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I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time, as turmeric or chi chi ma as it is known in St. Lucia, is some kind of powerful stuff. The internet is awash with articles singing its praises and listing its health giving properties. The interesting thing is that they seem to concur on some pretty weighty claims. I make this tisane on both sides of the Atlantic, as I think its doing me good and I really quite like the taste of it. You can get turmeric very inexpensively in St. Lucia all through the year. My lovely Rosie grows it in her garden so I have a seemingly inexhaustible supply. In London you can buy it at Asian supermarkets quite easily.
Turmeric is the root that gives Indian curries their yellow colour and that yellow comes from its most important ingredient, curcumin. I add it to various and sundry dishes as it has a fresh flavour which is not too overpowering but its colour is indelible.
The list below captures the main claims. I am not a chemist or scientist so please do not quote me as a specialist. I merely mean this as a fascination or talking point.
1. Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
2. Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
3. Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
4. Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.
5. Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
6. Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular medicaments neurontin 400 consequences level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
7.Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
8.Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.
9.A study in 60 depressed patients showed that curcumin was as effective as prozac in alleviating the symptoms of depression.
The problem I have is in describing quantities to you, as no one has really worked out the potency of fresh turmeric. However this is how I make it
Makes a jug of approx 500ml
50/60 g fresh turmeric root
25/30 g fresh ginger root
Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
1 tbsp honey
500 ml water
Don’t bother peeling either the ginger or the turmeric as you will be straining it all later. It must be said that I do wear plastic/latex gloves when grating or I end up with yellow stained fingers and more noticeable, yellow finger nails for the rest of the day.
So, simply mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow to cool completely. Strain and store in a drip proof container in the fridge for up to a week.
I decided based on nothing at all tangible that a good daily dose is about 2 tbsp. I do fall off the turmeric wagon from time to time and I have to say that I notice a positive difference when I take it regularly. Can’t really put my finger on what exactly, but I have recently undergone abdominal surgery (long, boring story) and my recovery has been nothing short of amazing and speedy. Go turmeric!