This is a guest post by B.H. Green.
Battling painful inflammation is a common occurrence in many Lupus Chicks including those with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia. Turmeric is a plant that contains a natural anti-inflammatory, curcumin, which reduces internal and external inflammation and can be taken in several different ways.
The exact amount of curmumin needed in Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory has not yet been established, therefore it is a matter of trial and error to see how much is effective for each individual. It can be bought as a pill, spice, and powder. It is generally recommended to purchase turmeric or curcumin in a pill format because the labeling usually has the serving amount of the active ingredient which is curcumin. Personally, I have taken an affective pill containing 800 mg of Curcuma-Longa/Curcumin per serving and it has reduced my internal inflammation as well as given me clearer skin.
Using turmeric or curcumin externally is useful for both internal inflammation (like joint and muscle pain) and external inflammation (like acne and pain in the skin).
How To Apply: The powder or spice is mixed with a liquid in order to make a paste to smather on the affected skin area. Warm water or sesame oil are recommended liquids.
How Long To Keep The Paste On For- There is no recommended allotted time. I have found that the longer it stays on the skin to absorb the stronger the effects, though also makes the side effect stronger. Even leaving it on for five minutes can make a difference. It
Side-Effect: The paste will likely stain the skin yellow and smell strongly. Applying it before a shower and using an exfoliator sponge may help immensely. It may also stain any furniture you sit on and give the bathtub a yellowish look. Applying it in the bathroom and waiting for it to absorb is a good way to avoid staining anything.
Pills: These can be bought in healthfood stores, such as Whole Foods or The Vitamin Shoppe. The active ingredient curcumin will differ from company to company so it is important to read the label.
Spice: Turmeric spice is the cheapest format sold for a few dollars though there is no way to tell how much curcumin it contains. If the spice doesn’t help, that doesn’t mean that a pill with a high active ingredient amount won’t. The spice can be used like written above, as a tea, and literally as a spice in food like rice or soups. It’s flavor is mild but color is strong. For lots of recipes containing turmeric it is recommended to look into Indian cookbooks as turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine.
It is important to remember to speak with your doctor before taking any supplement or vitamin. To be on the safest side a person can always start using it as a spice. If you would like to try turmeric in any of the above ways we would love to hear your experience with it!
If you are excited to use turmeric more in your life, check out our LupusChick founder’s Golden Milk recipe, originally published on U.S. News & World Report. This delicious tea was concocted many moons ago as an ayurveda form of therapy. It also tastes incredible, so let’s get cooking!
Golden Milk Recipe
Golden Milk is my favorite way to use turmeric. Plus, this recipe contains coconut oil and black pepper to help your body better absorb the incredible rewards of this spice.
Before moving on to the Golden Milk recipe, you’ll need to make the paste:
1/2 cup filtered water; don’t use tap water
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (black pepper contains piperine, which can help increase turmeric absorption by a thousand percent!)
1/4 cup organic turmeric powder
Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on medium, constantly stirring until the mixture forms a thick paste. This should take about 5 minutes. You can store the mixture in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
1/2 – 1 tsp of your turmeric paste
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp organic coconut oil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup to sweeten (I like to add this at the very end and usually do not need a full teaspoon)
Heat your milk, cinnamon and cardamom in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk in the turmeric paste, honey and coconut oil and heat until steaming, but do not boil. Strain off cardamom and cinnamon, and serve immediately. You can add extra raw honey or nutmeg for additional taste, if desired.