Turmeric is a spice that has been around for centuries. It is commonly used in Eastern cooking, especially on the Indian sub-continent. The plant is actually originated from the ginger family. You would be able to tell by just looking at it.
The origins of turmeric are from Southern Asia. The plant is a tropical native to southern India and Indonesia. It has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, and it has long been known to be effective in treating and preventing certain ailments. But for a long time, this plant was completely unknown to Western medicine.
By boiling and then drying the plant, it is made the more common powder spice form, which is then ground into a mustard yellow powder. To help color mustards, this has actually been used.
The power of Turmeric
Turmeric has antiseptic agents and anti-inflammatory making it great for skin care. It is used in the beautification process of brides in Pakistan and India: a paste prepared from turmeric is made and applied on the entire bride’s body and then washed off. The believed behind this is to help soften the skin and help even out skin tone. Recently, Japan has conducted research that suggests that turmeric helps soothe inflamed joints as well. It has been used since ancient times in treating cuts and burns since it is a natural anti-bacterial.
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A way to avoid turning your hands yellow is to use food capsules. There are a variety of packaged products, such as Numi’s Three Roots Turmeric Tea (blended with ginger and licorice) and Turmeric Tamari Almonds from Navitas Naturals.
Another option is to keep in your fridge a few bottles of Tumeric Alive (sic), this is a line of drinks made with organic turmeric root from Hawaii. Daniel Silverman, the company’s San Francisco-based founder, says that many people drink these elixirs as a sports recovery drink because it reenergizes fatigued and inflamed muscles. If you are just looking to add a little more curcumin to your diet, he recommended three times a week to start drinking a single-serving bottle.
*Disclaimer: Please note that curcumin supplements are not FDA regulated, so there is no oversight in terms of quality control. Read more about potential risks on The American Cancer Society website.