Abstract image of Indian tumeric powder from vegetable market.

Turmeric is called the Golden Spice. It is a root, a rhizome of a plant in the ginger family. Turmeric is used as a spice, a coloring, and an healing herb. Its uses date back at least 4,000 years.

Turmeric needs rainy, wet places to grow. Once harvested, it is boiled, dried in ovens, and then pounded into a powder. Once in powder form, it is used in the process of dying fabrics, and in the kitchen as a main ingredient in most curries, and subzies (vegetables).

The health benefits of the active ingredient curcumin are numerous. Its main function is an anti-inflammatory. It also aids in digestion, and is used as an anti-oxidant, destroying free radicals in the system. More research is being done on the benefits of turmeric.

Since ancient times, turmeric has been honored and revered. Today is has been pushed aside in favor of modern medicine. I’ve been taking turmeric as an anti-inflammatory for two years now, and have not had any adverse side affects, unlike when I was taking an over-the counter medication to control pain and swelling. It amazes me that we call the Ancients “barbarians” when they seemed to know more about natural medicines than the modern world.

I use turmeric in many dishes. It is one of the main spices in my vegan Potato Salad. It goes well in Curried Rice, and in most of the other Indian dishes I’ve been experimenting with.

If you want to add a bit of zing to your food with the added knowledge that it is good for you, get turmeric into your diet.