Turmeric is a spice made from grinding the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant, also called curcumin. Noted for its bright yellow color, it is related to and similar in size to ginger. Turmeric’s earthy flavor is a combination of ginger, pepper and mustard, and it is known for its versatility as a spice. It is widely used in Asian cuisines, like curries and sate Padang, an Indonesian dish made from small cubes of beef topped with a spicy sauce. Today, turmeric is often used as an inexpensive alternative to saffron.
Turmeric is a powerful coloring agent, used to color and flavor mustard, pickles, relish, chutneys, rice dishes, butter and cheese. It is also used in spice blends such as curry powder and rendangs in the Caribbean, India, North Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia.
The use of Turmeric dates as far back as 600 BC. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is linked to improved brain function.
Note to users: Turmeric can stain clothing, countertops and dishware.
Benefits of Turmeric
Some research suggests Turmeric may have the following benefits:
- Brain Health
- Digestive Health
- Healthy Skin & Hair
- Heart Health
- Liver Health
- Mood Regulation