A turmeric shot is an ideal start to your day. This yellow drink gives you an energy boost and helps against cold or flu symptoms, among other things.
Turmeric shots are gaining in popularity, and you can order them in more and more health shops and cafes.
Read on as I show you how easy it is to make turmeric shots, with or without a slow juicer.
Read More: How to juice without a juicer
Turmeric shots recipe with a slow juicer
You will need a slow juicer for this recipe. By also using ginger you make it a really powerful shot. Don’t have a slow juicer? Then use the recipe below.
- 100 grams ginger root
- 100 grams of turmeric root
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
First, check whether your slow juicer is suitable for ginger. Not all slow juicers are powerful enough for this.
Cut the ginger and turmeric into cubes. You can just leave the peel on because it disappears into the pulp container of the slow juicer.
Peel the lemon and orange and cut into cubes that fit in the slow juicer.
Squeeze everything through the slow juicer and collect the juice.
Stir in the ground black pepper. This not only gives your turmeric shot a kick but also ensures better absorption of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric.
Turmeric shots recipe without a slow juicer
You can make this turmeric shot without a slow juicer. We also use ginger in this shot.
- 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
- 1 large piece of ginger root
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 half lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 glass of water
Peel the ginger root and cut it as finely as possible.
Bring 200 milliliters of water to a boil in a saucepan.
Add the ginger root and cook for 10 minutes. This allows the active ingredient of ginger to come off and dissolve in the water.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Squeeze half a lemon over the pan.
Finally, stir the remaining ingredients into the water.
Place the mixture in a sealable bottle and let it cool in the refrigerator.
Pour the cooled mixture into a shot glass so you can drink a shot daily.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is the root of a plant that belongs to the same family as ginger. Turmeric is the spice that is used in curry powder and is responsible for the yellow color. Turmeric is also the spice used in many Indian dishes such as curries.
Turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in Indian medicine (Ayurveda). There have been many studies on turmeric in the last decade and many of these studies confirm what the Indians have known for thousands of years.
Turmeric is also written as Curcuma and has a range of alternative names, such as koenier, tumeric, Indian turmeric, and, in the past, tarmeriek. In English it is turmeric.
What is curcumin?
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) owes its health benefits to the compound curcumin, which is found in turmeric. The concentration of curcumin in turmeric powder is at most 3%. This is about the concentration of curcumin in turmeric powder as you buy it in the supermarket, for seasoning your food.
Most studies into the effects of turmeric use turmeric extracts, which mainly consist of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric. These supplements usually consist of about 95% curcumin.
The studies on turmeric use high doses of curcumin. Many studies assume 1 gram of curcumin per day or even higher, up to 4 grams.
For 1 gram of curcumin, you should eat 30 grams of turmeric. That is of course impossible. A pinch of turmeric can overpower the taste of your dishes.
For this reason, curcumin supplements are widely used to take advantage of its health benefits.
For example, in one study, 2.8 grams of turmeric were used daily instead of curcumin (source). The participants showed no improvement in inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers. While using curcumin supplements have significant improvements are seen.
This could indicate that you really need to take curcumin supplements so that you get a high enough dose of curcumin to reap the health benefits.
Read More: Turmeric Vs Cumin: What Is The Difference?
The absorption of curcumin
If you want to take advantage of the health benefits of turmeric (Curcuma longa), you will have to use turmeric extracts that contain high concentrations of curcumin.
What is important to know is that curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body. The curcumin molecules cannot be released intact into the blood via the intestinal wall.
By using turmeric (extract) in combination with black pepper (piperine), the absorption of curcumin is improved by as much as 2000% (source).
Because curcumin is fat-soluble, ideally use turmeric with a meal that contains fats.
The discussion about the absorption of curcumin
There is some debate about the use of peperine to improve curcumin absorption.
For example, piperine would also ensure that medicines are absorbed better, which is undesirable because you then get too many active substances.
And whether piperine actually improves absorption by 2000% is up for debate.
