Turmeric Benefits and Side Effects - Homemade Turmeric Paste

It seems the world has gone crazy lately for the powerful anti inflammatory spice that is turmeric it – and for good reason as its protection against diseases is now becoming increasingly apparent.

In this post I will go into more detail about turmeric’s benefits and side effects, and also give you a recipe for the tasty and healing homemade turmeric paste that I eat every day which can be enjoyed by all the family.



fresh turmeric rootTurmeric is a plant of the ginger family known as Zingiberaceae, and is native to India and south east Asia where it is eaten every day and used in many dishes. It is also used traditionally in Chinese and Indian medicine as a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.

Chronic inflammation is now thought to be at the heart of many modern day illnesses and diseases, and as turmeric is an effective all natural anti inflammatory supplement it explains its huge popularity.

In the Herbal Apothecary where I work I have noticed lately (and even more so in the last few months) that people are buying up more turmeric than ever; be it in the form of supplement capsules, teas, sprays, tinctures or powder. It has all become hugely popular these last few years.



This has led me to have a greater understanding of the powers of turmeric through first hand personal customer feedback. I often hear stories from customers who simply cannot live without turmeric, especially in the fight against flammatory diseases such as arthritis and Alzeimer’s.

doctors clipboard saying osteoarthritis

I recently heard a testimony from a man who told me he was crippled with arthritis a couple of years ago, and was at the time was on a cocktail of drugs from the doc which as usual had a list of side effects as long as your arm. However, long story short, this guy had started making a ‘turmeric paste‘ or so he called it, and he told me that it helped his condition so much that he no longer takes any medications and has no pain or inflammation anymore.

He also gives it to his 95 year old father who is still as nimble as a flea and sharp as a tack… at 95! He puts this also down to the turmeric.

I’m not saying for a minute you should stop taking all medications and start taking turmeric to cure all your ills, that wouldn’t be my place or responsibility. I’m simply telling you what I know and what I’ve been told in the feedback I get at work.


Turmeric Paste Recipe:

lemon and ginger tea

Obviously I got the recipe for this amazing turmeric paste from the gentleman, which contains along with the turmeric all the components needed for maximum absorption, such as black pepper and fats – plus other ingredients that work well alongside it like ginger and lemon.

I went home that evening and made this wonder paste for myself and I’ve got to say it tasted yummy, but I did need to sweeten it with a natural sugar free sweetener (I used Xylitol), but you could probably use raw honey also.

This leads me onto another success story as I then took a jar of it up to my parents and told them to eat 2-3 teaspoons a day. As they are now of an age now where they will start becoming more susceptible to illness I though this would be great for them…and it was!



sneezing into a handkerchief

It so happens that my mum had this chesty cough that she just couldn’t shift for the last 3 months and she’d tried everything from cough medicines to antibiotics, plus she was on actual turmeric capsules already.

When I gave her the turmeric paste I wasn’t even thinking that it would do anything for her cough, but she phoned me only a couple of days later and told me that her cough had completely gone, she couldn’t believe it had disappeared so fast and said she knew 100% it was down to the turmeric.

I can only presume after hearing this that the powerful anti inflammatory properties of the turmeric paste had worked their magic. I was elated, and this is the catalyst for this post to share these findings with you.



There’s a lot of research reporting that turmeric needs to be taken alongside other components for maximum absorption, which is probably the reason why this remedy worked so well for my mum. The particular capsules she was already taking were just turmeric powder alone, and so it seems didn’t have the power to shift her chesty cough. But when she took the paste at higher doses, AND mixed with all the other anti inflammatory components it worked like an absolute charm.


A True Super Food!

turmeric supplements

Along with the benefits I’ve already discussed, turmeric also has a long list of others. More and more studies offering proof and evidence of turmeric’s super food powers are emerging every day.

You will notice that sometimes I use the word curcumin which is actually the extracted active compound of turmeric, and can only be found in large doses in tablet or capsule form. Actual turmeric powder contains only about 2% curcumin by weight.

In some cases where disease has already taken hold a high dose curcumin supplement may be needed, but this should be taken alongside the other compounds mentioned above to help aid absorption. Many supplements don’t provide these all in one so you have to shop about for good quality.



turmeric root and plant

There are different schools of though about high dose curcumin extract. Yes, numerous studies show it to be effective and it absolutely is, but look at my example above of the man who already had terrible arthritis and healed himself through the paste.

