This versatile, south Asian botanical has been revered for thousands of years as a medicinal and culinary spice. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) comes from the rhizomes (roots) of a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family. It is a leafy plant that grows to a height of approximately three feet. Although wild turmeric grows naturally in South Asian forests, it is cultivated in fields, and then harvested, washed, and sun-dried for commercial markets.
Turmeric’s beautiful gold-yellow color was first used to dye fabrics, even though it’s not a color-fast, permanent dye. Today, it is used in place of harmful dyes as a safe food and beverage coloring in cheese, popcorn, orange and lemon drinks, cakes, cereals, relishes, pickles, mustard, canned broths, gelatin, and more. Turmeric is added to various cooking oils to safely increase shelf life.
It is used extensively as a culinary seasoning, and is the key ingredient in Middle Eastern curry powder spice mix. It is primarily used in preparing savory dishes in Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Moroccan, and Indian cuisine. As a culinary seasoning, turmeric is used in its dried, powdered form, but fresh turmeric can be used in food prep, like ginger root.
Turmeric’s Gold Standard Health Benefits
Turmeric has been an integral part of oriental and Ayurveda, Indian medicine for centuries. More than 6,000 studies conducted on turmeric and its active component curcumin reveal that it has vast healing capabilities: as an antibiotic, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory.
A further look into turmeric’s most important health attributes -
Ways to Use Turmeric
Quality turmeric products are available where natural or health foods are sold in various forms: fresh root, ground, liquid extract, essential oil, and Curcumin capsules.
Related Articles of Interest:
Diffusing Essential Oils
Cooking with Warming Spices
Safe, Natural and Effective Back Pain Relief
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is a nonfiction author, and editor of Journey to Natural Living. Her business, Your Media Wellness Brand provides branded media content for chiropractors and other natural health and wellness entrepreneurs. She is author of seven books including, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats: 55 Fresh from the Blender Recipes, and Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success. Deborah has been a regular lifestyle feature writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.
Articles and recipes by natural living and healthy lifestyle author and writer,
Welcome to Journey to Natural Living. Join us on the journey as we share articles, recipes, and tips to empower you to live a healthy, proactive lifestyle.
Sign-up for our monthly newsletter below.