While there are many different issues that can ail the human body, there is ONE in particular that can be found at the root of all disease: chronic inflammation. While it might seem illogical and oversimplified to state such a thing, medical research has proven that where there is disease, chronic, low level inflammation can be found snuggled right up next to it. In fact, the negative symptoms that people experience with disease are simply an affect of an inflammatory response. From Celiacs, to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, auto-immune diseases like lupus, and even cancer, an inflammatory mechanism is at the root of the uncomfortable, painful or downright devastating symptoms that people experience.
While chronic disease is the most extreme of systemic inflammation's symptoms, most of us are dealing with inflammation's affects, albeit on a perhaps smaller level. Toxic load in our environment, certain medications, hormone imbalance, poor diet, chronic exposure to allergens, and even good old stress can all lead to an inflammatory response which may cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal disturbances, skin flare ups or rashes, headaches, and low immunity or vitality. There's no possible way to pardon yourself from ALL inflammation, nor would you want to as it's actually a part of your bodies vital healing mechanism , however we could all stand to benefit from lessening chronic inflammation in our bodies and our lives.
Presenting: Curcuma Longa, aka Turmeric
When it comes to inflammation-busting super stars, one in particular stands far above the rest in terms of well researched and documented efficacy, and that is turmeric. You may know turmeric as a brightly colored yellowish powder, and have quite possibly even enjoyed it in the form of an Indian curry dish. Fresh turmeric is a little less common, and actually looks a lot like ginger in both size and shape (it's a close botanical relative), however one characteristic in particular makes it stand out: it's tell-tale bright orange hue. One thing is for certain, turmeric is a rhizome with some serious benefits!
How does it work?
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that is responsible for its highly anti-inflammatory affect. Curcumin also acts a powerful antioxidant. The healing benefits of turmeric are nothing new, in fact it is one of the key remedies prescribed in ancient Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation, extend life, and protect the body against disease. Curcumin is HIGHLY anti-inflammatory, and in the right concentrations, even parallels the effectiveness of many anti-inflammatory drugs. Basically, curcumin works to block NF-kB , a molecule that travels into the nuclei of our cells, and triggers genes related to inflammation. This means that the curcumin within turmeric root works to fight inflammation at a molecular level; fascinating stuff!
How to get the most bang for your superfood buck
While taking a more concentrated supplement is recommended for those with a chronic health issues, eating a high quality organic turmeric powder, or better yet, the fresh root direct from the market, can still benefit your health in powerful ways. It's very important to note that curcumin is fat soluble, so combining your turmeric with some form of healthy fat, such as coconut oil or butter, is critical.
3 delicious RAW turmeric recipes!
Golden Coconut Turmeric Mylk
Sweet and creamy, comforting, warming, healing, and a great alternative to a cup of hot chocolate when your sweet tooth strikes.
Cold Busting Turmeric Elixir - aka Liquid Gold
8oz homemade unsweetened almond milk
8oz coconut water - we recommend fresh or Harmless Harvest brand
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 pinch Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs gently melted Dastony whole coconut butter
1/2 to 1 tsp raw honey - optional- the coconut water gives it a nice mellow sweetness
Gently melt your Dastony coconut butter until liquid. Blend all ingredients together and heat over low heat on the stove top until it reaches your desired temperature. To keep this 100% raw, simply heat until its warm to the touch but not hot.
Garnish with an extra dash of turmeric or a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice.
This immune-boosting concoction will kick any cold or flu bug right out the door as soon as it hits.