This paste would have only had a fraction of the curcumin in it as opposed to a high strength curcumin extract supplement. This still worked for him, and maybe better, who knows. But some experts believe that the body reacts much better to eating the ‘whole food’ as it is more natural and absorbable than high does extracts. 



Their is a notion about the ‘absorbability‘ of fractured foods, such as high dose extracted compound supplements – but you should definitely test this for yourself, plus this doesn’t necessarily apply to ALL supplements. Don’t forget the fact there are cultures who eat natural turmeric in their diet every day who do not suffer diseases on the huge scale that we do, and they mostly don’t use supplements of any kind.


Turmeric Paste:

plastic teaspoon measure

For preventative purposes I would take the time to prepare the paste as it is a proper ‘food‘ with substance, and if taken before meals will help satiate you and prevent you from over eating – which also makes it great for weight control. A teaspoon a day (one before each meal ideally) would be a good amount for prevention purposes, but for helping with ailments that are already there you may need more (up to a dessert spoon before each meal) until symptoms have subsided.





upper neck inflammation

Long term and chronic inflammation can become a major problem, and is now believed to play a role in pretty much every western chronic disease. This includes alzheimer’s, dementia, cancers, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and many other degenerative conditions.

Chronic inflammation can also cause hair loss, which can be very distressing, especially for women. Please visit this post ‘Inflammation and Hair Loss’ for tips and advice on how to grow your lovely locks back if this has happened to you.

The curcumins in turmeric have a powerful anti inflammatory effect and have been proven to match the effectiveness of some anti inflammatory drugs – all without the rotten side effects.



strand of dna

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant (one of the most powerful there is), and it’s these antioxidants that protect our bodies from the aging due to DNA damaging free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative damage throughout the body, but antioxidants neutralise them before they can do damage, thus making them an anti aging superstar.

And as if that’s not enough, curcumin also helps boost your body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes giving you a double whammy of protection.



human brain

Curcumin boosts levels of a brain hormone called BDNF, which is our brain function hormone; therefore  delaying or even reversing brain and age related diseases such as alzheimer’s and dementia. This means (although there are no official studies yet) that there is a more than likely a chance it can also improve memory and learning – so turmeric may actually makes you smarter!



heart disease

As the biggest killer in the world, heart disease is something we all need to be aware of and already be taking preventative measures towards. Looking after yourself in general by eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise goes without saying, but there is more you can do, such as adding turmeric to your diet.

Several studies suggest that adding turmeric into the diet can help improve the endothelium function (which is the heart blood vessel linings). Endothelial dysfunction means an inability to regulate blood pressure; clotting of the blood; and other factors that are all a major drivers of heart disease.



cancer cell

Multiple studies in laboratory’s show that curcumin can reduce the growth of tumors and the spreading of cancer, and contribute to overall cancer cell death. This study has yet to be tested properly on humans but is something that is looking promising for the future.

There is however evidence of turmeric preventing cancer in the first place, especially for digestive system cancers – giving you yet another sound reason to incorporate this spice into your diet.



mental health problems

Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia and as of yet there is no good treatment available for this debilitating disease, therefore prevention if possible, is definitely better than cure considering there isn’t one.

Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier, where it is then able to do what it does best and help protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative damage, both of which are precurser’s of alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive disorders.



Although there are several forms of arthritis, they are all based on inflammation of the joints. Turmeric is a potent anti inflammatory, and so it stands to reason that it would help ease this painful condition. In fact, in a study of patients suffering rheumatoid arthritis anti inflammatory drugs were found to be LESS effective than curcumin.



person crying

In a study of 60 patients it was shown that curcumin lead to results similar to prozac, and yet again without the side effects. This is more than likely due to the fact that curcumin boosts BNDF levels, which can help reverse some of the changes in the brain associated with depression. There is also evidence that the neurotransmitter’s dopamine and serotonin are boosted by curcumin.



Turmeric powder, or root, when taken in its whole form such as the paste, should be experimented with to find gut tolerance. If you are new to turmeric you may find it gives you a slight upset stomach, or maybe diarrhea if you take too much. I advise to start with a little and build up gut tolerance.

