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Turmeric: The Magic Power of the Golden Powder

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

While I was writing a book called Ginger and Turmeric for one of my Italian publishers, my yoga master suggested that I start drinking ayurverdic milk for forty days to support my joints and flexibility. Always ready to try something new, I purchased fresh turmeric (it stains everything!) and turmeric powder and prepared the milk, as well as many other recipes for the book.

I've truly enjoyed cooking these fantastic dishes, and I adore the color of this ingredient— it is so full of life and joy.

Turmeric is a beautiful herbaceous plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes ginger, cardamom, and galanga. The Curcuma longa aromatic rhizome has a vivid orange-yellow color. Its golden powder has always been used in Indian culture as tikka, the religious pigment sacred to the gods, which is applied at the sixth chakra and on votive statues.

Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic medicine and as a precious ingredient of Asian cuisine. Recent studies have confirmed that its antioxidant, anti-cancer, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory power are very strong and effective. Turmeric has many positive benefits: it supports detoxification for the liver; promotes a healthy response to allergens and a healthy immune response; assists digestion; helps purify the blood; and promotes health of the lungs, circulation, and nervous system. Turmeric contains curcumin, a flavonoid that supports a healthy inflammatory response, thereby promoting general well-being.

To enhance the power of turmeric, follow some simple rules:

Never over-heat turmeric, otherwise it loses its nutraceutical capacity.
Turmeric must always be accompanied by a spicy element such as piper nigrum—common black pepper. This particular synergy facilitates the assimilation of curcumin that would otherwise be eliminated from the body.
Curcumin is not water-soluble, but it is liposoluble, so it is always necessary to add a fat, such as butter, to enhance its absorption.

Ayurvedic Milk

1 cup of organic soy milk

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

A sprinkle of black pepper

A dab of ghee or regular butter

Honey to taste

Place milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add turmeric, black pepper, and butter and mix well.

Add honey and drink.

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