Turmeric: Food Or Medicine?

TumericTurmeric may not initially ring a bell but you’ve probably eaten it many times.  The west is finally catching up to traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India) in recognizing turmeric as a super spice in treating a range of health problems—joint pain, eczema, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. It can also be used topically to treat acne, hyper-pigmentation, wrinkles and even remove unwanted hair.

Medical researchers at the U.S National Institute of Health are said to be currently conducting studies to investigate the special qualities of this spice – to fight a host of diseases. And research is revealing far more serious restorative qualities of this yellow spice.

History of the Spice

Turmeric was traditionally called Indian saffron since its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prized saffron. It has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. This herb has a very interesting taste and aroma. Its flavor is peppery, warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild yet slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related.