I’ve been hearing a lot on about “turmeric latte” and the commentary that this is just “haldi doodh” that we’ve been having for ages. Here is another such term – “golden paste” – a western adaptation of an Indian blend of turmeric, coconut oil, pepper and water. Turns out this paste is absolutely wonderful for our dogs.
The bio-active compound of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be a godsend for our dogs suffering from aches and pains.
A paper written for the American Academy of pain management states “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatory available”. Studies have shown that
curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and it’s antioxidants that neutralise free radicals which cause painful inflammation.
Curcumin is believed to stimulate bile production. Bile is necessary for metabolism of fat in the liver. This is important because the liver plays a very critical role of flushing out toxins. Our dogs, like us, are exposed to a lot of toxins as part of our dense urban living and “packaged food” lifestyles. In addition if your dog has health problems and is on and off any medication for a sustained period, then the liver can use all the help it gets.
Curcumin seems to also have some great anti-cancer properties. A UCLA study showed curcumin to block the cancer promoting enzyme. Another study showed that curcumin has the ability to shut down blood vessels that feed tumour, that preventing tumours and in some cases even shrinking it. With so many of our dogs prone to all kinds of cancers these days, this is a very real concern for many of us pet parents.
Turmeric is also known to benefit the heart. It brings down bad cholesterol levels and thins the blood, reducing the risk of clots. In addition, turmeric seems to have a host of other benefits like weight management, parasite control, allergy prevention, healing of some digestive problems etc.
Turmeric however does not dissolve in water and hence is hard to get absorbed by the body. Making a paste with coconut oil helps increase absorption. You can further increase the absorption by adding crushed pepper corns. Pepper contains a compound called piperine, which when combined with turmeric, in the tiniest of doses, makes the curcumin 2,000 per cent more available in the body. And one final trick to increase the absorption of turmeric is to feed it in several small doses a day, instead of one helping.
To make the paste you’ll need half a cup of organic turmeric, 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup of unrefined coconut oil, 2 tsp of freshly ground pepper. Boil the turmeric and water together for 10 minutes, stirring till it’s a smooth thick paste. Add more water if required. Take it off the heat. Then add in the pepper and oil and whisk it till the oil gets incorporated in the paste. Cool and refrigerate.
The recommended dosage seems quarter teaspoon for every 5kg body weight. So if your dog is 20kg you can give up to one teaspoon a day. So you could start with quarter teaspoon two to three times a day and gradually increase it if need be. Remember that any diet change can cause the dog to have loosies. Curcumin is also known to cause constipation. So make sure your dog is getting plenty of water at all times.
This is a very interesting use of Ayurveda in our dogs’ lives. If our dog is suffering from chronic pain, most times we are at a loss on how to relieve the pain, because sustain pain killer usage is not advisable. We just might have our answer right here.