Belonging to the ginger family, Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. With a mild fragrance and a peppery, warm and bitter flavor, the spice has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye. Turmeric has a tough brown skin with the bright yellow flesh and it is coveted for its powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that Tumeric health benefits can help fight diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Turmeric also allows for an improved ability to digest fats, reduced gas and bloating, decreased congestion, and improved skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. It’s an excellent source of iron, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium.
Turmeric health benefits have been well-known in East India and the Middle East for thousands of years, and is now one of the most well thought of spices in the world. Today, the most prominent producers of turmeric are India, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Jamaica, and Haiti. Popular uses of the spice include adding it to roasted vegetables, curries, smoothies, salads, rice and grain dishes, and even egg salad.
Curcumin, the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, is the primary pharmacological agent in the spice. Numerous studies show that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects like ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, and intestinal bleeding, curcumin produces no toxicity.
More reported health benefits of turmeric include relief from joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reduced joint swelling, and greater range of motion when used regularly. It’s been established that you can use tumeric in place of your chosen pain reliever for a natural solution. Next time you have a headache, try a tablespoon of tumeric in warm water with black pepper. It works every time!
Where do you purchase your turmeric locally in New Jersey? What turmeric health benefits have you experienced?