Curcumin extract when taken in high doses is still considered very safe to use, but rare side effects may include headache, diarrhea, digestive problems, skin rash, and in some cases can contribute to gallstones.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: If you are going to make the turmeric powder paste then you should be minful of where you source your turmeric, as many have lots of nasty fillers, chemicals, and colourings. You MUST buy organic at all times to be sure you are getting pure, unadulterated turmeric.

If you’re buying supplements of curcumin, or turmeric in capsules, then always be sure to buy from a trusted brand and make sure that it is in an absorbable form. I have sourced out a trustworthy brand for you if you decide you may need something easier to take which is also high strength. 

Turmeric is just one super food you can supplement your diet with, adding other chlorophyll rich super food powders to your diet will really enhance all the others. 




2 tablespoons turmeric powder1 tablespoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
grated rind and juice of 2 lemons (optional, but make it taste nice)
1 tablespoon of black pepper
Xylitol or another natural sweetener to taste (if you feel you need it)
About 50-100ml water


homemade turmeric paste ingredients

Put everything EXCEPT olive oil in a saucepan and heat until just below boiling. Take off heat immediately. Leave to cool right down before adding the olive oil (extra virgin olive oils benefits are destroyed by heating). Sometimes the liquid seems to curdle, but take no notice of this as it still tastes the same.

Put into a glass jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The fat may separate so to avoid this you can stir it a couple of times before it is fully chilled to disperse the fats.

Once cool store in the fridge and eat a teaspoon (or more if you already have problems) 2-3 times a day. You can add to warm water, or smoothies if you prefer to make a drink out of it.

If you haven’t decided to add lemon into the recipe then the paste goes down nicely in a warm nut milk as a bedtime drink.

Taking a teaspoon of the paste before before a meal is satiating and will stop you from eating too much – making it also good for weight control.


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Categories: SUPER FOODS

Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.


Lisa · 16/01/2018 at 7:22 pm

I credit turmeric with making my plantar fasciitis symptoms go away. My pain had gotten so bad that my foot hurt just waking across the room. My podiatrist had me on cortisone shots, ibuprofen, arch supports, a brace to wear at night, and stretching excises. None of it worked for very long.The pain always came back. I started taking organic turmeric powder in a smoothie everyday. I stopped the ibuprofen and the cortisone. I have had no pain in my foot for over a year and a half now.

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/01/2018 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Lisa, what a great story! I am so glad that I have more evidence that turmeric does work, and I am so glad you are out of pain and off those awful medications. It really is a super food isn’t it?

peter · 16/01/2018 at 8:08 pm

Hi Stefanie it is good to know about the benefits of Turmeric. Personally I have not used it before, but I will definitely give it a go. Any substitute for inflammatory condition is welcomed.


    Stefanie Taylor · 17/01/2018 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Peter. I am glad you found the post informative and I hope if you try it it has all these wonderful benefits for you. It is definitely worth a go. Good luck, and be sure to let me know how you get on.

Amanda · 16/01/2018 at 9:05 pm

Thank you for the great article! Very informative! I never knew tumeric could have those benefits!

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/01/2018 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Amanda, yes turmeric really is just SO fantastic. I learnt a lot that I didn’t know myself whilst researching this article and it just blew my mind. I highly recommend you try the turmeric paste to reap the benefits of this wonderful, healing spice.

Bill · 16/01/2018 at 10:19 pm

Great information about a very potent spice. I have used this spice for years and now have learned some of the benefits of this powerful antioxidant, thanks to your post.

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/01/2018 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Bill, it’s great you have been using turmeric for years. You really have been reaping the benefits without even realising it then which is great news. Now you can try and add it even more, and I really recommend you make the paste as I’m sure you will really enjoy it.

Kseniya · 20/01/2018 at 9:06 pm

Hi! I can relate to this article because I’ve been taking turmeric supplements for a couple of years now, for my skin specifically. I’ve battled acne problems for many, many years and stumbled upon “holistic approach” to well-being and general health.

Turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory and thus heals inflammation internally, which is exactly what chronic acne and other skin issues are related to. I also love making a delicious turmeric latte w/ almond milk, nutmeg and manuka honey :). Yummy stuff! Thanks for sharing your knowledge about an amazing root – it’ll help many!

