Turmeric – the golden wonder.

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Turmeric is a South East Asian plant belonging to the ginger family that’s been used for over 4000 years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

The special nutrient in this plant is called curcumin. It’s the part that gives turmeric its yellow colour and therapeutic effects. Around 3500 research papers have been published on the health benefits of turmeric.

If you’re on fire

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you are on fire – that you are inflamed. Many of those aches and pains that you regularly experience may be a sign of inflammation within your body. Almost all chronic pain is a result of inflammation, including arthritis and other joint, back and muscle problems, digestive disorders like irritable bowel disease and many types of headaches.

Mostly we know that inflammation is associated with arthritis and chronic pain, but research is now showing that it is also a factor in heart disease, diabetes, gut problems and even mental health conditions such as depression and schizophrenia.

Enter turmeric

It acts a bit like a COX-2 inhibitor, which is how non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and aspirin work, but unlike, these turmeric does not mess with your stomach health. In fact, is has also been shown to be a liver protector. The product I use in my clinic has been clinically shown to reduce the pain of arthritis within 45minutes to one hour – ask me about it.

Indigestion or Dyspepsia

Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which may help improve digestion. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion. I also found it interesting that the German Commission, which determines which herbs can be safely prescribed in Germany, has approved turmeric for digestive problems.

Just a few other conditions that turmeric may lend its hand to:
  • Protects the heart
  • Kills off tummy nasties – parasites and other unwanted passengers
  • Anti-cancer (mix it with cauliflower to potentially halt prostate problems fellas)
  • Anti-depressant
  • Anti-stress
  • Skin diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol lowerer

In my clinic, turmeric is used in various products, depending on your individual needs. I particularly like using it in combination with saffron to assist with depression.

To get the therapeutic benefits from your diet, you will need to eat quite a bit. To increase its bio availabilty, mix it with black pepper.

Grilled fish with fresh turmeric

This was my absolute favourite dish while I was living and working in Vietnam. You can use groper or any firm fish. Sweet Lip may also work. You will need a wire clamping grill – I got mine from a large hardware store… Fresh turmeric can usually be found in Asian markets but it’s often frozen.

Word of warning – it’s bright and beautiful but it’s messy. Use gloves when handling the fresh stuff.

  • 300gms fish
  • 1 tbspn fresh grated turmeric (or 1 tspn powder)
  • 1 tspn shallots or spring onions
  • 1 tspn garlic
  • 1 tspn fish sauce
  • ¼ tspn black pepper
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 tbspn chopped spring onions
  • 3 tbspn thinly sliced soaked wood ear fungus or Chinese mushrooms
  • 3 tbspn vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tbspn oil

Mix all the above ingredients together.

Place the mixture on a double banana leaf or baking paper, which is folded over the ingredients to form a parcel that matches the size of the clamp grill.

Cook on the BBQ or char grill for 5 mins each side. Leave for another 5 mins before unwrapping at the table.

Serve with ginger sauce.

Ginger sauce

  • 4 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 3 large red chilies , minced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup water

Combine all ingredients together in a container and use as a dipping sauce for your ‘turmerighteous’ fish – guaranteed to be a hit at your next BBQ!