Turmeric is best known as one of the main ingredients of curry. It has a peppery, warm, and bitter flavor, and a mild fragrance similar to orange and ginger. Turmeric is in the ginger family and has a yellow-orange tuber similar to ginger. The tubers are usually boiled and then dried and ground into a powder. It can also be used fresh in the same way ginger is used, or it can be pickled. Fresh leaves are also used to wrap foods when cooking, as they impart a distinctive flavor.
The turmeric plant has many more uses outside the culinary field. It has been used in India for thousands of years, and as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese traditional medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat conditions such as:
- Menstrual difficulties
- Bloody urine
- Chest pain
Turmeric can also be used topically to cleanse wounds and treat skin sores.
Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and is a very strong antioxidant. It is used in the treatment of:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Help for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers
- Cancer prevention
- Improved liver function
- And many more
Turmeric powder is also applied to the body in many Indian rituals, and is used in some Indian traditions like a wedding ring in the West — it is tied to form a necklace or is attached to the wrist.
Find out here why Turmeric was known as ‘Holy Powder.’