Since the rise of alternative medicine, turmeric has come to be recognized as an extremely helpful tool in the battle against inflammatory conditions. The root is commonly ground up for medicinal use, and it looks like a fine, dark orange powder. Acne, carbuncles, digestive complaints, and a wide variety of colds, sore throats, and respiratory problems are no match for turmeric's mighty sword. This wonder drug is plentiful and fairly cheap in the bulk aisles at nearly any co-op or grocery store.

Unfortunately, turmeric has one minor flaw: many people are unable to tolerate its earthy, pungent taste. You don't need to suffer through turmeric's overwhelming flavor. Here are three easy ways to make the medicine go down painlessly.

Diluted Turmeric in Water

Turmeric powder is a partly water soluble substance. This means it can be dissolved in almost any quantity of water – a cup or gallon - with a little mixing. The best results are achieved by starting with a heaping teaspoon in a glass, and then adding water until the taste is just tolerable enough. You can have another glass of water, tea, or juice standing by to flush away the remaining taste, if it's still too troubling.

A gentle note: always make sure the turmeric is completely dissolved. It shouldn't appear as floating chunks in the water. These fragments can break up unexpectedly while swallowing, resulting in an unpleasant coughing fit.

Turmeric in Food

Cooking offers perhaps the best way to absorb turmeric, and certainly the most pleasant means to get some on a regular basis. The root has been used as a spice in India and beyond for centuries. It's excellent for spicy cuisine, and goes well in soups, stews, and crock pot dishes. Small trace amounts can be used to give food a distinctive yellowish-orange glow. In fact, it's regularly used by major food manufactures as a stand in for food coloring. Just Google “Turmeric recipes” to find a whole universe of familiar and unexplored recipes that incorporate turmeric in ways you've probably never thought about.

Making Turmeric Pills

Gel caps are a simple way to take drugs, as anyone who has purchased over-the-counter pain relievers knows. Today, every household can manufacture their own, which is particularly great for natural remedies like turmeric. To make a turmeric capsule, find a pack of gel caps at your local health store, co-op, or online, and fill at least a week's worth of capsules up. They can be stored in an old medicine bottle. This method ensures turmeric's strong taste won't interfere with reaping its many benefits. The main downside here is the added cost of the gel caps. The time and concentration needed to load a batch of capsules may also be too difficult for some people. Still, doing it this way is much cheaper than buying bottled turmeric capsules - a final option if the others aren't appealing. Look to brands like Botanic Choice for 500 mg strength capsules.

Turmeric is a near miraculous healer. It smothers the fires of inflammation and fights infection inside the body and on the skin. Turmeric is most effective if it can be consumed before an illness or infection even starts. Using one of these three methods is a guaranteed way to wield turmeric as a real health shield, against whatever life might throw at you.

Turmeric Powder: How to Take It