The Facts About Turmeric

Everyone these days is touting the benefits of turmeric. No doubt it’s an incredible spice that offers numerous health benefits. There are, however, a couple of other things you should know about turmeric.

A History Lesson in Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that’s harvested and is health-rich in its root. It’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, whose origin is at least 5,000 years old. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest whole-body healing systems and is still traditional practice today in India.

Turmeric has been used for centuries to flavor or color certain foods like mustards, curry powders, and cheeses. The root, which contains curcumin, the yellow compound, is more often used to make medicine.

The Chinese have used curcumin to treat diseases associated with abdominal pain. Ancient Hindu medicine used it to treat swelling and sprains. Hundreds of years ago, curcumin was used to ward off small pox.

How Do You Use It?

Turmeric comes in powder form, which you can sprinkle into food or make into a paste. Some people take pill supplements.

A turmeric paste can be applied topically to the body. It’s known to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Take two tablespoons of turmeric, one tablespoon of lime juice or apple cider vinegar, and a few drops of water. Stir until it makes a thick paste. Rub the mixture directly onto the affected area (no open wounds!) and then wrap with a cloth bandage. Your skin will be slightly yellow, but the swelling should decrease.

Benefits of Turmeric

There are an incredible number of ailments in which turmeric can be used as medicine. Shrinking inflammation seems to be its greatest strength and most positive health byproduct. Since so many diseases are linked to inflammation, it appears that turmeric may be one awesome preventative entity.

Here are some “conditions” in which turmeric can be used for:

  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Stomach pain and ailments, including Crohn’s, IBS, and ulcerative colitis
  • Gas, bloating, and loss of appetite
  • Jaundice and other liver problems
  • Fibromyalgia and lupus
  • Gallstones
  • Alzheimer’s

Research also indicates that taking turmeric alone or with other herbal remedies greatly reduces pain from osteoarthritis.

Turmeric has also been shown to reduce the size and number of cancerous tumors.

The Other Things to Know

There’s no doubt that turmeric has a highly effective medicinal value. Using it in your cooking or taking a daily supplement is a perfect way to prevent inflammation and also help treat any of the above ailments.

Fat or Black Pepper: What most people don’t know is that in order for the positive effects of turmeric to be absorbed and actually be useful, it must be used in conjunction with fats or black pepper.

In order to increase its bioavailability, turmeric should be digested with a good fat.  Healthy choices would be coconut, almond, or olive oils, nut butters, or avocados. Taking a supplement without a fat to help it become absorbed significantly lessens a medicinal or expected effect.

Blood Clotting: There has been research that has shown turmeric might slow blood clotting. It’s for this reason, it’s cautioned that people on particular medications—those that also slow blood clotting—should avoid turmeric.

If by nature or medication you are prone to bruising easily or slow blood clotting, use turmeric with caution, if at all. And as with any herbal supplement, always check in with your health practitioner, especially if you are on some type of other prescribed medication.

Turmeric has been used for millennia to treat injury, pain, and swelling. It’s fortunate that we can still use it today, safely and effectively. For other information about herbs, healing, and preventative health, check out



Too Busy to Keep up with Greens? Here’s a Smoothie Sure to Satisfy

Getting bored or fickle with your plant-based diet? Do you sometimes look in the fridge or pantry and nothing looks enticing? Perhaps it’s time to mix-it-up a bit. There’s an outstanding green smoothie that’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s a 10-minute prep and blend, and promises to delight in flavor and nutritional satisfaction.

New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon has invented 100’s of vegan recipes, but there’s one kitchen sink-type drink full of veggies that promises to keep you feeling sated for hours. Its ingredients were chosen specifically by Liddon to create a perfect shake; it doesn’t include bananas, which is one reason why if you make a large batch, it will last for an entire day. She calls it the “All Day Glow Green Smoothie.” And glow you will.

She describes the flavor as “refreshing, tangy, and lightly sweet.” Included in the recipe is: fresh turmeric (found at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), which is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever; fresh cilantro beneficial for detoxifying; fresh parsley, an antioxidant containing vitamin K; red leaf lettuce containing iron and fiber; lemon, an antibacterial high in vitamin C; avocado for the good fat; and mango containing vitamin A and C along with prebiotic dietary fiber.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup (250 mL) coconut water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) mango juice (I love Happy Planet Organic Mango juice)
  • 2 large (400 g total) Granny Smith apples, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (70 g) packed red leaf lettuce or romaine
  • 2/3 cup (18 g) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) packed fresh cilantro leaves OR ¼ cup of fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) frozen mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed avocado
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 small, pinky-sized pieces (12 g total) peeled fresh turmeric
  • 5 to 6 large ice cubes, or as needed


  1. Add the coconut water and mango juice into a (64-ounce) high-speed blender. (If your blender is on the small side, you may want to make a half-batch.)
  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until super smooth. If you have a Vitamix, use the tamper stick to get things moving. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired. If it’s too tart, feel free to add a bit of liquid sweetener.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Place any leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours. I love to enjoy half in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon.

Spice up Your Brain Cells!

A lot of folks are hearing about how certain spices (besides adding flavor) flaunt healing qualities! But did you know that there are several natural compounds that actually protect our brain cells from degeneration? Check out how certain spices may help create new treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Cooking up New Methods

Dementia is an irreversible, pervasive affliction that currently affects over 25 million people globally. The condition is progressive, and our methods of treatment are: 1) dealing with symptoms, and 2) attempting ways to keep degeneration at bay for as long as possible.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia.

