The Power of Cooking with Turmeric


It’s one thing to read all the studies, to keep informed through breaking news and research about natural health, but it’s another to hear it from the people who put it into practice. When you can combine the practical applications of natural health with the scientific background, the evidence can be awfully convincing. This is where Johns Hopkins medical oncologist Dr. Saraswati Sukumar comes in, explaining how you can get the most out of the amazing spice turmeric.

The Power of Cooking with Turmeric

Dr. Sukumar is a cancer doctor, but she is also a frequent user of turmeric. She knows first-hand how curcumin (the active component in turmeric) can provide health benefits and how it can easily be incorporated into your daily life. She uses it daily in her kitchen and has built a good portion of her professional reputation on touting the benefits of this powerful root.

“The health benefits are many, many. For example, for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, who have painful swelling in the knees, turmeric is a great way to suppress the inflammation,” says Dr. Sukumar. “A Woman’s Journey.”“We have close to 300 publications (that cite turmeric) for its anti-cancer effects. Many diseases, such as colon cancer and other types of cancer, are being traced to inflammation.”

She can point to the research that shows how curcumin can not only regulate inflammation which leads to certain types of cancer, but also the other types of cancer where curcumin “actually seeks out malignany cancer cells and alters the regulation of DNA in order to kill them,” as stated by Natural News.

As Dr. Sukumar said, the benefits of turmeric are many—from inflammation of the joints as is common in arthritis, to reduced cancer risk and the treatment of diabetes. But, not all sources of curcumin are equal. As Dr. Sukumar points out, your body can get the most benefits when you add it to your cooking.

“The problem with the pill is that it is very insoluble in water,” said Dr. Sukumar. “The better way to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking very extensively. If you have any sauté, just sprinkle it in. The moment you heat oil and add turmeric to it, it now becomes completely bio-available to you.”

Fortunately, turmeric is versatile. It has a mellow, smoky flavor despite its bright color. It tastes great in sautéed veggies of all kinds and if you are a meat-eater, you can use it in a rub. Dr. Sukumar says she uses as little as one-quarter to one-half teaspoon in her cooking, depending on the dish. But there is nothing wrong with using more in intensely flavored dishes like curry.

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21 Responses to "The Power of Cooking with Turmeric"

  1. Neneng V. Dy  April 27, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve been drinking turmeric juice (fresh turmeric chopped finely and boiled) for a while. I hope it does have the same benefits as the powder.

  2. Sonnentanz  April 28, 2013 at 8:34 am

    It also helps to burn fat cells, so I recommend to make the basis of your diets for loosing weight a vegetable soup with a lot of this stuff in it and don’t forget about some high quality plant oils (pls never palm!!) to increase the bioavailability :)

    • dizchord  April 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm


  3. Urszula  May 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I have been using turmeric for colds and infections for my young kids. I mix it with coconut oil and honey. It works better than any over the counter medications. I also sneak it tomato sauce, chicken broth, scramble eggs.

    • Susanna Kelland  July 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Just used your suggestion and added tumeric (and some chopped fresh herbs from the garden) to my scrambled eggs. Great suggestion, will do that from now on!

  4. alex  May 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    i put turmeric into most soups and stews, also a very tasty & attractive aioli to put on salad, fish, sandwiches, rice, etc. etc. Aioli used as a spread can replace butter. Make it with good oil, and follow recipe for blender mayonnaise but adding garlic & turmeric. yum.

  5. Beverly  May 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I have used tummeric pills for boils and relief is almost immediate.

  6. Steven Bridenbaugh  June 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I take turmeric in capsules daily for arthritis in my shoulders and joint pain. It works. I can now throw a football without screaming in pain. It fights inflammation, which is what precedes an arthritic condition. I recommend it to everyone.

    • alex  July 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      i perfer to think of turmeric as a general health enhancement, much as i eat onions, garlic, cabbage, etc not only for their flavors but because they promote my health, particularly my immune system. Healthy immune sys doesn’t go haywire attacking the wrong ‘enemies’ such as in allergies, asthma, digestive upset, or inflammatory diseases. Rather, it works as it should to regulate / kill off tumors or invading pathogens, expectable for us all.

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