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/01/2018 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, and thanks for your personal story of success with turmeric. I am really glad that it has helped your skin problems, in fact this is another side effect to turmeric I didn’t even know about. I am learning more and more from other people on this comments thread as they tell me their own reasons for taking it. How fantastic, it is unbelievable the amount of uses it actually has. In fact, I read somewhere that turmeric has over 200 uses, though probably not the researched evidence as of yet, but I quite believe it.

    Your turmeric latte sounds delicious and I am going to give it a try. Thanks

Philip · 20/01/2018 at 9:54 pm

Hi Stefanie,

I stole your recipe so I can try it out. I do get some pains in my bones from over exertion from sports from years gone by. I knew at the time that one day I would pay for pushing my body too hard.

Well, it has arrived. I am looking forward now to getting ORGANIC (a point I nearly missed) ingredients and pasting it up.

However, how much should I start off taking to ensure if possible I don’t get an upset stomach?

Thank you kindly and I am delighted I Googled and found you!!

I will be back for you Stefanie,



    Stefanie Taylor · 22/01/2018 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Philip, I’m sorry to her that you get some pain from sports. I too get this, especially in my knees after many years of running on concrete. I don’t think we realise these things until we get a bit older and see the damage we have done. Still, I have found this turmeric paste has taken most, if not all of my pain away. I also use glucosamine sulphate to help with this. In fact I have a post about glucosamine that you might find interesting as this stuff actually is the raw material needed to build cartilage up again and so works fabulously alongside turmeric .

    In reply to how much you should be taking, everybody has different gut tolerance levels, but I think you could easily do two teaspoons a day to begin with and build up from there. You may even find that that’s enough to give you the benefits you’re looking for.

Vince · 21/01/2018 at 10:27 am

I’ve replaced most of my inflammation medicine with Turmeric supplements. I have found by using them regularly, I have less back pain and headaches.
I cycle off the tumeric every 3-4 week as I heard it helps the absorption if you stop using it once and while. Do you think you need too?

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/01/2018 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Vince, what a great comment. I am really pleased to hear that you have had such great results from turmeric. I hear this sort of thing said every day in the herbal apothecary where I currently work, which was the catalyst for me writing this post.

    I have never heard about cycling off the turmeric for absorption purposes, not in my studies of it anyway. However, I will dig into it as I am interested to know for myself. In fact, I could probably ask the herbalist where I work as she is an expert in this field. I will get back to you and let you know as soon as I can, though it may be some weeks as she is away on a long holiday to Australia at the moment and I don’t want to disturb her.

sarah · 21/01/2018 at 1:35 pm

Great article, this I can say from my personal experience. Turmeric has magical healing qualities especially for strengthening bones and healing after giving birth.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/01/2018 at 5:27 pm

    Really? That’s another thing I should add to the ever growing list of turmeric qualities. Thanks for sharing Sarah as I am sure other mothers would be very interested to know this. Turmeric really is such a magical spice, and since I have been taking the turmeric paste myself I have also noticed that I have so much more energy, another side effect that came as a surprise to me. This is seriously something that I recommend everybody try no matter what their current state of health.

sarah · 21/04/2018 at 6:21 pm

This is such an amazing article about benefits of Turmeric. I used to drink turmeric milk after giving birth to my babies and we do this in case of wounds. It is my personal experience that all the benefits you have mentioned are so true. Turmeric has amazing healing power. Superb read and it will benefit every reader for sure.

    Stefanie Taylor · 22/04/2018 at 9:52 am

    Yes, I make the paste and take two teaspoons a day and you know what, when I run out and maybe don’t have it for a few days I REALLY notice the difference in my energy levels and my brain power. I can’t explain it but it definitely works and I now have the job as turmeric paste maker in our famiy as I make it for my mum, dad and sister too and they all love it.

    It’s actually done wonders for my sister’s skin as she was rather spotty on her cheeks before and they were always inflamed but within the first week of taking the paste her whole face started to calm down and heal. We wasn’t expecting this as the reason I gave her it in the first place was to help the inflammation on her bad back but instead this happened (it did also help her back as well just to add).

    So, if anybody reading this has acne or suffers from spotty skin then I would say give this paste a go to see if it does the same for you!

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