There have been (and continue to be) studies examining how particular spices affect the brain. The hope is to discover significant compounds that may help prevent, delay, or even treat neurodegenerative diseases. Four main spices are often in the forefront of such studies. They are: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and saffron.


A study conducted back in 2005, researched antioxidant levels in 26 different herbs and spices. In the Lauraceae family, cinnamon was found to have the highest antioxidant rate. The most positive elements in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects.

Inflammation has shown to accelerate the decline of brain function. If cinnamon can decrease the inflammation, then it’s possible that using the spice medicinally may decelerate the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

With a condition like dementia, the brain cells are negatively affected by oxidative stress; they become damaged, mutated, and no longer allow the brain to work at its healthiest capacity. It’s also been discovered that cinnamon activates proteins that actually protect healthy brain cells from becoming mutated or being destroyed.

Studies show that cinnamon boosts cognitive function.


Turmeric is a spice that’s harvested and is health-rich in its root. It’s long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, whose origin is at least 5,000 years old. It’s also known as Curcumin.

Two of turmeric’s greatest healing strengths are inflammation reduction and cholesterol lowering. Researchers are exploring the use of curcumin in treatment of Alzheimer patients. Symptoms of the disease may be reduced with the introduction of turmeric. The spice is somehow able to restrict cholesterol formation, protecting the brain and its cells.

A tidbit about turmeric: In order for its positive effects to be absorbed and utilized, turmeric must be used in conjunction with fats or black pepper. If and when scientists include turmeric into a medicine for dementia patients, we surely see the inclusion of black pepper and/or fats in the mixture.


Ginger, commonly referred to as a root, actually isn’t. Ginger is a rhizome, which is an underground part of the stem. It comes from a plant called Zingiber.

This spice is in the same plant family as turmeric. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why ginger is also an excellent anti-inflammatory. For thousands of years, holistic medicine has looked to ginger to help treat dementia and common memory loss.

A paper published by Chinese scientists in 2013 revealed the promising effects of ginger on laboratory rats with Alzheimer’s. After the rats were administered with a ginger “medicine”, their behavioral dysfunction actually reversed. The other observation was that the medicine prevented Alzheimer symptoms from reoccurring with continued use.


Many know saffron as being used to brightly dye and flavor foods. It also has a distinctly pleasant aroma. And, it’s one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Saffron is, too, a powerful antioxidant. Tested in comparison to carrots and tomatoes, this spice won the race for richest antioxidant activity. A lot of research is currently being done in Iran and Spain on the medicinal value of saffron for those suffering from dementia. (Those countries produce 80% of the world’s saffron supply, so they can best afford to experiment with it.)

Like the other spices mentioned above, saffron joins them as a strong anti-inflammatory. This spice offers neuroprotective effects, which may be a formidable deterrent to the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

No matter which spice you choose, it appears you can’t go wrong with any of these four brain-health-protecting powerhouses. Any food that can help reduce inflammation anywhere in our body is going to be beneficial to our overall health. It’s encouraging to see how these and other spices may soon become incorporated as a valid and effective treatment for dementia-related diseases. For other health-related articles, see


Curing “Milder” Illness and Infection with Natural Antibiotics

The introduction of antibiotics into our medical realm has no doubt saved lives, limbs, and organs. The advancement in medical research and the ability to cure has been boundless—until now.

The Superbug has gained a stronghold. It’s now imperative that we educate ourselves and others—and act prudently.

The Genius of Antibiotics—and Its Downfall

Before the creation of what we understand now as antibiotics, people died of infections. They could have begun with, let’s say, a paper cut or a bug bite. With the invasion of bacteria into the bloodstream, the infection became life-threatening. And, unfortunately, often became life-taking.

Hence, antibiotics have saved our lives. Until recently. Because of the misuse and overuse, we almost no longer have the ability to fight diseases. The “bad guys” have mutated and become stronger and somewhat impermeable.

This is why your doctor (if he/she is worthy and ethical) will not prescribe antibiotics until it is clear that it is necessary.

Understanding Your Illness

First, of utmost importance, is to understand if your illness is bacterial in nature or viral. If it’s bacterial, you can treat it with medical antibiotics or homeopathic ones.

If it’s viral, there’s really not a lot you can do but wait it out. You can certainly take action by hydrating and offering nutritional value and rest. But otherwise, a virus must take its course. Relief for symptoms may be effective (hopefully), but cure only counts on time.

Bacteria Beware

Always check with your health practitioner before deciding to embark on a “natural” course for a cure.

There are several options for “attacking” an infection in a natural way. One such product would be colloidal silver. This product dates back a thousand years to when cholera was rampant. Some of those who were wealthy enough to afford silver spoons beat the epidemic. The silver “killed” the bacteria.

There are no known side effects to drops of colloidal silver, but keep in mind, you need to address probiotic consumption. Any drug (natural or man-made) will deplete you of the “good” bacteria. Colloidal silver is a suspension of pure silver in water. It’s used to augment the body’s immune system. Even so, work with it. Balance with probiotics.

Here’s Your Starring List

Natural antibiotics have been known to resist the worst of the worst. Here are some remedies that may assist. Again, don’t count on these if your primary physician counsels otherwise. But there’s no reason why you can’t use these in defense as a secondary tactic.

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger extract
  • Echinacea
  • Habanero peppers
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Oil of oregano
  • Horseradish root
  • Raw honey

Heed your health and choose wisely. There are a multitude of sources showing how natural foods can assist in curing illness. Be prudent in your reading and implementation. For other helpful articles on health cures, wellness, and prevention, definitely, read on