Way before the advent of synthetic, drug-based medicine, herbs and spices were valued for their medicinal properties. One clear example of this is the use of plants in Ayurvedic medicine in India.
What Is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, which roughly translates to “The Science of Life,” is an ancient holistic system of natural healing and medicine that goes back thousands of years. It is based on preventative medicine and acknowledges that your senses and your mind greatly influence your physiology. However, Ayurveda is not just a medicinal system. It also teaches how human beings are an integral part of nature. It emphasizes that you should live in harmony with nature, just as animals and plants do.
Ayurveda has many important components, and one of these is the use of herbs and spices. Herbs are recommended on a regular basis to help build and maintain a healthy physiology. In fact, many Ayurvedic herbs are now known as some of the most potent adaptogens on the planet.
Ayurvedic herbs and spices are greatly valued in Asian traditions and are often incorporated into everyday meals. Fragrant and flavorful varieties like ginger and cardamom are some of the most common examples of Ayurvedic herbs.
This Curry Spice Is One of the Best Ayurvedic Herbs
Turmeric is another Ayurvedic herb that is known for its healing properties and warm peppery flavor. It is the primary spice used for making delicious curry dishes. The use of this herb is said to date back more than 5,000 years. In India, there are tales that suggest that this spice’s usage dates back 10,000 years.
According to historical records, the ancient Polynesians also carried turmeric with them on their voyage across the Pacific to Hawaii. Today, turmeric, or Olena, is still widely used by Hawaiian natives. Meanwhile, in Europe, turmeric has been used as a substitute for saffron, an expensive old world spice.
Turmeric contains a powerful curcuminoid called curcumin, the pigment that gives this spice its lovely yellow-orange color. Curcumin benefits are becoming more and more well-known, leading to the popularity of turmeric and curcumin supplements today.
How to Maximize Your Curcumin Absorption
You can get curcumin simply by adding turmeric in your meals. Use it liberally in your cooking, and its earthy flavor will add a unique taste to your food. It’s best to opt for a pure turmeric powder instead of curry powder, as many curry powders typically have small amounts of curcumin.
It is difficult to absorb curcumin, so it’s important to maximize its bioavailability. Here’s one method: make a microemulsion by mixing one tablespoon of curcumin powder with one or two free-range egg yolks and a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Afterwards, use a hand blender to emulsify.
Another idea is to put one tablespoon of curcumin powder into a quart of boiling water. Let it boil for 10 minutes, creating a 12 percent solution. Drink the liquid once it’s cooled down. The curcumin will fall out of the solution gradually, so make sure to drink it within four hours. This drink has a woody, earthy flavor.
Remember, though, that the curcumin in turmeric is a very potent yellow dye that may permanently discolor surfaces and even your skin, so be careful when handling this spice. Wear gloves and an apron when using it.
Turmeric is just one of the herbs and spices widely used in Ayurveda. Other notable herbs you shouldn’t miss out on include tulsi, basil, and ginger, which can all have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
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