Fermented Turmeric Finisher

I attended a continuing education class at Bastyr University in nutrigenomics (how to apply nutrition, supplements and lifestyle to turn off gene expressions causing chronic illness). I wanted to share some information I learned about reducing inflammation and share a recipe!

Most of us probably have the spice, turmeric, in our cupboards. You may have even heard that turmeric is an amazing medicinal spice for resolving inflammation, healing skin issues (acne, blemishes, dermatitis, itching, eczema, psoriasis, rash), has cancer-preventative properties, regulates cholesterol, fights depression, is helpful for macular degeneration and high blood pressure.

Here are some other wonderful, research-based conditions that the curcumins in turmeric have been found to help:
  • Metabolic syndrome (including weight issues, insulin resistance/pre-diabetes, lack of energy, etc.)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sjogrens syndrome

Here’s the kicker – research shows that curcumins benefit over 100 molecular targets in the body. They help us heal at the cellular level and can switch off gene mutations causing symptoms in the body. They help the good cells heal and at the same time, they help destroy cancer cells. They help antioxidants and enzymes do their jobs. They support blood sugar regulation and fat regulation.

As wonderful as turmeric is, it’s not easily absorbed without a few additions:

  • A healthy fat allows curcumins to be absorbed into the bloodstream (ghee, raw butter, coconut oil, phosphatidylcholine from sunflower seeds). Using fresh turmeric can up the ante on this because it has natural oils. Add a little more healthy unrefined fat and you are good to go!
  • Black pepper (piperine) – just a pinch of pepper can make all the difference when it comes to absorption. Most Indian curry spice mixtures have pepper in them — they knew what they were doing when they put the curry mixture together!

Now, imagine what happens when you ferment this? You get even more bioavailability! Here is a recipe from The Bone Broth Secret that even vegans can enjoy. There is no bone broth in this recipe. It’s a “finisher” or add in to bone broth or can be used on its own in plant-based recipes.

This comes from Brian Merkel, one of our recipe contributors from Belcampo Meat Co in San Francisco:

Fermented Turmeric Finisher (Add In) From the Bone Broth Secret (Can Be Vegan)

This recipe is an excellent medicinal finisher for bone broth. It’s also a great addition for soups, stews, sauces, and aspic recipes (or any plant-based recipe). You can add this to bone broth with a healthy fat, like butter, ghee, coconut oil or full fat coconut milk for a great inflammation reliever, immunity booster, mood booster, skin remedy and arthritis remedy. Plus, you get a nice dose of good bacteria for your gut!

Hands-on prep time: 25 minutes
Total prep time: 2 weeks to ferment
Yield: 2 cups of turmeric paste


  • 2 quarts water
  • 6 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh organic turmeric, peeled and sliced into ½” pieces
  • 1 cup fresh organic ginger, peeled and sliced into ½” pieces
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice


  • Make the brine: combine water and salt into a saucepan. With your burner on low, warm the brine just enough to easily dissolve salt.
  • Divide the roots evenly into 2 quart-sized mason jars (each will have 1 cup turmeric and ½ cup ginger). Fill each jar with brine, leaving a couple inches free at the top.
  • Cover each container with cheesecloth or a clean towel and fasten with a rubber band or string. Place in cool, dark place (60°–70° F is ideal) for 2 weeks.
  • After 2 weeks, remove the roots, saving the brine.
  • Blend the ginger and turmeric in a food processor or blender until you have a paste. Add a small amount of brine, enough to maintain a liquid consistency.You can save the remaining brine for future fermentation.
  • Now add the honey, pepper, and lemon juice; blend until smooth.

Serving suggestions:

  • Add turmeric sauce to your favorite broth as a finisher, along with some butter, ghee, full-fat coconut milk or coconut oil. Try 1–2 tsp. mixed into your cup of bone broth.
  • Add to soups, stews or aspics for more flavor and health benefits.
  • Add to vegetarian dishes.
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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!