Curcumin supplements are often sold without the addition of piperine, but with another addition that should improve the absorption of curcumin.
17 health benefits of turmeric
Enough about the absorbability of curcumin, you could write a whole book about that. Many health benefits are attributed to turmeric/curcumin in scientific studies, so let’s dive into that.
Health Benefit 1: Anti-inflammatory
Low-grade inflammation (inflammation) is the body’s protective response to damage or irritation.
These damages can be caused by outside sources such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi or can be caused by an autoimmune reaction of the body.
So you can say that inflammation is good. They protect the body against acute threats and without inflammation we would soon succumb to a proliferation of bacteria.
As a result of our Western lifestyle, many people have to deal with chronic inflammation. These are a threat to our health.
Health benefit 2: cardiovascular disease
Every day in the USA, 1 person dies every 36 seconds with cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 cause of death n America.
It is therefore good to keep the risk of cardiovascular disease as low as possible, insofar as you can influence this yourself, of course. Turmeric helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (source).
According to this research, a daily curcumin supplement is equivalent to an hour of exercise when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease.
In this study, curcumin was found to be just as helpful as atorvastatin.
In a hospital, researchers gave a group of patients awaiting bypass surgery 4 grams of curcumin daily.
This group of patients was found to be 65% less likely to have a heart attack in the hospital compared to patients who did not receive curcumin.
Health benefit 3: may prevent Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that starts with forgetfulness and impaired memory. As the disease progresses, everyday skills become more and more difficult.
There is still a lot of research into Alzheimer’s and unfortunately, no good treatment for Alzheimer’s has yet been found.
Although much is still unknown about Alzheimer’s, it is clear that oxidative stress and inflammation play a role in Alzheimer’s risk.
Much research is currently focused on the toxic amyloid-beta protein (plaques) that precipitates between brain cells.
Curcumin has beneficial effects on oxidative stress and inflammation (source). According to this research, curcumin is the most promising drug against Alzheimer’s.
A lot of research is still needed on humans because many effects have only been established in animal experiments or in the laboratory.
This small-scale study shows that curcumin can help clear up the plaques between brain cells. Because this is a small-scale study, you cannot of course draw firm conclusions from it, but it gives hope for possible treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Health benefit 4: helps against depression
We are all gloomy or listless at times. If this is the case for a longer period of time, we speak of depression. Characteristics are that you can no longer enjoy anything and that you lose interest in your surroundings.
The treatment of depression is approached in several areas. One of these areas is addressing the chemical dysregulation of the brain. This is done with antidepressants.
In people with depression, neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine are less abundant in certain parts of the brain. These neurotransmitters are acted upon with antidepressants.
This does not mean that I would advise you to tackle depression with curcumin alone. Depression is a serious condition for which you absolutely must seek help.
Additional treatments may be required, such as consultations with a psychologist, mindfulness, light therapy, physical exercise, and/or psycho-education.
Health Benefit 5: Helps With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation. In this disease, periods of many pain complaints alternate with periods in which there are fewer complaints.
In health benefit 1, we have already seen that curcumin helps with inflammation. You would therefore expect it to help with rheumatoid arthritis as well. And you guessed it that is certainly the case.
The use of curcumin causes a decrease in various complaints and symptoms (source). In this study, curcumin was found to work even better than certain medications prescribed to reduce inflammation.
Health Benefit 6: May Help Prevent (or Treat) Cancer
There are over 100 types of cancer. In all forms of cancer, there is an uncontrolled division of body cells. Depending on the type of cancer and the stage it is in, the patient’s life may or may not be saved.
It is a major disease and everyone in their environment has lost someone to this disease. Therefore, a huge amount of research is being done into cancer.
Research has also been done on the use of curcumin as an herb in fighting cancer. Curcumin may have a beneficial effect on slowing the growth and spread of cancer (source).
Curcumin can suppress the development of new tumors (source).
However, promising successes in fighting cancer with curcumin are still being achieved in laboratories and with laboratory animals as in this and this study.
