January and February are always the hardest months of the year for me. The cold, bleak weather combined with way too much time inside brings me down. Irritability and insomnia take their toll, and I’m a major bear. Last week we had a few warm, sunny days – only to sink back into 30 degree temps this week. Brr. Grr.
A couple of years ago I wrote about how turmeric is great for brightening skin, and I stumbled onto this amazing spice again when looking for natural scar treatments. (Sam nosedived into a table recently and got a few stitches on his forehead. I’m applying a turmeric paste to reduce the rather unsightly scar.) Turns out turmeric is not only great for scars, but it can also help with the winter blues and insomnia.
Turmeric is rich in curcumin, an antioxidant that helps your body produce more serotonin and dopamine. Both of which are natural mood boosters. Even just adding a teaspoon of turmeric into your daily diet can reduce the blues.
In fact, a recent study by Baylor University showed that taking 1,000 mg of circumin daily could have the same effects as taking an antidepressant. You can buy curcumin supplements, and Dr. Oz recommends taking 500 mg twice a day.
Apparently turmeric is a lot like coconut oil – you can use it for just about anything. It’s naturally anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and works on everything from acne to Alzheimer’s. Dr. Sanja Gupta drinks turmeric tea to calm his nerves before bed. Yep, this warm, spicy tea is a natural sedative.
My family drinks almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you like. Start out with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and work your way up to 1 teaspoon. Not only do you get the turmeric benefits, but I find the ritual of making the tea and drinking the warm milk to be really comforting and relaxing. My sleep and my mood have definitely improved. Plus it tastes really darn good, which calms my nightly munchies cravings.
Have you tried turmeric for the winter blues or insomnia?
Turmeric Tea for Winter Blues + Insomnia
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Heat the almond milk in a small sauce pan. When the milk is warm (not hot) stir in the spices. Pour into a large cup and and add honey to taste.