Welcome to Day 5 of the Herbs and Spices Summer Series!
Looking to spice up your dishes and improve your health?! Look no further than turmeric, an amazing spice that livens up almost any dish and is bursting with antioxidants to rev up the immune system.
Turmeric, a plant of the ginger family, grows abundantly in Asia.The active component of turmeric is curcumin which helps eliminate free radicals in the body. Curcumin stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of B cells which are usually reduced in people coping with chronic illness. Indeed turmeric is an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory abilities. Turmeric has been show to protect and improve the health of almost every organ in the body.
The root of the plant is ground up into powder. Turmeric is found in curry dishes and is often used to color food, such as cheese and salad dressing. It is a very important spice in Ayurvedic medicine and commonly used in Chinese Medicine to treat liver problems, menstrual irregularities and to stop bleeding. The curcumin in turmeric helps treat and prevent gallstones by speeding up the body’s detoxification processes and removing excess iron from the body. A teaspoon of powdered turmeric root taken morning and night helps to regulate and balance hormones which in turn can regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce PMS symptoms. This treatment also works to treat diabetes by lowering the blood sugar in the body.
In India, turmeric is found in almost every kitchen. It is interesting to note that there is significantly less chronic disease in India than in the United States. As noted in the book, “Healing Spices” written by Bharat Aggarwal, “To date, thousands of animal and human studies from around the world have found that curcumin can combat more than 70 maladies, including some of the biggest health threats, such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, international research shows that turmeric, taken as supplemental curcumin, is as effective and, in some cases, even more effective than pharmaceutical drugs-without their side effects.” As the author states in his book curcumin has been found to reduce inflammation in the body more effectively than aspirin and ibuprofen.
What I particularly like about turmeric is that its healing properties work both internally and externally. When applied externally it can treat everything from acne to bruises, psoriasis, rashes and wounds.
Here are two chicken recipes that include turmeric (found in curry powder):
Feel free to make these recipes vegan by subbing in tempeh and/or cauliflower and potato in place of chicken.
I love adding turmeric to my recipes and jump at the chance to add this incredible spice to a dish whenever I can. Turmeric works wonderfully in recipes comprised of cauliflower, curries, lentils, onions, quinoa, rice, soups, tempeh and tomato sauces.
A common beauty treatment in India to prevent wrinkles and eliminate blemishes on the skin is a formula made up of:
1/2 cup chickpea flour
2 Tbsp. turmeric powder
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Mix ingredients together and place in a container with a tight lid. Store in a dry place. Place mixture on clean face for 10 minutes. Wash and remove with a wet washcloth. Enjoy a radiant glow!
If you are interested in taking turmeric internally to improve your overall well being, increase your antioxidant levels and optimize your immune system, I recommend taking this turmeric daily. Please note that long term use of turmeric is not advised for everyone as it can become a stomach irritant. If you are nursing or pregnant, please discuss with your doctor prior to consuming turmeric internally.
So the next time you are making dinner and looking to bring your recipe to the next level, try seeing if turmeric will give the dish the kick you are looking for!
This is linked to Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Whole Food Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.