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Turmeric - a magical spice

Curry Traders

Posted on September 27 2013

Everyday I am covered in this bright yellow aromatic powder. 

My hands are stained, my clothes are stained, the floor mats in my car are stained, know doubt my lungs are stained, and my factory is stained too. I don’t mind though because turmeric is magic.

I always thought this golden powder was rather special, anything so bright and aromatic must be, right?  So I did a little research and now I’m totally convinced.

Turmeric is native to South Asia and was traditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its glorious colour.  It has been used for thousands of years to add flavour and colour to meals, as a healing remedy to help cure cancer and so many other terrible diseases, to dye clothes, and has been used as a beauty product over the centuries. I’m liking it more and more!!!! Its active ingredient is circumin, which is an antioxidant. Nice. It’s from the ginger family.  And just like ginger, we eat the root part, the rhizome.  

Turmeric is incredibly good for us and is the common ingredient in all our curry kits. 

I tell our customers curry keeps us healthy.  It comes with the spiel I give but, but how’s this … One of the mums at school rang me one day to ask if I could bring her in a curry kit to school drop off.  Her daughter was sick and the family doctor advised her to eat curry.  This lovely mummy told me recently that her family survived winter without even a sniffly nose because she makes a curry three times a week. She also told me Curry Traders brings together her family as they all help make it. I love it when I’m told these stories. I’ll just add here that curry is listed in the top 10 best foods for brain health, yep, it’s up there with salmon, green leafy vegetables and blueberries. Go figure!  This is good news for business. 

So here goes the somewhat endless list of the health benefits I discovered.  But firstly, here’s how you can use turmeric.

How to Use & What To Do With It

  • For fresh turmeric root, grind it like ginger, or boil it then dehydrate it and grind it up.
  • My gorgeous healthy sister puts the root through her juicer every morning along with kale, carrot and all (she looks fabulous BTW).
  • If you have a headache or blocked nose, burn turmeric and inhale the fumes.
  • Make a paste by grinding up the root and mix it with lime juice and apply to wounds, cuts, burns, rashes.
  • To remove unwanted hair, mix turmeric with flour and coconut oil.  I haven’t tried this potion. I might though because summer is on its way.
  • For a facial treat, mix turmeric powder with milk cream, wash off after 15 minutes.  I’m told Pakistani brides do this so they will glow.  I’m sure they do. 
  • You can even make toothpaste and soap out of the stuff.
  • Turmeric mixed with olive or jojoba or coconut oil and massaged into your scalp for 15 minutes can deter dandruff.  Shampoo the goo out afterwards.
  • Mix it with sesame oil and rub on sore gums.
  • Naturally dye Easter eggs.  Beetroot juice, onion skin, blueberries also work a treat.
  • To make tea, boil four cups of water to one teaspoon of turmeric powder (or a walnut size root), simmer for 10 minutes, add a little ginger root, strain.  Use a cinnamon quill as a teaspoon to mix in some honey, Honey.  I totally made that up, but gee that’s a good idea.
  • Mix it with egg salad to give it a bolder colour.
  • Mix it in with rice, lentils, cous cous, quinoa, pasta too.
  • Mix it in with mashed potato.
  • Sprinkle it all over baked veggies with sweet paprika.  A flat mate, years ago, told me to do this and it really makes your baked vegetables look great.
  • Shake it in with salad dressings.
  • If you like to bake, try the turmeric cake recipe I discovered and listed and linked below.  It’s the last link in References.
  • Add turmeric to soups, casseroles and the like.
  • Toss it in with stirfries.  Now we’re talking.
  • Put the powder in a shaker alongside your salt & pepper. Another fab idea.
  • Add a little extra turmeric to our curries, need it be said.
  • Grow it, dehydrate it, grind it up.

And if all that seems like too much effort … take it in capsule form, will you please. And pretty please read the list below and don't believe everything you read here, this is just what I discovered.  Do your own research if you are suffering from any of the following, and keep healthy.

Health Benefit of Turmeric

  • Turmeric repairs and regenerates diabetic liver function.
  • Protects the liver and provides a defence against cancer.
  • It relieves the symptoms of functional dyspepsia.
  • Gives relief from arthritic pain (this is why my sister juices it everyday).
  • Helps with asthma.
  • Cures acne.
  • Detoxifies and purifies the blood.
  • Reduces bloating and farting.
  • Helps in weight loss because it stimulates the bile production in the liver, which helps to digest fats.  I’m liking turmeric more and more everyday.
  • It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
  • Helps in genetic defects that causes cystic fibrosis.
  • Helps prevent heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.
  • Helps with the side effect of chemotherapy.
  • In China it is used to treat depression.
  • It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  • Is an antioxidant that balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas (mind-body types).
  • Helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Supports the health of the lungs, circulation and nervous system.
  • Turmeric is soothing to the stomach and is thought to prevent stomach cancer.
  • When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  • It is a natural liver detoxifier, and if you’re like me, this is good good news.
  • It reduces the risk of childhood leukaemia.
  • Prevents and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloid plaque build up in the brain.
  • Prevents occurrence of metastases in  different forms of cancer.
  • It gives relief from menstrual pain.
  • Soothes toothache.
  • Helps with colic.
  • Treats inflammatory bowel disease.
  • It helps with rheumatoid arthritis by reducing morning stiffness, lengthened walking time, and reduced joint swelling.

There you go … turmeric is magic.

References:

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric

http://healthbenefitsoff.com/health-benefits-of-turmeric-powder.html/

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/why+you+should+eat+turmeric,8123

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78 - healthbenefits

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/7-benefits-turmeric-flawless-skin-023333211.html

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-foods-for-brain-health.php

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/22-surprising-uses-for-turmeric

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/semolina-turmeric-cake-sfoof/