What’s So Good About… Turmeric?

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

About
Have you seen that funny looking root at the green grocer, that looks like ginger but isn’t? Well, my friends, that’s turmeric and it’s a super plant! Turmeric is actually in the ginger family. Most people know it in its dried version, a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries. Turmeric has an earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

History
In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian saffron, since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice. Erode, a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the world’s largest producer and most important trading center of turmeric in Asia, and is known as the ‘Yellow City’.

How does it help?
The main organs that turmeric treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs.  Turmeric reduces fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, cough and lactation problems.
It also works to:
> Detoxify the liver
> Balance cholesterol levels
> Fight allergies
> Stimulate digestion
> Boost immunity

Turmeric is also an antioxidant and research is being undertaken for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis and other clinical disorders.

Other uses
In combination with annatto, turmeric has been used to colour cheeses, yoghurt, dry mixes, canned goods, salad dressings, butter and margarine. Turmeric is considered highly auspicious in India and is used in wedding and religious ceremonies.

Recipes
Use the search tool to find Vegematarian recipes containing turmeric.
Recipes from other sites:
Indian Style Rice with Cashews and Turmeric
Cumin and Turmeric Steamed Cauliflower
Moroccan Stuffed Artichokes

Cajun Mushrooms
Turmeric Tea
Turmeric Pickle

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