Turmeric, the natural spice colouring in curry powders is a natural analgesic (painkiller) which can help relieve arthritic and other pain and has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for centuries. It has been found to have many other health promoting properties including:- being a liver and nerve protector, lowers cholesterol, benefits heart health, helps remove toxic metals from the body, is anti microbial and fungicidal, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic. Adding black pepper to the turmeric is reported to significantly increase it’s anti cancer properties.
It clearly is a spice with many health benefits and by using it when we can in our food we help our bodies to regulate our health and wellbeing.
Here is a simple, quick and tasty soup to make on these cold evenings which is loaded with health giving properties:-
(See the accompanying photo’s):
* 1 medium onion, * +/- 600 grms. pumpkin (type – butternut), * 1 heaped tbsp. Turmeric powder. * ½ tsp. black pepper.
Cut up the onion and pumpkin into small pieces, put in a pot and add the turmeric and pepper. Add several glugs of olive oil and mix all together coating all the pieces in the pot. On a relatively high heat sauté the ingredients for about two minutes constantly stirring, then, add boiling water to just cover the ingredients, turn down to a medium heat, put the cover on the pot and allow the contents to cook until soft (+/- 20 minutes).Blend in a blender until smooth. Put in a bowl, decorate, serve and enjoy.
In our modern day lifestyle more and more of our foods are manipulated in unnatural ways and / or processed with artificial additives so that they can taste, smell and look better and last longer. With these ever increasing combined chemical cocktails in our food a growing number of experts believe that these are a major contributing factor to the increasing number of allergic and intolerance reactions in people today.
Clearly eating food in its most natural state is the ideal, but living in today’s society we can’t always ensure all we eat is completely natural. We have to have faith in our bodies to deal with the bad cocktails and mixtures we ingest and come in contact with but clearly we want to limit these occurrences to the minimum and not take undue advantage of our body’s capacity to deal with too much toxic ingestion. Listening to our bodies and taking action when we realise something is not right, is also, clearly essential. Learning to incorporate natural foods, herbs and spices into our diet that will help our bodies to help us can only improve our quality and enjoyment of life.
When we are in pain we generally do something to try to get rid of it. Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong and it needs help. Instead of using a propriety analgesic, our bodies will appreciate and benefit more if we use something natural.
Three of natures more powerful anti inflammatory (painkillers) are turmeric, ginger and bromelain. In forthcoming articles we will give some simple recipes and ways to use these natural painkillers.