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Tumeric For Flavour, Colour and Health

August 4th, 2021

Curcuma Longa, a rhizome and member of the ginger family, grows wild in the forests of Southeast Asia. It has been used for culinary, medicinal and ceremonial preparations for many thousands of years. The scientific community have recently tapped into its medicinal potential, revealing to the world this Ancient Indian Ayurvedic superfood, healing root and natural anti-biotic.

Ayurveda, the holistic medical science originating in India, reveres Tumeric for its ability to calm the stomach, fight ear and sinus infections, anti-inflammatory effects for arthritis, to kill internal parasites, to regulate women’s cycles, for reproductive health and to purify the blood. When mixed with honey, it can be taken at the onset of any flu symptoms and even applied to skin irritations or wounds, it accelerates healing (especially in diabetic patients) and its anti-septic qualities avoid any infections.

Tumeric is also known as one of the most effective and useful ingredients in natural beauty recipes. It is used as the skin softener in Asia, a paste made from sandlewood powder, milk cream and Rosewater is applied all over the body. This is an important step in wedding ceremonies in India. Beforehand the bride and groom are treated with this by each others families to see if there were any blemishes, birth marks, or even any moles placed in unlucky positions of the body! It is also used in religious and spiritual ceremonies in temples and places of worship.

Its no co-incidence that Indian culinary traditions are full of herbs and spices, and dairy preparations like ghee. Many of these components that make up a ‘curry’ are actually medicinal and along with their predominantly vegetarian diet, results in India having the lowest colon cancer rates in the world.

Tumeric’s distinctly warm earthy and even tangy flavours add a very unique addition to cuisine of India, the Middle East, Jamaica, South America, Africa and South East Asia. Colouring everything it touches with that yellow/orange hue we know from Indian cooking. Where it is grown fresh, the leaves of the plant are also used to wrap foods for cooking giving the contents a distinctive subtle flavour, in the same way that banana leaves do. It not only adds colour, flavour and medicinal qualities to your foods, but is also used in the food industry as a natural preservative because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal activity.

Tumeric & Curcuminoids
Curcumin, a word you will definitely hear more about, is one of the active ingredients (curcuminoids) of turmeric. It is extracted and used in combination with other plant extracts in many natural medicines and supplements.

Curcuminoids are high in antioxidents, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-tumor, anti-arthritic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, anti- thrombotic, anti-amyloid, anti-viral and anti-ischemic. They aid in the prevention of cataract development, septic shock, anti-asthmatic, anti-colitis, anti-fibrosis, are hepatoprotectective, and prevent and inhibit Skin UV damage. It has shown to help maintain healthy stomach, colon, prostate, oral cavity and liver. Curcumin inhibits tumor metastases, pancreatitis, drug or alcohol-induced liver fibrosis, cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease resulting in a reduction in stress, depression, and anxiety.

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