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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Turmeric:: Best Taken With Food

Turmeric - Curcuma longa :  a perennial herb from India that has a large yellow rhizome 
Medicinal qualities:  Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungus, antiseptic and more.
Also, it has signature attributes to be aware of - heat and drying.


I  bought this turmeric plant at an herb farm in early June of  2014. It was about 5 inches tall at the time.  Four months later it was over three feet high!  I used regular potting soil.
As you already know I'm a big fan of turmeric for its medicinal qualities.  I've benefited from taking it in several ways.  (See this post.)
I've done a bit more research into its use and properties since first posting about it, and I found something that may help us take it in a safer manner.  The people of India have used turmeric in food preparation and medicinally for thousands of years so I think they are likely to be more knowledgeable about it than we in the U.S.A., who have more recently discovered its great benefits. In India turmeric is used to treat the stomach and the liver, and doctors there have found that its drying property, when taken in regular doses, could cause a degree of drying of the liver if the patient takes it without food.  They warn that turmeric should not be taken alone.  It should be consumed with food such as milk, bread, rice, etc. or in a tea always mix turmeric with herbs that have cooling properties (cumin, fennel, coriander or again - milk) so the turmeric is not alone in your system.  So, if taking turmeric capsules for joint pain or whatever, take them with food or a glass of milk to avoid any side-effects just as you would with any prescribed medication that may otherwise cause a problem.
Turmeric plants grow from rhizomes, the part of the plant harvested for its many uses.
Teatime with turmeric:
Grated turmeric
Turmeric Tea:
I grated a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root and measured 1 tablespoon to make a warming tea adding it to 2 cups water (that had reach a boil and removed from heat), 2 peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds and a sprig of fresh fennel from the garden for palate-ability and let it steep for 10 minutes.

 As it steeped the kitchen smelled like I'd walked into an Indian food store - delicious!   I strained the tea with a fine strainer and added a teaspoon of honey per cup.

Not bad ... but I still like it best used in dishes such as curries and enjoyed over a bed of rice.

Side note:  If you try a bit of the freshly grated turmeric you will discover it is NOT tasty and that you will be able to spit bright orange for several minutes afterwards and may even sport orange lips for even longer. o.O
Next, as I have a whole pot-full of rhizomes, I'm going to checkout how it performs in a dye bath with a skein of yarn.  Love that bright orange/gold color  - as long as it's not dyeing my mouth or my fingers.

In the kitchen:
This recipe for Chicken Pot Pie is the absolute best I've ever tried.  This one was decorated by Youngest.

The only thing I did different from the recipe was leave out the potatoes to cut down on the carbohydrates.   I doubled the recipe to make two pies for a recent birthday celebration, and it was a hit.  Yeah, I just tossed the leavings from Youngest's pie crust onto this one, lol.

I also made this cake  and filled it with raspberry jam, and it was very good, too.  
Source
Oh yeah, I'm ready for spring!  Bring it on. :)

33 comments:

  1. My dear Toni, your chicken pot pie is just too cute to eat! I love the little chickens on top :)

    Thank you for the information about the Tumeric....very interesting. I have never used Tumeric and I had no idea you could drink it in tea.

    Happy day to you. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. Our youngest decorated the better looking of the two. ;)

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  2. Thanks for the information on turmeric. We've been taking it for several years. We even give it to our dog. It's worked wonders on his arthritis.

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    1. Hi Jane, and thank you for stopping by. :)

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  3. good to know on the tumeric in case i ever take it as a supplement! yum on the food!!

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    1. Always good to hear from you, Theresa. :)

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  4. That was so interesting. I would love to find a plant of that.. Your food looks awesome.. That cake is lovely and your pies are so creative..

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    1. Thank you, Faye. I got the turmeric plant at a local herb farm.

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  5. Great information on turmeric! My grandfather had been taking it for an anti-inflammatory and that is where I first thought of it medicinally. I am going to make sure it isn't on an empty stomach now!! Please tell your daughter that her pot pie is darling :) Hope your weekend is peaceful and bright! :)

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    1. Thank you, JES, she is much better at decorating food than I am. :)

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    2. And thank you for linking up this post to the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Your posts and comments always brighten my day! :)

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  6. What a fun place to visit...I must say I REALLY enjoy your blog, Toni! Wow! what a wonderful big plant now...Will you be digging for the roots in your pot?
    I will have to make a chocolate cake with raspberry filling once our crop comes on! How good that sounds :) Take care, good friend. Enjoy the beautiful weather.

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    1. Thank you, Jacqueline. I dug the turmeric roots last fall and sadly they're all gone now, but I hope to get another plant soon. I really enjoyed those big leaves

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    2. They remind me of skinny elephant ears...which I love. I'm looking for a big piece of ginger to plant once it is past frost here! Thanks for the inspiration, friend!

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  7. Thanks for the cake recipe, T. I made it and the frosting for our 25th wedding anniversary on Monday :) I'm also going to try your best-ever chicken pie recipe.
    Yummy! Your youngest did a lovely job on her crust.

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    1. Happy Anniversary, Mary! So nice to hear from you. Hope you love the pie, too.

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  8. Your pies look delicious and are very pretty too!

    I have never used turmeric before but am anxious to find some now. :)

    Hope you have a great week!

    :)Vicki

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  9. What a gorgeous chicken pie...and that chocolate cake, not so bad either! Now I'm really hungry! I also would like to thank you for your kind words to me about losing our Hunter. Have a great Tuesday :)

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  10. Oh wow...that chicken pot pie and the cake look *sooo* good! How do you make food that beautiful?!

    Enjoyed learning more about turmeric. The plant looks surprisingly like a young banana tree.

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  11. Hi Toni! I've just stumbled across your beautiful blog and thought I'd stop and say hello. I'm sort of a neighbor - from the toe hills of the Appalachians in east central Alabama. Love the info about the turmeric as I am also very interested in herbal/folk remedies. I look forward to visiting here more!

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  12. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. You have so much knowledge and always post the most interesting things. I'm always amazed at how much I learn about this area (we're in east Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains) by reading your blog.

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  13. Always learn something good here! Either to make me healthier or smarter or? Going to try the pot pie recipe ASAP. Youngest did a great job in decorating the crust. have a blessed week!

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  14. What an interesting an informative post! I've never seen turmeric as a green plant, but do eat it in curry and use it in coloring my soaps! I did not know that the rhizomes were the part used. Fascinating!

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  15. This is very interesting about turmeric. I didn't know it had so many wonderful remedies.
    Your chocolate cake looks so good. I would love a slice.
    Wishing you a great Easter!

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  16. This is so interesting to me as I have flare-ups with fibromyalgia. I may have to try turmeric tea. Thanks for the info.

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  17. That is the cutest chicken pot pie crust decoration ever !

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  18. Love those chickens and foot prints on the pot pie, too cute!

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  19. I love me a good curry! My BFF uses it a lot in her cooking. I'll share this post with her. Thanx! And thanx for visiting me at Christ in me.

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  20. I appreciate the information on tumeric... I hadn't thought about growing it... hmmm... Your chicken pie and the cake both look wonderful. :)

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  21. We take turmeric, as a matter of fact I make my own capsules. Wonder what some of the side effects are because I have taken it alot of times on an empty stomach and never had an issue.

    Love your plant, wondering how you use the root? Do you cut some off or have to harvest the whole plant to get the root? Followed you from Wildcrafting Wednesdays.

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  22. I was known with curcuma, but never heard of the plant turmeric.
    You have such great ideas, thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for your comments!