Herb of the week – Turmeric

All of us have seen this special spice that makes food yellow! Some may have a particular preference for Indian flavors.

Welcome to the Herb of the week! Here you can find short presentations of favorite herbs, common uses and some extra information related to the Chinese and the Greek herbal medicine.

All the information provided is informative, if someone has health problems or wants to follow a specific treatment, it is good to refer to an herbalist and even with the supervision of his doctor in cases of prescription medicine. In cases of herbal therapy, an herb is rarely used by itself and is needed to be monitored by a trained herbalist for the right combination.

All of us have seen this special spice that makes food yellow! Some may have a particular preference for Indian flavors. But for sure, in recent years it has taken up more space in our kitchen, adding an oriental note, like ginger. Recipes with curry mixes, and recipes for golden milk are becoming more and more popular and urge us to add this exquisite spice to our food.

In addition to its excellent smell and taste, turmeric has many medicinal properties and is used in both Western and Chinese herbal medicine. In Western herbal medicine it has been recognized as an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. It protects the liver and improves circulation because it reduces platelet aggregation, has been tested in people with arthritis and has also been shown to reduce inflammation. It heals wounds very quickly if administered externally to the skin, it is also an antibacterial and antiseptic. 

In Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is used:

  • To move liver Qi
  • To move blood and unblock stasis
  • To relieve pain
  • To clear the meridians
  • To expel Wind and move blood
  • To unblock menstruation
  • To reduce swelling and pain due to Toxic Fire with Qi and blood stagnation

Turmeric is warm and has bitter and acrid taste. It indicates the liver, spleen and stomach meridians.

Turmeric has also cosmetic use, we can find creams and gels for burn pain and wound healing due to its excellent healing and antiseptic properties, it is used for acne, in cases of psoriasis, for teeth whitening. When using turmeric powder on its own, without being in a cosmetic or pharmaceutical product, it should be used carefully because it can leave a yellow color on the skin. Before you try it on a larger area, put a little turmeric in your hand and try it, do not apply it if you are allergic.

In edible form do not forget that it must be consumed with black pepper to absorb its ingredients and properties.

Use with caution if one is taking anticoagulants because it moves the blood and can cause bleeding or bruising. Do not consume during pregnancy, in case of stomach sensitivity, and when there is Blood deficiency with signs of Qi stasis or blood stasis.

Suggested combinations

As a natural toothpaste with coconut oil and turmeric powder. In a small glass you put ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and ⅛ teaspoon of coconut oil, mix it till it turns into paste, wet the toothbrush just a little bit and then you dip it into the paste. Brush your teeth, leave this mix on your teeth for a few minutes, then you wash it off and brush your teeth like you normally do. Be careful, everything will turn yellow.

As a cleansing face mask (it’s better for oily skin). On equal proportion mix chickpea or rice flour with turmeric powder, let’s say 1 tablespoon of each. You mix it with a little bit of plant milk till it turns into a paste then you apply it on your face and let it sit for up to 15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water. You can check your skin on the 1st second, the 4th, the 7th and 10th to check how the yellow color is on your skin.

Of course, the fantastic and delicious golden milk could not be missing from the suggested combinations. 1 cup of plant milk unsweetened, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, ginger powder or fresh ginger, a little black pepper, little  Ceylon cinnamon powder or Ceylon cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves, 3-4 cardamom pods and for the end 1 teaspoon of honey or agave syrup. Boil the milk with all ingredients for a few minutes, let it cool a little bit, stir the honey and then strain. Drink it warm.

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