Turmeric is a type of root crop that belongs to the ginger family. It has a deep yellow color, and a strong odor. It is extensively grown in South India where it has played a major role in Indian traditional medicine.
Curcuminoids are the most important substance found in turmeric.
They contain curcumin, a substance that has the ability to protect you from bacteria, different types of viruses, and from the bad effects of air pollution. It has the ability to protect you from inflammation and substances that cause cancer.
- It prevents inflammation by reducing the amount of histamine in the body and by increasing the amount of cortisone produced by the adrenal glands.
- Recent studies showed that turmeric has the ability to treat heart and kidney diseases, some kind of cancer, and diabetes.
- It can prevent the clumping together of blood platelets thus promoting circulation and protecting the body from atherosclerosis.
- It also has the ability to protect the kidneys from various harmful substances that enter the body.
In Indian traditional medicine, turmeric was used to treat common stomachaches, and other more serious stomach and liver diseases.
It was used to treat skin diseases which include scabies, eczema, shingles, chicken pox, and various types of allergies.
Turmeric has also been used extensively in the ancient times to treat all kinds of sores, aches, body pains.
Turmeric has been popularly used as an important spice in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Many Persian appetizer dishes are prepared using turmeric and almost all Iranian stew recipes are prepared using onions sauteed in oil and turmeric and mixed with other ingredients.
Europeans named turmeric as Indian saffron because they have learned to use turmeric as alternative to the more expensive saffron spice.
Turmeric is sold in powder form and contained in small bottles with popular spice brands.
It can be found in the spice section of major supermarkets together with the more popular spices.
The root crops can be found in Asian stores and in some farmers' markets.
Due to its deep yellow color, turmeric was primarily used as dye to give color to food and to Indian textiles.
However it was found later that it is not a very effective kind of dye as it fades very easily.