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Posts tagged ‘spices’

Spice up your life with turmeric

Let’s talk about turmeric. What is known about this spice?


Did you know that in India, where turmeric is used extensively, there are hardly, if any, cases of Alzheimer’s Disease? (Dr Oz on the Oprah Winfrey Show, 1 November 2007)

First off, it belongs to the ginger family. Wiki says that it is also often misspelled (or pronounced) as tumeric. It sometimes also known as kunyit or haldi in some Asian countries.

Curcuma domestica, syn: Curcuma long
Fam: Zingiberaceae

Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used as dye and a condiment. It is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java. Peru. Australia and the West Indies. It is still used in rituals of the Hindu religion, and as a dye for holy robes, being natural, unsynthesized and cheap.

Turmeric is in fact one of the cheapest spices. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. In many languages turmeric is simply named as “yellow root”.

Turmeric, also called curcumin, has been used in Asian cookery for thousands of years. Powder ground from the dried root is an ingredient in curry. Turmeric is one of the cheaper spices and makes a vivid splash of color, so it gets heaped into low-market curry blends as fill. Not such a bad idea.

Turmeric holds a high place in Ayurvedic medicine as a “cleanser of the body” and today science is finding a growing list of diseased conditions which turmeric’s active ingredient heals. Broad interest in curcumin’s antiinflammatory effects is increasing.

Source: the Oprah Winfrey show; Wikipedia; theepicentre.com; psa-rising.com

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