Turmeric powder might well be the healthiest spice on Earth. Made by grinding the dried root of the Curcuma longa plant, this ancient superfood and key ingredient in curry powder has been used by Indian Ayurvedic healers for centuries. In recent years, also the scientific community has begun to show interest in the potential health benefits of the turmeric root. Curcuma longa, and its main active component curcumin, have been evaluated as potential natural remedies for many serious conditions like cancer, allergies, Alzheimer's disease, etc. The potential health effects of turmeric are believed to be particularly strong when you eat turmeric in combination with black pepper as piperine in black pepper boosts the effectiveness of curcumin in turmeric.
Curcumin, has anti-inflammatory and disinfecting properties. This explains its healing powers when applied to cuts and abrasions. Taken orally as an anti-inflammatory, turmeric does not have the side-effects commonly associated with some modern pharmaceutical medicines. These include intestinal bleeding, ulcers, and the decrease of white blood cells. This makes turmeric a safe alternative to some non-prescription drugs. As a natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric aids in giving relief to sufferers of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. Turmeric's detoxification qualities promote healthy digestion and may aid in weight management.
Although most often used for culinary purposes such as curries for Asian dishes, and for human consumption as a dietary supplement, turmeric has other uses as well. Indians have used turmeric for its rich, orange color to make dye for clothing and textiles. It is also used as a coloring for mustard, butter and cheese. Gardeners and homeowners have found that the herb tends to deter ants.
Turmeric can be consumed in its original powdered form through culinary additions to other foods.
Turmeric is often mis-spelt as Tumeric.