Did you know there are over 7,000 studies researching the efficacy of turmeric and it’s active component curcumin?
You’ve certainly heard the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric touted by practitioners, blogs, and wellness publications. I believe this highly-pigmented herb belongs in everyone’s wellness arsenal, both as long-term maintenance and acute inflammation relief. Here’s a simple way to get turmeric into your day!
DIY Turmeric Supplement
I add turmeric to curries and vegetable soups on a regular basis, but, while this is certainly providing some benefit, it is not a highly concentrated dose of the herb. When I was in need of acute inflammation help, I added a couple tablespoons of turmeric in half a cup of water and gulped (or rather gagged) it down. If you’ve ever eaten straight turmeric, you know how bitter it can taste.
Now, when I feel the need for a turmeric hit, I’ll reach for these turmeric bombs. They are an easy way to get the benefits of turmeric without the bitter flavor. Even better, they contain a couple special ingredients to work synergistically with the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.
This concept of turmeric-honey pills was recently told to me by my friend Anna Matriotti, an experienced herbalist, nutritional therapist and president of the Washington chapter of the American Herbalist Guild. She shared this tip in her presentation at the 2015 Green Gathering, an herb/wildcrafting workshop.
How to increase the efficacy of turmeric
Did you know that certain ingredients can increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric? I’ve incorporated the following ingredients into the Turmeric Bombs to up-the-turmeric-ante:
- Quercetin, a bioflavenoid, inhibits an enzyme that decreases the activity of curcumin.
- Black pepper contains the potent alkaloid piperine, which has been shown to increase the bio-availability of curcumin up to 150%.
- Fatty acids have been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric (source).
Two variations for Turmeric Bombs
I’ve included two variations for turmeric bombs: one made with honey and one made with coconut oil or ghee.
The honey variation is easier to swallow, so it is better suited to children. The honey also masks the bitter taste of the turmeric when the pill is swallowed. I would recommend starting with this option.
The coconut oil/ghee option has the benefit of being sugar free and also includes the fatty acids that improve the absorption of curcumin. However, the pills flatten slightly on the baking sheet into rougher shapes, which may be more difficult to swallow. They also have a slight flavor when swallowed.
- ⅓ cup organic ground turmeric, recommended brand available here
- About 1 Tbs. quercetin powder (about 10 capsules, emptied), available here
- Big pinch of finely ground black pepper
- Binding agent, choose ONE of the following (you will need about 3 Tbs.)
- Raw honey
- Coconut oil, available here
- Grassfed ghee, best price available here at Thrive
- Unbleached parchment paper, available here
- Line a baking sheet with the unbleached parchment paper. Make room in your freezer to put the cookie sheet for a few hours when the Turmeric Bombs need to set.
- If you are like me and have a tendency to spill things, wear an apron! Turmeric powder stains clothing, and the powder can get on your clothes if you stir the mixture too vigorously.
- Select one of the binding agents. You will need approximately 3 tablespoons. If you choose raw honey and it is thick, melt it in a saucepan over very low heat until it is pourable. Do the same with the coconut oil or ghee so it is liquid, but not hot.
- In a bowl, stir together the turmeric, quercetin, pepper, and binding agent. If using honey, you should have a thick and pliable mixture. If using oil, you should have a thick mixture with which you can form pills.
- For the honey variation, pinch of small amounts of the "dough," roll between your palms, and place on the baking sheet. For the oil variation, use a spoon to scoop small pill shapes onto the baking sheet.
- Freeze until firm, then transfer to a storage container and keep in the freezer.
- Take the turmeric bombs as needed. You can't overdose on them. However, if you take a lot of the oil-based ones, the fat content may upset your stomach. It using the honey version, keep in mind that it does contain sugar (albeit unrefined and enzyme-rich sugar).