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The Wonderful Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice in the ginger family. It is native to India and prefers a warm climate with plentiful rainfall. Turmeric has long been used in Indian cuisine, curries, and to color mustard condiments. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Curcumin is also being studied as an effective anti-cancer agent due to the fact that it is a powerful anitoxidant. Research supports the use of turmeric to soothe the digestive tract and to treat stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis. It is also a wonderful anti-inflammatory for joint pain such as osteoarthritis. Turmeric is best absorbed for systemic use outside of the GI tract when black pepper is added. When taken as a supplement, look for "piperine" on the label to assist in absorption. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends the following tea: Heat 2 cups light unsweetened coconut milk (or almond or soymilk) with 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh turmeric and 3-4 black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste (if desired). Enjoy!

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