Easy Turmeric Bug

June 4, 2020
easy turmeric bug

Today we’re going to learn how to make a bug! Don’t worry, we won’t be working with actual insects. We’ll be fermenting something called a “turmeric bug”. Cousin to a ginger bug, a turmeric bug is a starter for natural sodas and other beverages. The rough skin of fresh turmeric root boasts an abundance of lactic acid bacteria and wild yeasts. If you combine turmeric root with sugar, water, and time, the result is an easy and nutritious turmeric bug starter that you can use and share with others.

Turmeric: Food as Medicine

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Indian cuisine. It is known for its vibrant color, flavor, and medicinal properties. If any food out there is medicine, it’s turmeric!

The compound that makes turmeric so special and gives it that gorgeous orange hue is curcumin. Curcumin has been proven to provide relief from inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant. Additionally, it has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), providing protection and possible reversal of Alzheimer’s and other age-related brain issues.

Other benefits of Curcumin include relief from depression, heart disease prevention, and cancer-fighting properties.

turmeric bug

Fermentation Provides Better Bioavailability

The only problem that curcumin poses is the fact that it isn’t very bioavailable, meaning that the human body doesn’t easily absorb the compound. Some people use black pepper to aid in absorption, but utilizing the fermentation process instead will provide better results. This is because the curcumin compounds get broken down or “predigested” along the way. Using this easy turmeric bug for your sodas will ensure that your body gets a nice dose of curcumin that it can absorb in a simple and effective way.

Now that we’ve covered the health benefits of this miracle compound, you’re ready to try it out yourself! Check out the recipe below to discover a simple way to incorporate turmeric into your diet.

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Easy Turmeric Bug

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By Curie Ganio & Mary Kate Metzger
Prep Time: 5 min

Easy starter culture for naturally fermented sodas and drinks that is made from fresh turmeric root.


  • 2 C Unchlorinated Water
  • 3-5 Fingers of Fresh Turmeric Root
  • 3-7 Tbsp Sugar



Fill a clean glass jar with the water.


Grate 1 Tbsp of turmeric root and add to the jar.


Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.


Cover the jar with a coffee filter or clean towel and secure it with a rubber band or string.


Allow it to sit in a warm area away from direct sunlight.


Feed daily with 1 Tbsp of each sugar and grated turmeric root. Stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds; this will add plenty of oxygen.


After -7 days, the mixture will become bubbly and fizzy (this means it is ready to use as a starter).


Next, store the mixture in the refrigerator and feed it once per week with 1 Tbsp each of turmeric root and sugar.


Use as a starter for naturally fermented sodas and drinks.

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