When I was a yoga teacher in New York City in the early 1990’s, I studied Ayurveda. As we went deep into this intensive training we learned to diagnose different conditions and treat them with herbal remedies and yoga asanas.
One of the best things that came from my Ayurvedic training was learning how to use herbs in a synergistic fashion. Because of that training I know how to create healing drinks like this incredible Golden Turmeric Latte.
Turmeric the Golden Spice
You may be familiar with turmeric as a spice used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Turmeric is the main ingredient in curry and the one that leaves yellow stains on my white marble counter tops if I don’t wipe it up right away.
Turmeric is an important component of both Western and Eastern medicine. It contains curcumin, a bioactive compound that has a wide array of healing properties. Modern science has found that this traditional remedy can come close to working miracles through its powerful anti-inflammatory processes.
7 Health Benefits of Turmeric
I interviewed my colleague Dr. Robert Rountree, author of Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child and editor of the journal, Alternative and Complementary Therapies. According to Dr. Rountree, turmeric is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions and ailments. Here are just a few!
1. Improves Digestion
Turmeric improves digestion and can be used as a remedy for stomachaches and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), including treating symptoms such as bloating and gas.
2. Enhances Brain Function
Like exercise and the Keto Diet, curcumin promotes growth of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), an anti-inflammatory agent that enhances and extends the life span of brain cells.
3. Cures Skin Disorders
Curcumin contains natural antibiotics and antiseptics that heal wounds including cuts, burns, bruises, and other types of lesions to the skin. It is also useful in treating skin disorders such as eczema.
4. Regulates Hormones
Turmeric regulates hormonal imbalances in women that can lead to estrogen dominance, irregular periods, and acne.
5. Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain
Turmeric has antiarthritic effects that reduce joint inflammation by blocking the formation of NF-kB, a pro-inflammatory substance. Curcumin also has analgesic, or pain blocking properties similar to those of aspirin and other NSAID’s, without gut harming side effects such as eroding stomach lining.
6. Prevents Cancer
Curcumin is a potent anti-cancer agent. It fights cancer by preventing genetic mutations and the growth of existing tumor cells. Further, curcumin can actually destroy existing tumor cells by preventing blood supply to them.
7. Natural Botox
In addition to containing potent antioixdants that slow the aging process, curcumin promotes the formation of proteins that create smooth, supple skin.
I love turmeric for all of the reasons above and so many more! I make sure to get as much turmeric as I can by adding it to stir-fries, curries, and drinks such as this latte.
This comforting Golden Turmeric Latte is delicious straight up or sweetened. I usually add a few drops of vanilla stevia. If you don’t like stevia feel free to add honey or maple syrup. Blending the latte makes it incredibly frothy and delicious, but if you don’t have a blender simply strain straight into mugs and drink it up!
Finally, you will often see black pepper used in recipes that call for turmeric because they work in a synergistic fashion. Among his other observations, Dr. Rountree pointed out that black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin. He also reminded me that taking a curcumin supplement is a good way to get this healing miracle spice into your routine when you’re on the go!
Here are some of my easy paleo recipes that use turmeric!