Jul 31, 2013

Turmeric Juice

What is turmeric? It’s that very bright yellow-orange herbal root that makes curries yellow. Turmeric is part the ginger family and has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cooking for thousands of years. But there’s a lot more to this vivid root than meets the eye. It is known to be one of the most powerfully healing herbs on the planet…

Doctors at UCLA recently found that curcumin, the main component in turmeric, appeared to block an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer.[1] In that study, 21 subjects with head and neck cancers chewed two tablets containing 1,000 milligrams of curcumin. An independent lab in Maryland evaluated the results and found that the cancer-promoting enzymes in the patients’ mouths were inhibited by the curcumin and thus prevented from advancing the spread of the malignant cells.

Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, wrote a paper for the American Academy of Pain Management in which he discussed the health benefits of turmeric.

“Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available,” Horwitz states in the paper.

He went on to cite a 2006 University of Arizona study that examined the effect of turmeric on rats with injected rheumatoid arthritis.[2] According to Horwitz, pretreatment with turmeric completely inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis in the rats. In addition, the study found that using turmeric for pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis resulted in a significant reduction of symptoms.

I found a few recipes for turmeric juice online but all of them contained honey, which I try to avoid due to its high glycemic load. Instead, I used date sugar, which is simply dehydrated, granulated dates. It dissolves easily and adds a touch of sweetness to this refreshing, healthy beverage. The date sugar did dull the color a bit… the other recipes’ photos showed a much more brightly colored juice! In addition, they the others all called for cooking everything and I preferred to keep it raw for more health benefits.

One important note… when you first drink this, moderate your intake. Too much and you may experience detox symptoms since it is such a strong liver detoxifier!


  • 7-10 inches of fresh turmeric root, peeled and grated (most health food stores carry it and some Asian markets do as well)
  • 1 quart fresh water
  • 1 TBS tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup date sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  1. Place all ingredients into a large glass container, mix well and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Strain and serve. NOTE: the turmeric may stain your strainer! It did mine. I used a VERY mild solution of soapy bleach water to remove it.
Makes one quart. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

  1. Eri Srivatsan, Ph.D., Marilene B. Wang, M.D., UCLA Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, September 13, 2011.
  2. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-64. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Funk JL, Frye JB, Oyarzo JN, Kuscuoglu N, Wilson J, McCaffrey G, Stafford G, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD, Sólyom AM, Kiela PR, Timmermann BN.

2 responses to “Turmeric Juice”

  1. moonwatcher says:

    Thanks, Helyn–I love the addition of tamarind paste in this juice. That is inspired. 🙂 I am a big fan of tumeric, though I usually use it dried, just sprinkled onto salads or in stir fries or sauces. I will have to see if our co-op ever can get the fresh root. Wonderful post about a powerful healing ally.


  2. Helyn says:

    Hi Maria. Thank you for the kind words. I also use turmeric, mostly as a powdered spice. But recently found it fresh at Whole Foods so went searching for a way to use it. It's wonderful fresh! I hope you can find it.

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