – Liquid Gold

I was excited today. I found some fresh turmeric  in a fruit and vegetable shop! It can be hard to source here. I’ve even tried growing it – without success.

Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years. It is a major part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, Unani, and traditional Chinese medicine. First used as a dye, it later became highly regarded for its  medicinal properties.

It is of course one of the main spices in a good curry.  The so called Liquid Gold, a tea made from turmeric, is said to be good for you in oh so many ways! And a turmeric facial mask is fabulous for the skin.

What’s so good about it?6.235 peer-reviewed articles  have been published proving its benefits and that of one of its renowned healing compounds- curcumin. That places it  on the top of the list for the most frequently mentioned herbs in all of science, as well as being the next most popular herb to be studied along with garlic, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng and milk thistle.

What’s the most interesting finding? When turmeric is compared to conventional medicine its benefits equal many pharmaceutical medications. Some report that it is more advantageous than certain prescription drugs.

The 5,000 year old Indian natural healing system – Ayurveda – has used it for centuries as fresh juice, tinctures, powder, creams, lotions, pastes and ointments.  Here’s just a few examples:

  • milk boiled with turmeric and sugar as a cold remedy
  • turmeric juice to help heal wounds, bruises, leech bites
  • turmeric paste, lime and salt applied to strains and inflamed joints
  • turmeric fumes inhaled to relieve congestion and release mucous
  • The classic way to apply turmeric topically is as an “Ubtan”: a blend of turmeric, chick-pea flour, sesame or almond oil, a little fresh cream and honey. This will clear up skin blemishes, and increase the natural glow and radiance of the skin.

I was introduced to the magic of turmeric in facials by some Indian doctors at work many years ago. Worried that my face would end up permanently stained yellow I tried it on a long weekend. I hoped the extra day off may be needed to restore my skin back to its normal colour.  I scrubbed it off with chick pea flour giving my face more of vigorous a scrub than was maybe necessary. To my relief it didn’t turn yellow. What it did do was leave my face feeling satiny smooth.

Turmeric has hundreds of molecular constituents. Twenty or more are antibiotic, twelve are anti-inflammatory, at least ten have different anti-oxidants to name just a few. Turmeric/curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. I witnessed this first hand when a friend with severe psoriasis used it on his arms. It worked like magic to reduce the itching, pain, inflammation and redness of his skin.

In India , turmeric is considered the standard anti-inflammatory, and yogis use it to help keep their tendons and ligaments free from injury and to assist in their asana practice. In the same way, it minimizes pain and inflammation related to any kind of exercise or strenuous activity.

But be warned. Whether powdered or fresh it stains everything a bri ght yellow!  When I peel and slice the fresh stuff, I wear plastic gloves. And even then some of it  gets through to my fingers.

I blitz it into a paste in the Thermomix with olive oil and keep it in the fridge. It keeps well. I guess you could freeze it into ice cube trays and grab a cube at a time.

Here’s a few versions of the magical Golden Liquid if you want to try it:

Golden Milk Turmeric Tea

  1. Whisk coconut milk, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil, peppercorns, and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes. …
  2. Do Ahead. Golden milk can be made 5 days ahead.

Liquid Gold

  1. Boil 3 to 4 cups of water on the stove.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and stir.
  3. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea into another container.
  5. Add in honey, fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice, and milk to taste

According to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2000mg Turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of Turmeric 154 percent!

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. ~Golda Meir
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44 thoughts on “Ancient Medicine – Liquid Gold

  1. Hi Raili! Thank you for taking time to compile and share this helpful information and benefits of turmeric. I love cooking with the spice, and now I could even try your Golden Milk Turmeric Tea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Try the fresh kind if you can get it, Jacquie. And give your skin a treat with a facial 🙂 The recipe I was given was simple – make it into a paste with organic milk or cream. Scrub it off with chick pea flour.

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      1. Just thought I’d mention what I did to the Reuben’s sandwich dressing. I added a few things to the sauce to ‘enrich’ the flavour 🙂 I have a recipe for the Russian dressing that apparently is the original, so using that as inspiration, I added – grated garlic, grated horseradish, tabasco sauce and black pepper. Sooo much better !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, forgot – and fresh made turmeric paste. The bioavailability of curcumin in turmeric is boosted quite markedly with the addition of black pepper.

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      3. I can’t answer that – I don’t know, lol ! I’ve had some in the fridge for months and it hasn’t gone off. I always drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top. It goes a bit darker over time but it still tastes the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! VICCO Turmeric Skin Cream with Sandalwood Oil. It’s really cheap, and I found a few UK sellers on ebay, but I’ll have to get my daughter to order it – something happened to my paypal account about 3 years ago, and I haven’t got around to sorting it out.
        Some sellers market it as skin lightening cream, but I’d forgotten all about that claim…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post! I’m currently recovering from a Spinal Cord Injury – almost 11 months into my recovery – and looking into all types of herbal remedies. I will definitely try out your tea recipes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SO sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you are well on the way to recovery. Turmeric is a very powerful healer. We drink a cupful every evening. thank you too, Hannah for the follow. Much appreciated. I will be by yours later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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