Turmeric

Turmeric

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Turmeric is an excellent Natural Antioxidant and Anit-Inflammatory and is most often found in Indian & Asian Cooking.   Turmeric adds great Color & Flavor to rices, pilafs, chicken, fish, & shrimp.

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Description

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family.  Turmeric is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiledfor several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

The main producers of turmeric are India and Pakistan, however, India pro­duces nearly the whole world’s crop and uses 80% of it. Tur­meric usage dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India, when turmeric was the principal spice and also of religious signi­ficance.

Indian cooking employs dried and ground turmeric liberally. It is added to nearly every dish, be it meat, lentils, rice, noodles or veg­etables.

Turmeric was and continues to be used as a cheap alternative to the expensive saffron because of similar stain­ing capa­bil­ities, al­though saffron gives a more orange color.  But…let’s not fool ourselves.  Turmeric does not share the fasci­nating aroma of saffron, it is not an accept­able sub­stitute or even alter­native to it!

Turmeric is al­most always sold to con­sumers in ground form. This is reason­able as the dried spice is very dif­fi­cult to grind under house­hold condi­tions (an electric coffee grinder, for example, is very likely to fail with the hard rhizome); on the other hand, the powder loses its fra­grance very quickly: After a few months, only the staining power and an earthy flavor will remain. Thus, it is wise to buy tur­meric in a small size and use it up quickly; pro­viding good storage condi­tions (airtight, dark, dry, cool) is more es­sential than for many other spices.

TurmericRootHEALTH BENEFITS:

Recent research reveals why this herb is such a powerful healer due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Alzheimer’s Disease:  Inflammation inside of the brain has been suspected to be one of the contributing factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. Therefore, regular daily consumption of Turmeric capsules may be an effective way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Arthritis: Due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it is not surprising that Turmeric is now being used as an effective natural remedy for Arthritis pain. Therefore, taking 500mg to 1000mg Turmeric capsules three times per day may provide significant relief from osteoarthritis pain.

Asthma: Since turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce the inflammation associated with asthma. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk, and drink this mixture as an effective asthma home remedy.

Cancer:  Several recent studies have found that Turmeric can induce apoptosis, a process that triggers the self-destruction and elimination of damaged (cancerous) cells. Further research is still required before the full effects of Turmeric on cancer cells can be determined. However, existing studies suggest that daily Turmeric powder or supplements combined with a balanced, nutritious diet may help prevent or even destroy cancer cells.

Colds and Flu: Turmeric’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents can help our body fight against colds, cough and flu. Therefore, when symptoms of these infections are present, simply mix one teaspoon of Turmeric powder into a glass of warm milk once per day. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Diabetes: Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant agents in Turmeric help reduce insulin resistance, which may prevent the onset of Type-2 Diabetes. Therefore, a simple preventive remedy is to take one teaspoon of turmeric powder twice a day with meals. Curcumin extracts or capsules can also be used as an alternative to the powder.
Inflammation: Turmeric’s key ingredient Curcumin is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, Turmeric powder can help in healing cuts, wounds, and other skin infections including boils.

Heat one cup of Flax Seed Oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Thinly slice a small onion and add it to the hot oil. Fry the onions until they are dark brown and crunchy. Remove the brown onions and mix 2 tablespoons of Turmeric powder into the oil. Turn off the stove and let the oil cool down to a temperature that is comfortable to touch. Using a cotton swab, apply a small amount of the oil onto the injured or infected skin area. Apply this three times per day until the wound or infection is cured. Save the remaining oil into an airtight container for future use.

For internal injuries, fractures, sprains, and herniated disks, dip a piece of unbleached cotton fabric into the warm Turmeric oil. The fabric or cotton pad should be large enough to cover the outer skin of the affected area. Secure it in place and leave this cotton pad on overnight.

You can also add one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a warm glass of milk and drink it before going to bed to prevent internal inflammation and infections.

Weight Loss: Curcumin in Turmeric powder has been found to help increase the flow of bile, an important component in the breakdown of dietary fat. Therefore, taking one teaspoon of Turmeric powder with every meal may be an effective weight loss aid when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.

What are the Side Effects of Turmeric?

Moderate use of Turmeric powder as part of regular diet is fairly safe, and recent studies[1] have found that a dosage of 1 to 3 grams/day of Turmeric per day is safe. However, prolonged consumption of high doses of Turmeric extract may cause stomach or liver distress, as well as dehydration and constipation. Therefore, it should be avoided by people with gallstones or bile obstructions. If you are currently taking blood thinners (including Aspirin), you should consult your doctor before taking Turmeric since it is an anti-platelet (prevents blood clots).

 

 

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