Whether cancer can really be treated well in humans with curcumin needs to be further investigated. It is possible that in the future curcumin will be used for the treatment of cancer in addition to conventional treatments.
Health benefit 7: strong antioxidant
Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidation to the cells and tissues of the body if they are present in too high amounts.
Free radicals are created by smoking, for example, but also by sitting in the sun and processes in our body. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E limit the action of free radicals.
Curcumin is a strong antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals (source). In addition, curcumin also appears to increase the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (source). The effect of curcumin is therefore twofold.
Health benefit 8: slows down brain aging
As we age, the cognitive abilities of the brain slowly decline. Curcumin can help slow down this process (anti-aging) (source).
Health Benefit 9: Helpful in Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes curcumin can be useful. It reduces chronic inflammation and oxidative stress and lowers the risks of complications associated with type 2 diabetes (source).
Health Benefit 10: Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Many people suffer from IBS. Estimates range from 5% to 20% of the American population.
With IBS there are abdominal and/or intestinal complaints for which no visible abnormalities are found. The complaints are related to disturbed movements of the intestines and a hypersensitive intestinal wall.
People with IBS often have to experience for themselves which things and types of food make the complaints worse or reduce them.
The use of curcumin seems to improve the complaints in many people. By taking curcumin supplements on a daily basis, the pain complaints are significantly reduced in many people (source).
Health benefit 11: lowers LDL cholesterol
Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated LDL cholesterol is a sign that there is (chronic) inflammation somewhere in the body.
LDL cholesterol is also called the bad cholesterol and HDL the good cholesterol. The HDL cholesterol helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
Curcumin supplements lower bad LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (source).
Health benefit 12: strengthens the immune system
One type of protein known to play an important role in the immune system and help fight infections is increased by curcumin. This strengthens the immune system and increases resistance (source).
Health benefit 13: lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes in pre-diabetes
Unhealthy food and no exercise leads to health problems. You can see prediabetes as a preliminary phase of type 2 diabetes. The body has already become less sensitive to insulin so that the blood glucose is already somewhat higher than normal. But not yet high enough to be able to speak of type 2 diabetes.
Intervening through lifestyle changes can in many cases prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.
In this study, it was shown that curcumin caused fewer cases of prediabetes passed in type 2 diabetes.
Health Benefit 14: Lowers Blood Glucose in People With Type 2 Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your life will be governed by keeping your blood glucose low and as stable as possible.
By keeping blood glucose within acceptable ranges, you prevent unpleasant complications associated with diabetes.
Various herbs, such as cinnamon and berberine, help to keep blood glucose low. Curcumin also has this property (source).
Health benefit 15: supports the kidneys
For people with type 2 diabetes in particular, it is very important that the kidneys function properly. This is important in regulating blood glucose. Curcumin supports the proper functioning of the kidneys and thus helps to regulate blood glucose (source).
Health Benefit 16: Helps With Psoriasis
Psoriasis Vulgaris is a skin condition in which there are red and scaly patches on the body. Especially under the hairy head, on the elbows, and knees.
Psoriasis is chronic in most people, with periods of improvement and worsening alternating.
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but there are treatments that can improve it.
Curcumin can also improve Psoriasis Vulgaris in patients with mild to moderate complaints (source). This is attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin.
Health benefit 17: helps with knee osteoarthritis
The symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness in the knee. This is due to changes in the cartilage in the knee joint. This is usually due to old age, but can also be due to overexertion or overweight.
The course of complaints is characterized by periods in which the pain is worse and periods in which the pain is less.
With knee osteoarthritis, you have to keep moving a lot and watch out for excess weight. Painkillers such as ibuprofen can be taken for the pain. Turmeric extract appears to be just as effective against the pain as ibuprofen (source).
Inconclusively proven health benefits of turmeric
A lot of research has been done into the effect of turmeric/curcumin on laboratory animals (usually rats and mice).
