Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is a bright yellow spice that is commonly used in East Indian and Asian cooking. It is used in a variety of dishes for its bright yellow colour and distinct flavour. These cultures have also been using turmeric as an ingredient for many home remedies for many, many years.
With my East Indian heritage I grew up eating a lot of turmeric, an integral spice in Indian recipes. Unfortunately, I never appreciated or understood the great benefits of this amazing spice until just recently.
I recall, as a child, my brother got a rather nasty cut on his ear and my mom packed the cut with turmeric powder. At the time I thought she was crazy (I never told her that) but now I realize she did that because turmeric works as an antibacterial agent and helps wounds heal quicker.
One of my fond memories of my dad growing up was his insistence for us to drink turmeric and honey milk when we were sick, and how I always refused it. Now I’ve realized how beneficial it was due to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
Curcumin is a chemical component found in turmeric that is responsible for the bright yellow pigment. This chemical compound is responsible for all the health benefits of this powerful spice.
This spice is cholesterol free and is high in dietary fiber; and is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It contains moderate amounts of:
- B vitamins (niacin, riboflavin & B6)
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
With such an assortment of vitamins and minerals its no wonder that turmeric is such super spice. Adding turmeric to our foods and drinks can provide us with an amazing number of benefits. Studies have shown that turmeric can be used as a natural:
- blood purifier
- digestive aide
- wound healer
- flu and cough fighter
- skin tonic
- fat metabolizer
- cholesterol reducer
- gas reducer
- cancer preventer
This miracle spice can be added into your foods or drinks, and can also be found as a supplement in capsule form. The strong yellow colour of this spice can stain your fingers, clothes, counters and dishes – use caution when handling turmeric.
NOTE: Studies show that mixing turmeric with a little black pepper and/or ginger helps with the absorption of curcumin (turmeric).
A quick drink that I make when I start feeling the symptoms of a cold is mixing some honey, turmeric, cinnamon and lemon in hot water.
Enjoying a cup of this amazing tea daily would be extremely beneficial to your health. However it may be a little time consuming for those rushed mornings. A quick time saving way to enjoy this tea is to:
Take one lemon and cut it into thin quarter slices, add in some honey, turmeric, a little ginger, a little black pepper (according to taste) and some cinnamon powder for an extra anti-inflammatory push. Add all the ingredients into a bottle and stir it together till well mixed. Keep the sealed bottle in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, use a tablespoonful and mix it with hot water whenever you desire.
I have been giving the hubby, kids and anyone else who happens to be visiting, a paste mixture of honey and turmeric whenever they start getting a sore throat or cold. My kids know that when they get sick they will be getting some of this paste – I admit it doesn’t excite them but they understand the benefits.
Turmeric has a very strong flavour and does take some getting use to. Start off with a little amount (especially with kids) and work your way up to taking more – the more the better!
Stay healthy – eat more turmeric! 🙂