A few years ago I was having an off day. I felt sluggish and was pretty sure I was coming down with something nasty. I had two energetic boys running around who needed to eat something, but I could hardly get off the couch. As I rested on the couch this article about golden milk came up in my feed. I had been reading a lot about turmeric so I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t have fresh turmeric, but whipped some up with the powder I had on hand. Within minutes after drinking it I was cleaning up toys and starting dinner feeling totally fine.
As of today, when you search PubMed for articles on turmeric there are 3,854 results. If you search PubMed for curcumin (the active component in turmeric) there are almost 10,000 results of published papers. Curcumin has been studied as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer treatment . In the article Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials, the authors review much of the research that has been done in the last 25 years and highlight the promising effects “observed in patients with various pro-inflammatory diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, uveitis, ulcerative proctitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease, tropical pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, gastric ulcer, idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor, oral lichen planus, gastric inflammation, vitiligo, psoriasis, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic microangiopathy, lupus nephritis, renal conditions, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, β-thalassemia, biliary dyskinesia, Dejerine-Sottas disease, cholecystitis, and chronic bacterial prostatitis”
Basically, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are powerful enough to produced noticeable affects on inflammation, and inflammation causes: ALL THE PROBLEMS. Headaches, cancer, depression, high blood pressure, digestive issues…all stem from inflammation. While the best course of action is to address the cause of the inflammation, turmeric can help to reduce overall inflammation while you work to address the other factors causing the inflammation.
I have taken turmeric for headaches and sore throats with great success. I also notice my mood improves when I take turmeric resulting in me being calmer and having more patience with my kids (always something I need more of).
While there are so many potential benefits of turmeric, one downside is that it can be difficult to reap those benefits when taken on its own. In this turmeric paste I add ingredients that will work together to activate the curcumin as well as provide additional positive side effects.
Here is the run down of each ingredient and why I include it in the paste:
Turmeric – see above!
Cinnamon – Benefits include being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, lipid-lowering, and cardiovascular-disease-lowering compound. Many studies have shown that cinnamon taken internally can reduce the glycemic index of a meal up to 29% and lower blood glucose, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Cinnamon also adds a nice sweetness to balance the strong flavor of the turmeric.
Ginger – Aids in digestion and detoxification. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is also the flavor bridge between the cinnamon and turmeric.
Coconut Oil – Turmeric is fat soluble. Adding coconut oil increases the bioavailability of the turmeric. Coconut oil is a saturated fat (that’s the best kind!). The lauric acid found in coconut oil has strong anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, making a great addition to this immune boosting paste.
Raw Honey – This is not a necessary ingredient for the mixture (unless you are trying to give some to my kids, then it totally is). Honey makes a great addition when trying to soothe a sore throat or making Golden Milk. Honey also has antimicrobial properties. If you have access to local raw honey (you should always look for raw!) it can also help prevent seasonal allergies.
Black Pepper – Increases the bioavailability of the turmeric. One often quoted study mentions that by adding piperine (the active compound in black pepper) to curcumin it increased the bioavailability by 2000%. You can read more about the benefits of black pepper and turmeric here.
In addition to all that amazingness, each of the spices in this mix contain polyphenols. Have you read about polyphenols? They are amazing you should. This article on Chris Kresser’s blog discusses the ability of polyphenols to improve your gut bacteria.
Anti-Inflammatory Synergistic Turmeric Paste
2 tbs cinnamon
1 tbs ginger
¼ cup melted coconut oil
2 tbs raw honey (or more to taste)
pinch of black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar (turmeric can stain plastics and ceramics). Adjust spices and honey to taste.
Makes great turmeric milk as well! Just add a tablespoon to a warm cup of the milk of your choice.
We usually take a teaspoon of this paste after dinner to aid with digestion (and reduce the glycemic inde, while the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory affects help to detox and boost our immune system over night.
How do you use turmeric? Let me know!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and have no medical training. I do my own research and enjoy sharing what I have learn here, but I encourage you to do your own research and discuss with a doctor you trust before making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
 Ferriss, Timothy (2010-12-14). The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (Kindle Locations 3199-3202). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
 Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 20). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.