If you have ever suffered from arthritis, back, knee or joint pain, you may have tried turmeric—either in dishes like curry, or in a capsule form. Drinking your turmeric may not sound immediately appealing—but hang in there, this is one of my favorite evening time drinks. It has a soothing calming quality to it and feels incredibly nourishing—as well as being tasty. I love turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, but also like to find holistic, easy ways for people to experience their medicine. As a licensed holistic nutritionist and massage therapist, I can attest to the many benefits of this easy recipe!
The active ingredient in Turmeric (Curcuma longa) targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway at the molecular level. By using the whole herb, we can honor the entirety of the herb–allowing all of its health-giving properties to come forth. I highly recommend making the paste, storing it in the fridge in a mason jar, and then mixing it into a Golden Tea every night.
When using Turmeric medicinally, make sure to pair it with these specific ingredients to render it bioavailable:
Black pepper or a fat like coconut oil butter or ghee are both in this recipe. The black pepper contains piperine, which enhances absorption of curcumin by 2,000%!
Turmeric paste is a simple self-care tool that can be kept in the fridge for weeks, and even travels well.
Uses for Turmeric
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Joint pain
Turmeric Paste: Recipe Courtesy of Our Portland Natural Medicine Clinic
This paste can be added to hot water to make a tea, or used as seasoning for curries, potatoes etc.
½ cup of water
¼ cup of turmeric powder
½ teaspoon of ground pepper
- Put the pan with water in it on a medium heat setting.
- Add turmeric and pepper and stir well, so you create a smooth paste. It takes about 7 to 9 minutes to get the paste properly cooked.
- If it becomes too dry, you can add some more water.
Turmeric has a very strong pigment, so protect your clothes in case it bubbles out.
Allow the mixture to cool down and then place it in a (preferably) glass container with an airtight lid. The paste will keep in the fridge 3 weeks. After that, it develops a metallic taste, so you should avoid consuming it.
For severe pain, it’s recommended to take ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric paste a day. Add ½-1 tsp. of coconut oil or butter to increase bioavailability.
A delicious way to utilize the turmeric paste
¼ teaspoon (or more if you can tolerate the taste) of turmeric paste
1 cup almond milk (you can also use organic cow’s milk or other milk substitutes such as hemp milk, coconut milk, rice milk or oat milk)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (you can also use sesame oil or sweet almond oil) – get unrefined, cold pressed oil honey to your taste
Put milk and turmeric paste in a pot and cook on medium heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. When the drink cools down, add honey and oil(s). The oil supplies you with healthy fats and further increases turmeric absorption. It helps with joint lubrication and promotes cellular function.
The drink has a nice golden color, hence its name.
As with all medicinal herbs, consult your practitioner about specific health conditions before embarking on a self-care protocol. Call our Portland natural medicine clinic for a consultation. Particularly if you are pregnant, have GI disorders or are undergoing chemotherapy, you should consult your doctor before embarking on a medicinal turmeric regime.
Corrina Snow, LMT, CHN is an Amma Therapist and Portland-based Holistic Nutritionist who is dedicated to harmonizing the system through Chinese medicine, bodywork, medicinal foods and connecting with our own inner healer. You can read more on her website.