To introduce our Turmeric Powder, I want to share with you the first time I heard about the use of turmeric as a medicinal plant, which was in the early 1980s. It was at that time, when I was first exposed to anthroposophical medicine and the work of Rudolf Steiner, that I learned about the medicines Steiner called the “dorons,” the group of medicines that includes cardiodoron, hepatodoron, choleodoron and others. “Doron” means “gift” to the heart, liver, gall bladder, etc.
Steiner’s concept was to strengthen the activity of the various organs by using these new medicines, rather than to just treat disease. It is the lack of health of the most important organs in our bodies that underlies most, if not all, diseases, and these organ functions must be strengthened for health to be established. Choleodoron, or gift to the gall bladder/bile flow, is a mixture of the turmeric rhizome and the root of greater Celandine – two plants well known for their therapeutic effects.
These days, turmeric (and its active ingredient curcumin) is probably the most studied and well-known plant medicine on the planet. Scores of companies make turmeric capsules, powders, ointments and tinctures. Studies on turmeric are coming from the most renowned medical centers in the world and show the beneficial effects of turmeric/curcumin on cancer, digestive issues, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Curcumin is fat-soluble, so turmeric is best eaten with a fat such as coconut oil, butter or ghee, and it has also been shown that black pepper greatly increases the absorption of the curcumin, some say by as much as 2,000 percent.
The turmeric in our powder was grown in organic gardens on Maui, one of the richest growing areas on the Hawaiian Islands. The rhizomes, in the ground for nine months to two years, were carefully dried, ground into a fine powder and put into Miron jars to preserve freshness and flavor. Two of the growers, Jeannette and Andrew, also grow brassicas and fruits on their stunning 3,000-foot-elevation property on Maui. They also offer spiritual retreats there, where they serve "farm to mesa" meals.
The way we like to use our Turmeric Powder is to take about a cup of grass-fed ghee, coconut oil or a mixture of both, gently dissolve it on low heat, then add 1 teaspoon to up to 2 tablespoons of the Turmeric Powder (depending on taste) and about ½ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the fat. Gently stir, then remove from the heat. Right before the oil starts to harden, give it another good stir to thoroughly mix the turmeric and pepper into the oil. We store our Turmeric-Pepper oil in an empty Miron jar. For our Golden Rice (above), we sautéed chopped leeks and carrots in this oil, then added water and rice and simmered, covered, till the rice was cooked.
This mixture is what I now use to stir-fry vegetables, to sauté vegetables for soup, and to make golden rice or quinoa. The flavor is amazing, and the nutritional boost is off the charts.
We hope you enjoy using our Turmeric Powder as much as we do!
Tom Cowan, M.D.
The other day I was asked what I do most days. My initial response was that I see patients two days a week and go to the garden two days a week. The obvious follow-up question was, what about the other three days? After giving it some thought, my answer was, I go for a walk on the beach twice a week, but mostly I process food. That is especially true this time of year.
Our Powders Easily Add Nutrients to Soups and Stews
My good friend and co-author Sally Fallon Morell used to say that her rule with her four children was that they had to eat the breakfast and dinner she served them, and then they were free to eat what they wanted during the day. She was banking on them getting enough nutrient-dense foods during those two meals to keep them well nourished and even well fed enough so that they wouldn’t be looking for junk food.
We’re Looking for Growers!
This past weekend we hosted a small group of people who are interested in working with our company to help us create new products. We toured the Napa garden and spoke about new and innovative approaches to using plants as medicinal food. I had many ideas and examples of plants for them to see, feel and even taste, but I focused on five that I am particularly excited about and that will help us fulfill the dictum “let thy food be thy medicine.”