What is turmeric?

Turmeric, the ‘golden spice’, is the new kale. It’s hip, it’s healthy, it’s sexy and it’s here; coming out of the cupboard and bombarding us with its health credentials. It’s the newest ‘super food’ on the block.

Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, is a spice derived from the roots of a plant called Curcuma longa and is commonly used throughout China and the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the main ingredients in found in curry powders. It has a peppery, slightly bitter, warmish taste and a deep, golden-orange colour and is used to add colour and flavour to food. In Western countries, it is used as a food additive to colour dairy products (cheese and yogurts), margarine, mustards and canned food. India is the top producer of turmeric in the world, producing over 80% of the global turmeric market.

Turmeric is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy

Turmeric is used to treat ailments in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine and its ancient and long-standing role in the practice of these traditional medicines is illustrated by its presence in medicinal preparations described in Sushrutas Ayurvedic Compendium, 250 B.C. Turmeric paste is used to treat inflammation and skin wounds; it is applied to fresh wounds and bruises and used as a counter irritant for insect bites and chicken pox. It has been touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and suggested as a defence against cancer, Alzheimers disease and even depression.