Turmeric has many wide-ranging benefits, perfect for all ages and great for pets too. Everyone always says "Why didn't I start sooner!"
To fully unlock turmeric’s powerful healing potential, you need to understand how... and you can do this yourself with 3 simple ingredients you get from the store and mix in your own home...
Your 3 Basic Ingredients MUST Include:
- Turmeric Powder
- Healthy Fat / Oil
- Black Peppercorns
Curcumin is the primary active constituent in turmeric, an antioxidant and yellow pigment. It is the most researched so far of turmeric's ingredients, but many more are being investigated.
Curcumin holds the key to many of turmeric’s health benefits BUT despite its power, it is not easily absorbed by the body without assistance. Curcumin is not water-soluble, so it can't be absorbed via the same pathways used by water-based foods. It must be consumbed along with a fat in order to be absorbed. That's why the golden paste recipe includes a healthy fat.
Find the best quality turmeric powder from a reputable health food shop or online, and buy in bulk to save yourself money. Turmeric is also available in almost any supermarket, but will be more expensive there.
Don’t try to snaffle a bargain or fall for some hype - there's a lot of questionable stuff out there and "turmeric" is definitely hyped up. You don't want a blend, just straight turmeric. Organic certification is a pretty good assurance for decent quality, storage and handling, but is not required.
ONLY buy pure 100% turmeric powder, without any additives like 95% curcumin extracts or black pepper or bioperine
We have built a list of reputable suppliers - see if your area is here.
2. FAT / OIL
A fat is needed to dissolve the turmeric in the stomach and allow the body to absorb the active constituents. It is not water soluble, so that fact makes almost every turmeric drink you see a waste of money.
Although any edible fat may be used, we suggest virgin or extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed raw/unrefined coconut oil, or linseed (flaxseed) oil. You can use micronised linseed for horses, or powdered coconut oil. You may also use butter, ghee or any species-appropriate fat or oil.
Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid and is not an omega oil, but is non-inflammatory and has numerous health benefits.
Linseed oil, as well as ground or micronised linseed has a good omega 3:6 ratio.
Most other oils have an omega 3:6 ratio which is too high and puts them in the inflammatory group. AVOID processed vegetable oils which will increase inflammation and cause damage.
BUTTER or LARD or other suitable oil/fat such as salmon oil, lamb fat, macadamia oil, avocado oil can be used for appropriate species (NOTE: macadamia and avocado oil are suitable for humans only) - SO if the oil/fat is a non inflammatory type and suitable for the species then it is okay to use.
Turmeric is also alcohol soluble, so if there is no oil (or fatty meal) to include it with you can take it with a nip of your favourite tipple to help increase its effects. Obviously we don't recommend that for routine consumption of turmeric!
NOTE: Oil will also remove stains from turmeric on the skin. Neat dish detergent will do the trick on bench-tops and clothes - rub it in and allow to sit for a while before wiping off or throwing in the wash. Find out more here - how to remove turmeric stains.
3. BLACK PEPPER
Peppercorns contain an alkaloid called piperine which slows the conversion of curcumin to less effective forms in the small intestine, before it ever gets into the bloodstream. This allows more time for absorption. Piperine also slows the conversion of curcumin in the liver.
Freshly ground black pepper is best. Pepper can be stored in the freezer after grinding, if you need to grind more than you'll use at one time.
Piper nigrum and Piper longa are the only species of pepper that contain piperine. Piper nigrum is the one found in the grocery store. It may be available as black, red, white or green peppercorns. White pepper is just black pepper with the black skin rubbed off. It's fine to use, and some people who can't tolerate black pepper are able to use white pepper without any problem. Red peppercorns (not red chili peppers) are ripe pepper and are fine to use, but are often more expensive. Green peppercorns are the immature pepper fruit and are not normally sold except pickled or otherwise preserved. They contain enough moisture that they will mold if they're not preserved in some form. They also do not contain much piperine, as it develops during the ripening process.
Pink peppercorn are from a different plant altogether and do not contain piperine.
Do NOT use pre-ground pepper - most of its piperine will have already disappeared.
Find out a lot more about pepper here - all about peppercorns.
CAYENNE PEPPER contains another alkaloid (capsaicin) with a similar action to piperine. But capsaicin is not as potent as piperine, and a lot more is needed for the same effect.
NOTE: Piperine will also slow the metabolism of other substances, allowing your body to absorb more, so remember to check with your doctor if you are on regular medication.
Finally, HEAT is best!
Studies have shown that cooking turmeric in water for 7-10 minutes increases its solubility in water 12-fold. The verdict is still not out on how much it impacts the absorption. But it also allows the starches in turmeric to absorb the water and partially break down before your body even begins the digestion process. More thorough digestion means more of the active constituents are available for absorption. So make golden paste, rather than just sprinkling turmeric powder on your food. It really does make a difference!
One of the BEST ways to consume (and absorb) turmeric is to add it to your food on a regular basis. For some GREAT ideas - click here to see ways to include turmeric.
Please note: commercial turmeric capsules/pills are NOT RECOMMENDED for use with animals
In most cases, we advise against the use of turmeric and/or curcumin capsules, pills, supplements, tonics, drinks, etc.
Turmeric is a plant. It is food. It is not a drug or meant to be a pill. Eat it naturally like a food and regularly to keep the curcuminoids in your system. Like topping up with water, keep it natural.