What is Turmeric?
Ask anyone about turmeric, they may look at you quizzically and say, ‘Is that the yellow stuff’? Generally, it ‘s associated with Indian or oriental food and mainly curries at that. We don’t think to include it automatically in Irish dishes and why should we I hear you ask? What is little known, is that turmeric is the treasured gem of all spices and has exceptional medicinal benefits. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a spice native to southern Asia – in particular India and you may be surprised to learn that it is actually a member of the ginger family. With its mild aroma it is commonly known as Indian saffron. The Persian word for saffron is actually turmeric and it refers to its deep yellow/orange fluorescent colour. This colour, often called curcuma, is the major ingredient of curry powder and is also used as a colouring agent in mustard. In Asia and the Middle East turmeric is mainly used as a spice whereas in the western world it is mainly used as a colouring agent. Both traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have used turmeric as a natural medicinal treatment for many health complaints for thousands of years.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
- Protects your heart
- Lowers blood sugars and can reverse insulin resistance
- Great for liver problems including hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice
- Relieves pain in arthritic joints and helps reduce joint swelling
- Improves cognitive function
- Increases bile secretion, enhancing the digestion of fats
- Relieves digestive problems such as wind and bloating
- Improves skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne
- Protects against environmental carcinogens
- Moderates auto-immune diseases
- Shields our mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of all of our cells
- Has anti-spasmodic properties and has a neuro-protective effect on epilepsy