As we approach the end of the year and the peak of the holiday season, the parties, events, and travel become more frequent. These are, of course, celebrated occasions, but they can also equate to a banishment of self-discipline. Softening our discipline is liberating and justified at times, but other times our abandon leaves us feeling sluggish and blah. Personally, these are not the types of feelings I want to carry into 2015!
The sluggishness and blah may be the cumulative effects of a busy year or an emotionally taxing event. It may also be the cumulative effects of a more internal nature—what’s been going into your body? As I said, self-discipline often hits the high road when it’s being perpetually assaulted by treats. Indulged on a few too many slices of pie or bread pudding? Accidentally sipped your way through a case of wine or finished off the vat of mashed potatoes? Even if you managed to angelically avoid quintessential holiday over-consumption, inflammation is an all too common for an array of factors including stress, diet, or lack of exercise.
To the rescue: Turmeric!
A simple Google search of “turmeric” turns up a slew of results ranging from scholarly reports and data to popular health consultant sites and individuals, including Jillian Michaels, Livestrong, Paleo Hacks, and more. Turmeric is a secret of the ancients, who knew well before modern medicine came along that Mother Nature has a solution for any ailment. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric “has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.”(1) Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, may be the greatest do-gooder in this vibrantly colored root. As for the positive effects it has on indigestion or dyspepsia:
Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which some people think may help improve digestion. The German Commission E, which determines which herbs can be safely prescribed in Germany, has approved turmeric for digestive problems. And one double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion. (2)
Below is a recipe chock full of delicious ingredients whose union will not only please your taste buds, but your tummy will feel soothed and happy! Let your body return to homeostasis the natural way: with wholesome, thoughtful foods, patience and attention.
Turmeric Milk Tea Recipe
- 1 can of organic coconut milk (about 3 cups) plus 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste
- Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root OR ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Drink immediately, enjoy!
- University of Maryland Medical Center. “Turmeric.” http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric#ixzz3N0bdWDBC University of Maryland Medical Center
- American Cancer Society. “Turmeric.” http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/turmeric