-A spice in Cookery
and a cleanser of the body
Turmeric is botanically known as Curcuma
longa, derived from the old Arabic name for the kurkum plant. This
spice is a member of the ginger family and unrelated to saffron.
Like ginger, it is the root of the turmeric plant that is used as
a spice, usually in a dried form.
The root is generally peeled to expose its bright yellow flesh,
then boiled, dried, and ground into a powder. Turmeric gives ball-park
yellow mustard its bright color, is a prime ingredient in Worcestershire
sauce, and is also used to color other foods such as butter, cheese,
and fruit drinks. It is a favorite in Middle East and Asian foods
and spice blends such as curry.
It is an amazing healing plant that has not only been valued
for its therapeutic properties in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine
for thousands of years but also has a significant role to play in
the prevention and treatment of a wide range of modern day problems.
It is an excellent natural antibiotic, and one of the best detoxifying
herbs by virtue of its beneficial effect on the liver, a powerful
antioxidant with health-promoting effects on the cardiovascular,
skeletal and digestive systems.
Turmeric has powerful antioxidant properties, is reported to protect
against the development of cancer, and has a long history of use
in the treatment of various cancers; enhancing the production of
cancer-fighting cells,6,7 protecting against environmental toxins,
with an immune-enhancing effect and powerful antibacterial properties.
Turmeric has long been popular as a remedy for treating respiratory
infections such as colds, sore throats, coughs and fevers, skin
problems such as acne and psoriasis, and kidney and bladder problems.
It can successfully inhibit infection whether bacterial, viral or
Dietary Inclusion and Applications
The usual daily dose of turmeric is ¼-½ (one
quarter to one half) a teaspoon of the powder two to three times
daily between meals.
Turmeric Tea :
To make the tea, place ½ (one half) a teaspoon of powder
in a small pot, pour over a cup of boiling water, leave to infuse
for five minutes, then strain. You can add ginger or cardamom to
add more flavour.
Powdered turmeric mixed with water or Aloe vera gel can be made
into a paste and applied to insect bites, spots and pimples, inflamed
and infected skin problems including scabies and fungal infestation,
and infected wounds.
Mixed with honey or Aloe vera gel, it
has been used traditionally to treat sprains, strains and bruises.
A little powder stirred into warm water makes an excellent mouthwash
to treat inflamed gums and relieve toothache.
Turmeric cooking tips and usage
• Turmeric is also known as Indian saffron.
• Turmeric is an important ingredient in curry mixes, chutney,
and mustard pickles. It also goes well with chicken, duck, turkey,
vegetables, rice, and salad dressing.
• Turmeric is extremely pungent, and actually gets stronger
when cooked. A little goes a long way, so use it sparingly when
• Avoid touching your clothing when working with turmeric.
It is a powerful yellow dye.
• Although a pinch of turmeric may be used as a substitute
for saffron to achieve that golden yellow color, the flavor does
not compare in the least.
• Substitute 1 teaspoon dry mustard for 1 teaspoon of turmeric.
• The color of turmeric can vary widely from deep yellow-orange
to bright yellow. This is simply due to different varieties.