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, 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 benefits and side effects, and give you a recipe for the tasty and healing homemade turmeric paste that I eat every day to boost my health which can be enjoyed by the whole family.

What is turmeric used for?

fresh turmeric rootHealthful turmeric is a plant of the ginger family – also known as Zingiberaceae it 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 diseases, and being as turmeric is such an effective, natural anti inflammatory supplement it explains its huge and still growing 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 before; be it in the form of supplement capsules, teas, sprays, tinctures or powder, it has all become hugely popular these last few years in particular.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

upper neck inflammation

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 people who simply cannot live without their turmeric once they have begun supplementing with it and seen the benefits for themselves, and find it especially in the fight against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

Very recently I heard a testimony about turmeric from a man that quite frankly, blew me away.  He told me at one time he was crippled with arthritis and at the time was on a cocktail of drugs which had a long list of side effects that were making him feel worse than the arthritis itself. 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 OR has pain and inflammation anymore.

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

Now, I’m only telling you what I’ve been told through one man’s personal experience; and I’m not saying for a minute you should stop taking all medications and start taking turmeric to cure all your ills, that just wouldn’t be my place. I’m simply telling you what I know and what I’ve been told in the feedback I get at work.

Turmeric Paste Recipe

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, 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 pretty good contrary to my concerns. However, I did need to sweeten mine with a natural sugar free sweetener (I used xylitol), but you could probably use raw honey too which has its own benefits on top.

This leads me onto another success story: I took a jar of the paste 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!

COUGH MEDICINE

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 already on actual turmeric capsules already which just weren’t cutting it.

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 and she couldn’t believe it had disappeared so fast. Said she knew 100% it was down to the turmeric

ABSORPTION

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 then worked like an absolute charm.

Turmeric is a Superfood!

Along with the benefits I’ve already discussed turmeric also has a long list of other reasons why you should be eating it every day, and more and more studies are offering evidence of the power of turmeric are emerging every day.

You will notice that sometimes I use the word curcumin, but it 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.

CURCUMIN EXTRACT

turmeric supplements

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

There are different schools of though about high dose curcumin extract. Yes, numerous studies show it to be effective, but look at my example above of the man who already had terrible arthritis and helped heal himself through ONLY the paste. This paste would have only had a fraction of the curcumin in it as opposed to a high strength curcumin extract supplement, but this still worked for him, and maybe better – who knows.

Some experts believe that the body reacts much better to eating the ‘whole food’ as it is more natural and absorbable in the body than super high does extracts, and this certainly seemed to be the case in the man we are talking about here. 

Absorbability of Turmeric

As their is a notion about the ‘absorbability’ of fractured foods (such as high dose extracted compound supplements), you should definitely test this for yourself and see how they work for you. 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. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to ALL, supplements as there are times when you do need very high doses of certain nutrients. 

Turmeric Paste

For preventative purposes I would take the time to prepare the paste as it is an actual proper food with substance, and when taken before meals, will help satiate you and prevent you from over eating – so great for weight control too. 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.

Benefits of Turmeric

1. ANTI INFLAMMATORY

Long term and chronic inflammation is a major modern problem and is believed to play a role in many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, some cancers, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and other degenerative conditions.

Chronic inflammation can also cause hair loss which can be very distressing, especially for women. The curcumin’s in turmeric have a powerful anti inflammatory effect, and have been proven in respected studies to match the effectiveness of some anti inflammatory drugs, and all without the rotten side effects.

2. ANTIOXIDANT

antioxidants and free radical diagram

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant (one of the most powerful there is), and it’s these antioxidants that protect your body from the aging that is due to DNA damaging free radicals. These free radicals cause oxidative damage throughout the body, but antioxidants neutralise them before they can do damage, so we ABSOLUTELY need as many antioxidants as we can get. For maximum results you should also be eating an antioxidant rich plant based diet containing lots of fruits, vegetables, nut, seeds and pulses all of which contain massive amounts of nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidant compounds.

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.

3. BRAIN FUNCTION

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

6. POSSIBLE PREVENTION OF ALZHEIMER’S 

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 precursors of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. As of yet, there are no clear studies on whether curcumin can actually prevent Alzheimer’s alone; and again it will be in combination with other lifestyle factors. But we do know it is and anti inflammatory spice, and it has been shown that chronic inflammation can be a strong pre-curser to Alzheimer’s disease, so you do the maths.

4. MAY LOWER RISK OF 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 your endothelium function (which is the heart blood vessel linings). Endothelial dysfunction means an inability to regulate blood pressure and clotting of the blood, and also helps other factors that are all a major drivers of heart disease.

7. ARTHRITIS

Although there are several forms of arthritis, they are all based on inflammation of the joints. Again, as we know turmeric to be an anti inflammatory it stands to reason that it could also help ease this painful condition. Some small studies so far are showing that curcumin supplements are indeed helping reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, but bigger studies need to be done for definitive answers. It is also worth noting that for this particular problem you may need the curcumin extract and not just turmeric powder, as the extract is where most of its anti inflammatory action lies.

