Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cooking with Turmeric

Late last spring,  I was sure I needed surgery on my hand. I kept waking up in pain and even when I was awake, my thumb would just lock and ache.

I was wondering if it was carpel tunnel so I asked the secretary at work (Because who wouldn't ask the secretary rather than seeing a doctor, right?)

She said, "Oh no, that's not carpel tunnel. That's trigger finger. The doctor told me I needed surgery."
I asked her if she'd had it done.
"Nope. I took turmeric supplements instead. No pain anymore."

Okay. That's my kind of diagnosis. So I went out and bought turmeric.  I haven't been consistent in taking it, but the swelling definitely decreased and I rarely have pain any more.


Now I'm not a doctor (or even a secretary :) ) so I can't advocate turmeric for your ills, but I decided I wanted to do this post on cooking with turmeric because it's getting so much good press as being really healthy for you!

Plus I have a fun recipe from Chef MD.

First -

So what is Turmeric?


  1. A bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring in Asian…
  2. The Asian plant (Curcuma longa) from which this rhizome is obtained.

So now that we know what it is? Why all the buzz?
Health Diaries lists 20 reasons for eating Turmeric, but the article starts with this introduction:
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
WHF gives a more in depth analysis of the health benefits.
Here’s another sampling of some of the benefits being credited to Turmeric:
  • Turmeric powder has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal antiseptic used in the treatment of wounds.
  • In studies performed on mice, turmeric has shown to be able to prevent breast cancer.
  • Turmeric can be used to naturally detoxify the liver.
  • Turmeric is a natural pain killer.
  • Turmeric can prevent the growth of tumors (along with curcumin).
  • Studies show that Turmeric may possibly prevent the Alzheimer’s disease from progressing
  • Can possibly be used in the treatment of psoriasis.
  • Patients with myeloma will possibly be treated by using Turmeric in the near future.
So if we want to try it, what do we do with it?
Dr. Andrew Weil recommends a Turmeric Tea, a beverage he discovered during one of his many trips to Okinawa, the island nation with the world’s longest average life span, 81.2 years.
  • Bring four cups of water to a boil.
  • Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.

I always love to watch the videos from Chef MD.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Turmeric and Cinnamon 


  1. I consult non-experts, too! We're so funny!!!! And I'm intrigued by this, I had no idea that turmeric was so beneficial although I think it's been mentioned here and I ate carrot cake instead.


    Cate, thanks for this advice, and I'm going to grab some turmeric this week and see what it's all about. It will go well with my coconut oil to ward off dementia!!!

    1. I will never judge anyone eating carrot cake. :)

      Especially if they share.

      I have to say, I really do notice the difference in my brain capacity when I eat certain foods.

  2. Please note I did not include "kale" on my list of healthy choices.

    And also note you shouldn't expect to see that change in the near future!!! :)

    1. What's that song from Prince of Egypt?

      There can be miracles...when you believe.


  3. We use turmeric a lot as it helps prevent muscle cramping which occurs sometimes when playing pickleball.

    1. turmeric and pickleball

      The combination makes me smile.

      I'm glad to know it helps with that, Sandra.

  4. I try to include turmeric in my meals/drinks three or four times a week. Even if the health benefit claims are inflated, it tastes delicious! And it give my Sunshine drink that special yellow color. :)

    I think I'll have to follow up your post with the recipe for that marvelous drink! It's a dose of daily sunshine, which is especially good during these short winter days.

    1. Jan, I'd love to see the recipe for your Sunshine drink!

  5. I'm not familiar with Chef MD, but will check it out now!

    We have a friend whose doctor told him to take turmeric after his cancer surgery.

    I'm laughing so hard at Ruthy and her carrot cake instead!!! :)

    1. I just think he's fun, Missy. And he always has interesting recipes. I bought his cookbook a number of years ago. I should pull out some recipes.

  6. This is fascinating! I was told I needed carpel tunnel surgery, too but I've put it off for months because I'd have to take a three week break from EVERYTHING and this mama of six does not have the time!
    I'm going to order some turmeric supplements now...

    1. I haven't tried it for carpel tunnel, but I would imagine it would help because of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

  7. Thank you, Mary Cate! I've been hearing about tumeric for years and because of your post, I now have some capsules on the way. It's one of those multipurpose supplements that does a host of good things. So thank you for the reminder.