Aside from being one of the most colorful spices in the rack, turmeric with its golden hue and pungent scent, is also one of the healthiest.
The turmeric root comes the Curcuma longa plant, a small perennial herb native to India and Southeast Asia. Rhizomes on its root system are the source of the spice itself and, although it is best known as the curry spice, turmeric has long been used as a healing agent, with its first known use dating back nearly 4,000 years to the Vedic culture in India.
Its properties as an antioxidant are so powerful that it may have the potential to help with cancer prevention or even cancer treatment. Cancer.org reports that,
A number of studies of curcumin have shown promising results. Curcumin can kill cancer cells in laboratory dishes and also slows the growth of the surviving cells. Curcumin has been found to reduce development of several forms of cancer in lab animals and to shrink animal tumors.”
Turmeric’s other notable health rewards are numerous, from arthritis to liver disorders this golden yellow dust is made to heal. Another study from Advanced Experimental Medical Biology concluded that the Curcumin has
…been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic illnesses.”
With all its known benefits, how can we best use turmeric to our advantage? According to a post in Free People, the first step is learning to how to make a turmeric paste out of the spice itself. From that you can use the prepared paste in such recipes as golden milk, turmeric tea, and smoothies. But, rest assured, Dr. Oz also has a recipe for how to use turmeric in the typical curry that we are all familiar with. If you have a tumeric recipe to share or just an interesting way to use this golden gem, we would love to hear from you.
PHOTO: Erik Jackson Creative Commons
Turmeric via Cancer.org
Special Turmeric Extract Benefits Osteoarthritis Patients via American Botanical Council
Curcumin: the Indian solid gold via Advanced Experimental Medical Biology
The Benefits Of Turmeric + How To Use It via Free People
3 Reasons to Eat Tumeric via DrWeil.com
Read all articles by Juniper Briggs