Why Turmeric The Wonder Spice is is so Good for Your Health!

My food and spice journey started soon after World War 2. The dining table was the one place we gathered to say grace and share good and not-so-good stories of the day while we showed off cuts and bruises, and passed around the aromatic concoctions that came from our rich mix British, Mogul and Indian culture, 

Post-World War II was a turbulent time- Gaining Independence from the Brits, departure of Mogul Emperors, the partition of Pakistan, the exit of Lord Mountbatten, and the final painful but very public separation of my parents after 10 children.  They couldn't have been happy-we learned later it was an arranged marriage, there was a huge age difference, my mother was just beginning to show interest in boys and compatibility was never the deciding factor!  

Then came the indigenous changes-Our Cambridge, England Co-Ed Boys and Girls school split up. The Italian Catholic nuns took over Girl's education while the Boys were turned over to the Jesuits.

We also had new Royal Princess classmates-daughters of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 4th Nizam and Ruler of Hyderabad, a man of diminutive stature, but tremendous power as the world's richest man in the 50's.  The princesses until then were home-schooled and cloistered -not allowed to mingle with boys. We never knew how many daughters he fathered but it was rumored the Nizam (say Niz-arm) had more than 300 wives and concubines, who lived in a separate palace and cohabited like sisters, but we never saw in public. 

 

Once a year we were required to get out of class and gather on the sidewalks to witness the yearly Royal Prince Parade.  Hundreds of Princes, son's of the Nizam, were paraded around the city waving to the crowds from gleaming open-topped Black Rolls Royce's, all wearing identical matching military style light-gray uniforms as the procession rolled by. 

But that's another Nizam story for another day.  So back to the Moguls, the Brits, the Hindus, shared Food Memories and the discovery that even Royalty from other lands used similar spices and enjoyed the rich aromas that continue to linger in our memory to this day.

 

I created TheSpiceQueen.com...to share, document, demonstrate the secrets and fragrant memories with my growing fusion family around the globe! 

 

We will take you on our own Spice Journey of many lands and cultures through the lens and kitchens of people who are different but have the same love for Food! 

Here's what I know about Turmeric or Haldi (say hull-thee) in Hindi:

Its an herb from the ginger family and used in many preparations and many cultures. It was always in reach, kept a handy arm's length away, to be stirred into many of our rice's and curries, but also as a quick remedy for colds, coughs,  knife cuts or wounds to stem the flow of blood and seal the wound quickly;  but we also spread it on our faces to dry out pimples and smooth out rough skin!  

Turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant, reduces inflammation and widely used both in India and many Asian countries as a suppressant for colds, coughs, congestion, toothache, sore throat, wound healing, asthma, digestion and when mixed with yogurt, to even purify, lighten and beautify the skin of virgin women, the day before their wedding!   It's been used for centuries in both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Indian medicine and the essential benefits of turmeric come from curcumin, the active constituent, which appears to provide protection from free radical damage while promoting healthy inflammatory responses in the body, protecting the liver, improving circulation, healthy blood vessels, prevent or stave off Alzheimer's and today, even a possible cure for cancer! 

 

The leaves of the Turmeric plant have a delicate, fragrant aroma and is used by many South Indians as a steam wrap in which to steam fragrant rice, bananas and coconut delicacies! The bulb itself is a light yellow but the powder has a darker, brilliant orange-yellow hue and a sharp, earthy flavor. 

Turmeric powder can be added to vegetables, meat, seafood, sprinkled on salads, and even fruit-based desserts, Lassies, Smoothies or Milk Shakes. A pinch goes a long way, and will tint anything you add it to. I strongly suggest that instead of setting it on your back shelf, Turmeric should be sitting up-front and center, right next to your pepper and salt shakers on your spice-rack or next to your stove top. Use it daily to provide a lifetime of health to your family.

Why you need Turmeric-The Superfood with High Curcumin

 

Turmeric is an excellent source of both iron and manganese. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium  Turmeric is the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine.

Turmeric was traditionally called "Indian saffron" because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy

Turmeric is native to Indonesia and southern India, where it has been harvested for more than 5,000 years. It has served an important role in many traditional cultures throughout the East, including being a revered member of the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia.

Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn't have to only be used in curries.


HOW TO USE

The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream.

It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%

 

Here’s how everyday Turmeric can be used:

 

  • Stir fry veggies such as broccoli, onion, carrots and sweet peppers, and add a pinch of turmeric along with some ginger, garlic and tamari

  • Stir a dash into yogurt or smoothies

  • Make a banana or coconut shake with a pinch of turmeric

  • Make a bright orange smoothie with succulent Persimmons, Oranges, Peaches, Apples, Mango and a sliver of Lemon Juice-your kids will love it!

  • Mix together a salad dressing with a pinch of Turmeric or add it to your favorite bottled dressing

  • Add 1/4 teaspoon to a pot of grain or Rice while cooking. White, Brown rice or Basmati rice, quinoa or millet

  • Stir 1/2 to 1 teaspoon into a pot of soup

  • Add a dash to your favorite guacamole

  • Add a healthy pinch to a container of hummus

  • Mix a little into bean spreads for sandwiches

  • Add diced mango to your favorite salad and toss in a pinch of Turmeric powder

  • Add a pinch to mashed or cooked potatoes for a wonderful dash of color!

  • Heat a teaspoon of honey on a slow burner to which you add a pinch of turmeric, pepper and salt.  Sip slowly-This is a wonderful for your sore throat, clears up phlegm and does wonders for your cough!

  • For cuts and wounds: Take a pinch of turmeric powder and press firmly on cuts, wounds and abrasions.  Besides its antiseptic value, it will coagulate the blood flow and stop the bleeding!

 

Want to learn more about Turmeric? Order a Turmeric sample or Spice Gift Box and get one of my signature Fusion Turmeric recipes for FREE: Click Here

 
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