In recent years, turmeric has been promoted up the ranks in the world of spices – going from just a humble ingredient in curry powder, to taking its place on the menu of every self-respecting hipster café. It’s also widely available in powdered or capsule form on supermarket and health food store shelves.
The Spice of Life
With its signature brown skin and bright orange flesh, turmeric is derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, belonging to the group of oldest cultivated spice plants that grow in Asia and Central America.
Curcumin is the active chemical in turmeric that gives it its distinctly golden hue and has medicinal properties. The spice is used in curries and teas and as a dye to colour foods such as mustard.
Turmeric has long been recognised and revered by traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western herbal medicine for its health promoting and healing benefits. Turmeric has been used to alleviate mild digestive discomfort as well as mild muscle and joint pain. Many traditional herbal uses may relate to turmeric’s antioxidant effects.
Alleviate Your Aches
Turmeric’s popularity is due to its possible effect on factors associated with inflammation. Studies have found that turmeric may improve mild osteoarthritis. Including a natural spice such as turmeric into your daily diet can provide long term support of your general health and wellbeing.
Studies have found that turmeric may help to manage oxidative and minor inflammatory conditions. Turmeric has traditionally been used to relieve symptoms of mild osteoarthritis.
But the bountiful benefits of turmeric don’t stop at reducing inflammation. Its antioxidant properties may also support healthy liver function and improve elimination pathways in the body. It may act on the lining of the digestive tract, promoting good digestion and a healthy microbiome.
In healthy active people, turmeric may help reduce inflammation which may relieve sore muscles after exercise.
Turmeric, in its powdered form, is more susceptible to mixing with lower cost ingredients, chalk, starch and synthetic dyes. Samples of the spice have been found to contain adulterants including non-permitted food colourants, additives and other contaminants. When using turmeric spice in cooking, buy organic, quality and genuine turmeric root.
Spice Up Your Life
Turmeric is no longer reserved only for curries. With its unique but subtle flavour, it’s a versatile spice that can complement savoury soups and salad dressings to sweet smoothies and snacks.
Turmeric can also be added to spice mixtures for curry, barbeque rub or marinade