Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anticancer agent. It aids digestion, especially that of fats, through increased bile production in the liver. It is also known to have anti-viral properties, increase energy levels, reduce high blood pressure, and promote healthy cholesterol levels. In fact, a review of over 700 studies, showed that turmeric appears to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic, debilitating diseases, and does so without adverse side effects [1, 2]. All of this with a color that could brighten the dreariest of mornings. And I’m from Seattle. I’ve seen my share of those.
I found the golden wonder root at my local Fairway. I glanced past the ginger bin to its neighbor and realized I had probably never seen turmeric root in its natural form. Intrigue ensued as I scooped up a 1/2 pound from the bin. I brought it home with no idea what I was going to do with it. But, the most obvious solution was to juice it. And so I juiced with the small, gnarly root as the star ingredient again and again. I found myself hooked on the energetic buzz each morning. Until I ran out.
I returned to the store on a restocking mission, but turmeric root was missing in action. According to the produce manager, I was one of the root’s few fans. Immediate Google search to the rescue. Most grocery stores do not carry turmeric root, but some of the more die-hard health food stores will keep it in stock. A few of the shops in Manhattan’s Little India have stocked it off and on. But, the culinary wonderland, Kalyustan’s International market always carries turmeric root. But then again, they stock just about anything a curious cook could wish for and then some.
- 2 lemons with peel cut away
- 5 pieces celery
- 1 apple
- 2 medium or 4 small carrots
- 6 medium pieces turmeric
(or 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric per 8 ounces of juice if fresh is unavailable)
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 5 sprigs of mint (or a handful of cilantro)
Simply put all ingredients, turmeric first, through your juicer. Server over ice for an extra refreshing beverage. If you find the flavor or effect to be overly robust, cut it with some filtered water or coconut water. Be careful with your clothes and kitchen cloths during clean up. There is a reason it has been used as a natural dye for centuries.
Yield: Two 16 ounce servings
NOTE (10/30 Update):
Fresh vs dried turmeric? Fresh is always best. But, fresh is not always available. If needed, this juice can be made with powdered turmeric, ideally organic. I recommend 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of juice to start. The powder will tend to settle at the bottom of the juice, so plan to stir it while consuming the juice. The color is not quite as vibrate and while energizing, the effect is not quite the same as using the fresh root. But, it is still an amazingly healthful juice.
 James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication HerbClip