The West

Famed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, this vibrantly coloured botanical has held its spot on the health podium for a long while. Turmeric is a spice I’m sure you’ve heard of and if not, maybe you’ve noticed lattes, gelato and smoothies with a sunset-orange hue. Well, that’s turmeric.

Although turmeric is relatively new to western diets, it has sure made an immense splash in over-zealous, ‘bigger, better, more’ western style with products clocking an estimated USD$328 million in sales in the US alone in 2018. That number is more than seven times the year before.

The East

All you need to do is take a trip to the former crown of the British Empire and you will soon find turmeric has a much more grounded and culturally rich history. Turmeric has been brightening up pantries in India for years and years and has been interwoven in their culture for even longer.

Being used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, the now not-so-humble herb has many uses beyond lattes and smoothies. Apply turmeric to wounds, and it’s believed to fight infection. Mix it with milk, and the mind calms. Tint the entrance of new homes with a paste to welcome prosperity.

The challenges

The Ayurvedic Medical Association confirms that turmeric does indeed work for all the many uses it is known for (and more). But the challenge is that their science doesn’t fit into complete randomised control trials which is an all too common problem for all types of alternative medicine in the modern-day.

A lot of medical researchers have called it ‘fools gold’ and believe that there is simply nothing that proves all that is claimed. Some success has been found in smaller studies done by numerous universities but nothing conclusive enough has been achieved to win the researchers over.

The Northern Rivers

Despite the back and forth debate over turmeric (and many other branches of alternative medicine), it has not stopped the popularity of the spice. Especially in our luscious and progressive home of the Northern Rivers.

Krishna Village, an eco-yoga community located in Byron Hinterland is one of the many retreats that have adopted turmeric into their community; having recently shared their secret turmeric latte recipe. Here’s what they have to say about the iconic drink with that highly recognisable amber hue.

‘A turmeric latte makes a great antioxidant-rich morning or afternoon pick-me-up (perfect for those of us looking to skip coffee!), or a before-bed relaxing ritual drink.

Recently, we partnered up with our friend and creator of Loki Chai to share a warming turmeric latte recipe with you. Made with ingredients including turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom’.