Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma long plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh.Turmeric is a super-spice that has a high antioxidant value and boosts the immune system. It is native to tropical Tamilnadu, in  southeast India, and needs temperatures between 20 °C and 30 °C and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for about 30–45 minutes and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in south Indian Cusines. Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger.Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has been a centre of attraction for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.

Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. It is an antiseptic and kills yeast and parasites when used internally. Turmeric was raditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

Turmeric, an ingredient in most curries and mustards, has a history of being used as more than just a spice. Turmeric’s deep-orange pigment has long been used as a dye, and both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine traditions use turmeric in treatments. Turmeric has also held a place in religious ceremonies across India for thousands of years.

Uses of Turmeric:

  • It can be used externally in poultices to sooth skin and reduce inflammation. It is often used in lotions or preparations for skin with eczema or psoriasis.
  • When incorporated into the diet it can be helpful for reducing inflammation in those with arthritis.
  • Turmeric can be made into a paste with water or honey to make a skin scrub that cools inflammation and helps stop acne.
  • Externally, a paste of turmeric and aloe vera gel can ease pain and itching from burns, bites, chicken pox, poison ivy, or
  • eczema.
  • In a soothing Turmeric Tea to sooth during illness or improve sleep. This is one of my favorite uses! See my recipe below.
  • It is wonderful to add to grilled foods, vegetables, mashed cauliflower, sauces, and spice blends. I add a pinch to my eggs in the morning and to most dishes that I cook.
  • Turmeric’s high antioxidant content makes it beneficial for the skin and it is used in some natural sunscreens and bronzers.
  • A paste of Turmeric and strong brewed black tea will temporarily darken the skin and there is some evidence that it might also provide some sun protection.
  • Turmeric is said to be great for the skin and can be used in facial washes and scrubs to sooth skin and even out skin tone.
  • Turmeric can cause hair to become less thick so it is often used my Indian women on unwanted facial hair but should be avoided on the head or by men on their faces.
  • Turmeric is a wonderful spice to add to soups and stews as it gives them a rich, warm flavor and a beautiful color. If you make homemade bone broth, a couple teaspoons of Turmeric are a great addition.
  • Many people take it as a supplement to help reduce inflammation and pain, especially those with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

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