Spice of Life - Turmeric

I am from India, the land of spices.  I was told by a friend that my home is painted in the colors of spices, and a co-worker characterized my nature as "spicy".  So, when I thought about writing for Vegan42, what else should I start with, but spices?

This is the first in my series of articles on spices - Turmeric.

Turmeric

Turmeric

In India, I grew up eating turmeric everyday.  The pungent aroma of turmeric cooking was ever present in my house. I remember my mother making us drink warm milk with turmeric in it when we were ill. Turmeric, as I remember, was a cure all.  It helped with upset stomachs and colds and aches and pains. 

Turmeric is related to ginger, but has a distinct taste as well as color.  It is native to South East Asia. Like Ginger, it can be sliced and added to every day dishes for flavor. However the most common use is to bake it and powder it.  This creates the bright yellow powder found in stores.

Health Benefits

Turmeric is a naturla antiseptic and anti bacterial, and can be used on open wounds!  It is also know to benefit in many cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer and melanoma.  It is a natural liver detoxifier, and also a potent anti-inflamatory.  Studies are being conducted to research the effects of turmeric in pancreatic cancer.

Turneric may help fat metabolism, as well as help treat drepression.  It has been used in chinese medicine to treat arthritis.  It is also know to help with skin conditions such as psoriasis, as well as prevent sun burn.

Uses

Besides being one of the main ingredients in curry, it can be added to many foods for color enhancement, taste - or just plain health benefits.  IN Europe, it has been dubbed the Indian Saffron - it yeilds similar color as Saffron and is inexpensive.

Recipes

For some of our recipes with Tuemeric, go here.  Come back for more recipes every week!


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