In addition, many ‘in Vitro studies have been conducted with curcumin, which only looks at the effects on cultured (body) cells in a test tube or other laboratory glassware.
Many small-scale studies have also been conducted in which, for example, a group of 10 participants was divided into a curcumin and a placebo group.
These studies reveal many more health benefits of curcumin than what we discussed above. But because it has often only been tested on animals, or only involved in vitro or small-scale research, I don’t think we can yet draw firm conclusions from it and label the health benefits as proven.
This concerns the following health benefits which in my opinion have not been convincingly proven:
- Reduces colon cancer (tested on rats)
- Reduces the development of lung cancer (tested on rats)
- Reduces leukemia (tested on rats)
- Helps with dyspepsia and stomach ulcer (small scale)
- Helps with Chrohn’s disease (small scale)
- Helps with pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) (tested on mice)
- Helps detoxify the liver (tested on rats)
- Helps with hepatitis (tested on rats)
- Helps with obesity and overweight (tested on mice)
- Accelerates muscle recovery after training (small scale)
- Reduces muscle damage after training (small scale)
- Reduces muscle soreness after training (small scale)
- Counteracts neurodegenerative effects of fluoride (tested on rats)
- Inhibits the growth of the Candida Albicans fungus and can even kill it (many studies, but these were in vitro studies)
- Helps with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) (tested on lab animals)
- Helps with cataracts (tested on rats)
- Helps with chronic fatigue (this has never been studied and is based on assumptions)
- Helps with a sore throat (experiences, never scientifically researched)
- Protects against chemicals such as parabens (never well scientifically researched)
- Inhibits the growth of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, the cause of gastric ulcers (in vitro)
- Prevents the development of stomach ulcers (animal testing)
- Prevents gallstones (based on experiences)
Turmeric / Curcumin Side Effects
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric/Curcuma longa, is seen as a safe substance without side effects (source).
In most studies, curcumin supplements up to 1 gram are used and in exceptional cases up to 4 grams. No side effects were observed in these studies.
Despite this, some people may experience side effects when taking curcumin supplements. This can partly be explained by the fact that not all curcumin supplements are pure and different brands are used to promote the absorption of curcumin.
In addition, some manufacturers add fillers to the curcumin supplements such as wheat flour, rye flour, barley, and cassava starch to which some people are sensitive (source).
These fillers are not always listed on the packaging and are added to make the supplements heavier. This is purely for economic gain; these fillers have no further function.
For example, there are curcumin supplements on the market that contain gluten, even though you can’t tell from the packaging!
In people with gallstones, a high dose of curcumin can close the bile ducts with large gallstones.
Curcumin is therefore not recommended for problems with the gallbladder.
This could exacerbate the problems and trigger colic pain.
Curcumin can slow blood clotting and should therefore not be used in combination with blood thinners and certain medicines or other herbs that also have this effect.
Digestive complaints with more than 1000 mg curcumin
Some people experience mild digestive symptoms if they take more than 1,000 mg of curcumin supplements per day.
Complaints that you can get are heartburn, bloating, dry mouth, diarrhea, and flatulence (source).
Skin rashes at extreme doses
In people who took extremely high doses (more than 8,000 mg or more per day) of curcumin, some experienced skin rashes (source).
Headache and Nausea
Some people suffer from headaches or nausea if they use more than 450 mg of curcumin per day (source). The higher the dose is, the higher the risk of headache or nausea.
The dose determines whether something is toxic to the body or not. The same goes for turmeric and curcumin. It’s healthy unless you take too much of it.
As long as you stay within the daily amount indicated on the packaging, you do not have to worry that the use will be harmful to you, even in the long term.
Turmeric shots: final thoughts
Turmeric has many health benefits which I have shown above. Daily turmeric shots are a good way to get your intake of turmeric, but it’s important not to overdo it. There are some side effects of having too much turmeric, but as long as you don’t have too much of it you will be fine.
The above turmeric shot recipes are simple to make and can be done with or without a slow juicer. Add turmeric shots to your diet and enjoy the health benefits!