8. DEPRESSION

person crying

Depression has been associated with inflammation, so it stands to reason that curcumin’s anti inflammatory properties may help combat this terrible illness, alongside other medical treatment methods. In one study it was shown that curcumin supplements lead to significantly better improvement in atypical depression compared to a placebo. This is more than likely due to the fact that curcumin helps lower inflammation, and also boosts the BNDF levels which can help reverse some of the changes in the brain associated with depression. There is also evidence that the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are boosted by curcumin, both of which play a major role in depressive illness.

Help for depression sufferers

sign post

As depression can be a very serious illness it is vital that you take charge and takes steps towards making yourself better as soon as possible. The sooner you receive help the better the outlook, especially when it comes to a recurring episodes in the future. Please read these 5 depression busting tips that you should follow, alongside turmeric, and also see your doctor.

When it comes to depression, it is best to be hit from a few different angles and lifestyle changes. There is probably no one thing will work long term if it’s really severe, and you will need to take action as soon as possible to ensure a better outcome. Again, it is vital that you consult your doctor for further advice and to discuss your treatment options.

TURMERIC SIDE EFFECTS:

Turmeric powder or root, when taken in its whole form such as in this paste, should be experimented with in small amounts first to find your gut tolerance level. If you are new to turmeric, you may find it gives you a slight upset stomach or diarrhea if you take too much, that is why you should start with a little to build up.

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. It is advised to take a break from turmeric for a few days every couple of weeks or so to be on the safe side.

IMPORTANT!

If you are going to make this turmeric powder paste, then you should be mindful of where you source your turmeric because some may have nasty fillers, chemicals and colourings. To be sure you’re getting good quality always buy from reputable brands; or buy organic to be sure you are getting pure, unadulterated turmeric.

If you’re buying supplements of curcumin or turmeric in capsules, then buy from a trusted brand like this one at Amazon to make sure that it is in an absorbable form.  

HOMEMADE TURMERIC PASTE RECIPE

homemade turmeric paste

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 1 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

Method:

  • Put everything except the olive oil into 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 them.
  • Once cool, store in the fridge and eat a teaspoon (or more if you already have inflammation problems) 2-3 times a day.
  • You can even 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 golden milk 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.

shots of green superfood powder

Along with your turmeric paste, you should also consider taking a shot of a a potent superfood powder every day as this will help boost your antioxidant intake even further and is yet another highly alkaline, anti inflammatory food. Drinking your greens adds to your vegetable intake and helps towards your 7 a day portion of veggies. Plus it’s just so easy to do, especially when you find getting your quota of greens hard.

HANDY TIP:- Drinking you green powder shot after you have eaten a spoonful of your turmeric paste is a great time to take it, as all the healthy oils in the paste will help your body absorb more of the nutrients from the greens. Perfect!

Thank you for reading this post today. I know this turmeric paste will be an amazing addition to your diet and health regime.  If you have any questions please let me know in the comments box below and I will be happy to help.

Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2019; not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving. I have lived this healthful lifestyle for over 2 years, which is the reason why zestforever was born to share my experiences, trials and errors, how I overcame them, and how to turn to this lifestyle in such a way that you will thrive too.

I have studied, tried and tested healthy foods, superfoods and diets for over 25 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz of wellness that plant based eating has. To expand my knowledge further I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor - all of which can tie in with the plant based diet.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant as a way of showing you how to boost your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

I am grateful for your support, and I hope that the tips and guides you find here will help to guide you on your own plant based journey.

21 thoughts on “Turmeric Benefits and Side Effects – Homemade Turmeric Paste”

  1. 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.

    • 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?

  2. 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.

    Peter

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    • 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

  6. 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,

    Regards,

    Philip.

    • 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.

  7. 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?

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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!

  10. This blog is very helpful to me. I have had a stroke from diabetes. I’m now taking better care of myself by becoming vegan. I use lots of all natural spices and herbs daily in my diet and have seen great results by doing this. Turmeric is part of my diet.

    • Hi Brian, I’m really sorry to hear you have had a stroke; that must have been quite a shock as you look pretty young from your picture. I guess sometimes these things happen as a wake up call to get healthier, and may even be a blessing in the long run, dare I say it!

      It’s great you feature turmeric in your diet as it is so good for inflammation and diabetes. I personally always find that after I have eaten a big spoonful of my turmeric paste I definitely have less sugar cravings so I’m guessing you are feeling that effect too.

      I hope you continue with your healthy eating and reaping the benefits, and maybe even reverse your diabetes in time.

  11. Thank you for such an in depth article. I have read alot about Turmeric in the past but your article is the most thorough one I’ve read.

    Once I learned about all the benefits of this super spice, I’ve started adding it to everything lol.

    Thank you again for all this info!

    • Hi Kim, you are welcome and I’m glad you found the post useful. Lots of people still don’t understand the awesome healing benefits of this super spice, but it is definitely worth incorporating into your diet any way you can.

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