Turmeric – The Golden Spice!

One of the oldest spices of India accepted and prominently used for generations..

The favorite ingredient of all Grandmoms and traditional holistic practices when in need of medicine..

Also called the Indian Saffron..

We are talking about none other than the magical spice Turmeric!

They call me Turmeric.

Here I am at the edge of the kitchen shelf.

Twirling my hair and glancing at Pepper – Oh! that flirt

“Take me a pinch more” I say to the fingers in my bowl

“Be generous while stirring me in

Let my yellow paint your veins the ochre of vigour

Send me in with my other half

A pinch of crushed black pepper

Dark and handsome

He leads me by the hand

and helps me up the stairs

All spice and fun

I laugh with him

And he.. Oh!

He helps me fulfill my purpose

See us waltz health in your curry

Two unsung warriors waiting to be credited in your history books

All the while singing the love song of health”

Turmeric is an undetachable part of Indian cooking, it plays an important role for people to
accept Indian foods. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, all the major curries and dishes of
traditional Indian cooking involve using Haldi (turmeric).

Without Haldi, the foods are presumed to be bland and unappetizing. This immortal relation of turmeric and Indian cuisines is ancient. And seems to strengthen its roots with each passing day.

In Northern states, like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Bihar, etc. using turmeric is mandatory in
almost all food preparations. Be it Bhindi fry or Toor ki dal.

Even in the western states like Bengal, traditional dishes like aloo posto, baingan bhaja involve
using turmeric as an important ingredient. Turmeric is believed to enhance the appearance and
provide a mysterious aroma and flavor of its own.

Turmeric is used not just in cooking, but also as a cosmetic. Indian wedding rituals involve
applying turmeric on the bride and groom before the wedding day. It is believed to cleanse the
skin and bring a natural glow.

Apart from this, turmeric mixed with water is sprinkled on wedding invitations for good fortune and happiness. This shows the pure and strong emotions, people have with the ingredients of India. The innocent happiness we find in small rituals is indeed adorable.

The key component of turmeric is ‘Curcumin’. Curcumin is a type of polyphenol (anti-oxidant). It
has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties. Medicinal preparation using curcumin is popular
in the management of various diseases due to its non-toxic and harmless properties. This golden spice has various top-notch benefits as well.

Turmeric is being used as ayurvedic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, conjunctivitis, skin
cancer, smallpox, chickenpox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments.

This supreme spice has shown benefits in the treatment of severe health conditions like heart
disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases, and gastric and peptic ulcers. Turmeric betters blood circulation, heals muscle soreness, and lowers cholesterol levels. The anti-biotic, anti-oxidant power of curcumin makes it protective even against chronic diseases like cancer!

Concerning cosmetic usage, Haldi being anti-bacterial prevents acne and heals unwanted
inflammation. Due to its anti-microbial functions, turmeric decreases dark spots and
pigmentation.

With time the consumption of analgesics (painkillers) has increased, whereas people have
started to forget about the natural pain-killer without any side effects. This lies on their kitchen
shelf all the time! Turmeric! Pain-relief and wound-healing are some of the well-known effects of
HALDI!

Turmeric latte is one of the trendy beverages we see in several well-known cafes. Unknowingly
we have all had it once! It is nothing but our age-old Haldi doodh (turmeric milk)

Turmeric milk is one beverage always at the apex of choices. Be it a pregnant woman, the
elderly, or a child. It is advised for all and chosen for its functional benefits. Combining several
spices in turmeric milk like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and a little sweetener (preferably honey)
is helpful in common cold, and throat pain (inflammation).

While learning about turmeric, and research revolving around the same. We can see one
surprising finding that shows curcumin combination with piperine (a component of pepper). This
finding states that consuming pepper with turmeric can increase the absorption of curcumin by
2000% .

The bioavailability (biological absorption) of curcumin extravagantly increases with the addition
of pepper. As pepper can act as an irritant to many people, the quantity needs to be consciously
managed. Some tactics are always good to know!

1- Sprinkling crushed pepper slightly over a meal prepared with turmeric.

2- Addition of turmeric and pepper together in curries where spices are to be put.

3- Pepper and turmeric can be used to prepare a good vegetable soup.

4- Topping your vegetable salad with some turmeric and pepper.

India is the largest producer of turmeric as well as the largest consumer of the same. It is easier
for us to use turmeric at its best possible use and for our benefit.

‘The most reachable item is often underestimated and neglected, while the ones portrayed fancy, look appealing.’

Let us try and prove this wrong. For instance, the next time you hurt yourself, try using some
organic turmeric and have a nostalgic ride.

Turmeric and its properties in relation to health are indeed immense. No wonder the name
‘Healing spice’ suits turmeric the best. Not just turmeric but several food ingredients of India
have benefits yet to be discovered. Experiment using as many traditional recipes with a twist of
your favorite flavors. These recipes and ingredients will help us know how our grandmas and
grandpas lived healthy and happy!

Write into us to nutritionwithvibha.com with your traditional recipes with turmeric – either
traditional or traditional twisted to the modern.