TURMERIC – A Magical herb, spice, and natural medicine!
Turmeric is a ubiquotous spice in Indian curries and vegetables. These deep yellow-orangish rhizomes (root stems) of Curcuma Longa plant have long been used for their outstanding medicinal properties in Asia. Its phytochemical compounds provide it a distinct yellow colour and warm/bitter flavour of its own and are also responsible for its healing power.
With nearly zero calories and high concentration of Manganese, Iron, Vitamin B6, Copper, Potassium, and Dietary Fiber, it adds not only flavour and colour but also rich nutrients to diet. Apart from this, it has phytochemical compounds such as Curcumin, Volatile oil, and Curcuminoids, possessing highly effective pharmacological properties.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Health benefits are listed in this excellent info graphic by MyHealthy Living Coach.
Modes of Consumption – Limits and Health Concerns
Turmeric should be consumed in moderation for its active compounds. Best results of consuming this amazing herb are observed when taken in small quantities (few grams) over prolonged time period.
Excessive consumption or intake of high concentration of its active compounds could lead to complexities:
- Diabetic patients as it can lead to too low blood sugar level
- Lead to diarrhoea, stomach upset, or gastro-intestinal reflux
- Slow down clotting of blood
- Can enhance gall bladder malfunction for patients
- Turmeric can be preserved in powder form post drying and processing. This is the most common mode of consumption in Indian households, where a little tea spoon is added to the curry/vegetables/preparations.
- It should be added to the preparations in the end as prolonged cooking may result in evaporation of its essential oils.
- It can be consumed with hot water as tea or added to hot milk. In fact, turmeric flavored milk has long been used in India to relieve body aches.
- Fresh roots can be used to prepare smoothies flavoured with fruits and super foods as Chia seeds. Addition of strong flavoured fruits will help mask slightly bitter taste of it.
- Here are some recipe suggestions with Turmeric from The Kitchn.