What exactly is a “superfood”? So many foods get this label lately, leaving people jumping from one expensive trend to the next.
Turmeric has been in the superfood spotlight for years. Ayurvedic practitioners have used this rhizome for centuries to reduce inflammation, support digestion and release toxins. But in recent years, turmeric has been presented as having superpowers that can fix nearly any ailment on its own. Turmeric’s health benefits are wonderful, but eating it every day in great quantities will not solve all your health problems. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that too much can have the opposite effect.
Turmeric’s health benefits are powerful and have been well documented for centuries: It purifies the blood, balances skin disorders, strengthens intestinal flora and clears the subtle energy channels. It is balancing for all doshas when it is used in moderate amounts in cooking or healing formulas. But in large amounts (and especially when used in isolation of other herbs or foods), turmeric’s warming qualities will cause pitta imbalance, creating inflammation and a host of other health issues.
How much turmeric to take for healing
It’s common for people who become fixated on a food that promises to heal all ailments to take large quantities. The belief is that just because a little is good, a lot must be better. But too much of anything will send your body into a state of imbalance.
An allopathic approach to using turmeric, meaning using it to bring healing from the outside in, is not the path of true health. The holistic Ayurvedic approach understands that illness has a root cause that affects all levels of being: mental, physical, and emotional. True healing comes from inside. Herbs and food support this journey, but they are not responsible alone.
Turmeric’s healing properties shine most when it is cooked into food (it’s also a powerful ingredient in a custom Ayurvedic choorna). This month’s recipe for turmeric rice calls for just a little bit of this powerful healing plant. Just ¼ teaspoon for four people is enough to make the rice a lovely yellow color and bring out turmeric’s bitter, pungent and astringent rasa, or taste.
As you make this recipe your own, don’t give in to temptation to overdo this gift from nature. The amount we’ve included is enough to bring healing. Trust that, and you will soon see how powerful turmeric’s healing properties are.
Simple Ayurvedic Recipe: Turmeric rice
We’ve listed amounts for powdered turmeric. If you have fresh turmeric, even better. Use about 3/4 teaspoon.
1 cup rice
2 cups water
2 tsp. ghee
1/8 tsp. mineral salt
1/4 tsp. powdered turmeric
If you are using a rice cooker, place all ingredients inside and press start. If you are using a pot, warm the ghee, add the salt and turmeric and simmer for about a minute, until the aroma comes up. Add the rice and water and bring to boil. Cover, turn down the heat to very low and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for five minutes before removing the lid. Stir well before serving.