Turmeric has recently been dubbed as the wonder herb, but itís a root, like ginger .
Itís not the prettiest of cousins, but ginger isnít really a looker either. Turmeric is the orange skinned, skinnier, more orange, member of the ginger family. Earthier, less spicy and overall more muted in flavour, turmeric seems quiet in comparison.
I recommend buying the root because you get a lot more for your buck and the potency level goes up one thousand fold. Fresh turmeric is a powerhouse of nutrients. Its curcumin properties help with inflammation, digestion, and as recent news suggests, it might, just might, be the preventative measure you want to include in your diet to help with the fight against cancer
I decided to buy fresh turmeric purely for selfish reasons. Four people at work have been ill and I'd rather be in fantastic health 24/7. It can be hard to find fresh turmeric in the UK, but I know Morrisons sell it, or you'll find in markets selling Ďethnicí produce.
I thought Iíd make my classic, cold-busting drink, but this time add turmeric root and turn it into a tincture if you will.
Instead of boiled lemons, grated ginger and a swirl of honey, I decided to make something altogether stronger, even if it did result in bright yellow finger tips, messy yellow palms and washing my hands in lemon juice for a full five minutes.
Youíll want to start with the ginger. Peel it, add it to a pestle and mortar and give it a gentle bash. You want it pulverised, but the juices in the bowl, so bash, but consciously so.
Repeat with the turmeric, but be even more careful - having flying bits of yellowy orange skin can and will stain your face, outfit and work surface.
Pound the family beauties until theyíre nicely bashed up, stringy, but still lively and juicy. Thatís when theyíre ripe and ready.
Add the bashed up turmeric and ginger to a bowl, grate in half the zest of an unwaxed lemon (it does make a difference) and squeeze in half of the lemon's juice. Then stir in a tablespoon of honey and add two cracks of the pepper grinder. Combine and store this powerhouse in the fridge, ideally in a glass jar.
Do with bashed turmeric and ginger what you will, but it makes for a protective, cleansing and strengthening combination when submerged in a mug of freshly boiled water.
Caution however: turmericís curcumin properties are sacred, precious even, so when youíve poured the steaming water into a mug, let it cool a little.
If youíd rather make your first experience of raw turmeric a mild one, steep a teaspoon of the tincture into the mug of water youíve let cool. Stir quickly and sip slowly.
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