Turmeric's Historical And Beneficial Value; Its Usage In Cooking
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Turmeric is a herb that grows in the Indian subcontinent. It was used as an antiseptic, dye, and medicine long before Western cultures discovered it. Today, this exotic root has been adopted in the West as well. 

This popular herb, known for its bright golden color and spicy flavor, is called the “poor man’s gold” as it is affordable and lasts for years when stored properly. Moreover, its antimicrobial properties have made it one of the most popular ingredients for health-conscious cooks who want to add more nutrients in their dishes.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is an aromatic plant with yellow or orange rhizomes (roots) that are commonly used as a spice in many Asian, South Asian, and Indian dishes. It has a warm, slightly bitter flavor and bright color, which is why it’s often used as a dye as well.

In its powdered form, it is a favorite in kitchens across the length and breadth of India for its many health benefits. It’s used as a natural anti-inflammatory and as a preventive treatment for certain diseases. Turmeric contains curcuminoids, which provide the greatest health benefits. The most prominent ingredient in turmeric is Curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and antioxidant effects. It also gives turmeric that distinct yellow color and flavor. In fact, turmeric is one of the richest sources of curcumin in nature. As such, researchers have done many studies to see if curcumin can help treat or even prevent various diseases, including cancer.

The origins of Turmeric 

Turmeric was first mentioned in the Indian Vedic medicine texts that date back to 1500-1000 BCE. In Ayurveda, turmeric is a staple in many healing treatments. It is considered a detoxifier that can cleanse the liver and digestive system of impurities. It is also used to treat joint pain and skin issues like psoriasis and eczema. There are claims that curcumin can be applied directly to the skin to treat these skin conditions.

In Chinese medicinal practices, turmeric is believed to be a source of healing energy. It’s used to treat various conditions including arthritis, inflammation, and bronchitis. It is also applied topically to treat joint pain, gout, and other musculoskeletal pain. It is also used to treat gingivitis and yellow teeth.

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and manganese. It is a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, iron, and dietary fibre. Some of the health benefits of turmeric include:  

  • Detoxification: Turmeric is rich in antioxidants that are said to aid the body’s detoxification process by removing harmful toxins in the liver and digestive system.  
  • Anti-inflammatory: Turmeric is a great natural remedy for inflammation in the joints and other inflammation-related conditions. 
  • Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal: Turmeric is a natural antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial agent that cleanses body infections and keeps the skin free of bacteria and fungus. 
  • Heart health: Turmeric can prevent the formation of plaques in the arteries and is good for heart health. 
  • Brain function: Turmeric can improve cognitive function and helps prevent mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 
  • Cancer prevention: Turmeric also has anti-cancer properties. Researchers believe it can prevent this disease thanks to curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is thought to be one of the main causes of cancer. 

You can use turmeric in your daily cooking, adding a pinch of it to your dishes to gain a great health and immunity boost. One of the best ways to use it is to add it to your curries. You can use grated turmeric or ground turmeric. You can also add it to rice and vegetables for a flavorful khichdi. You can use turmeric to flavor soups and stews or make a tasty turmeric latte with it. 

It’s also great for your skin. You can use ground turmeric and besan (ground gram flour) as a homemade face mask to prevent acne or to remove tan. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your shampoo and mix well, then apply it to your hair for clean, dandruff-free scalp and hair.

Turmeric is probably the most versatile of spices. This herb can be used in many different dishes, such as rice, vegetables, curries, and soups. It is a great addition to add to your diet if you want to improve your health and prevent, and treat,inflammation-related health conditions. If you haven’t already, adding turmeric to your spice rack will be one of the smartest decisions you’ll make in your kitchen.