Turmeric is an amazing spice that has been elevating the lives and cooking of people all over the world.
Used around the world for thousands of years, this vibrant spice is known for its bright orange colour, delicious uses in curry, and its various health benefits. A superfood in its own right, the ‘Golden Spice’ is finally getting the recognition it deserves in Australia.
It has a musky, earthy smell, and tastes peppery and slightly bitter, increasing the vibrancy of colour and depth of flavour in every dish it joins.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent useful in treating and preventing a range of ailments including arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even old age (just with looks of course)!
Turmeric is an ancient, ancient plant. Dating back to the Vedic culture in ancient India around 4000 years ago, Sanskrit texts recorded the usage of this incredible spice for its medicinal properties.
Before recently gaining its superfood status in the West, turmeric was (and still is) one of the major spices involved in ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurveda, derived from Sanskrit words, ‘ayur’ (life) and ‘veda (science or knowledge), is one of the world’s oldest accepted traditional medicine systems. As an alternative medicine system, it was looked upon with scepticism by the West, but with more studies proving the benefits being released, minds are starting to change.
Focusing more so on healthy living than on fighting diseases, this traditional medicine system involves many techniques including:
Practitioners of this system believe that it is effective at lengthening life, improving all-round vitality, and providing a better quality of living by balancing a clear mind and clean body.
Journey to the West
Originating in South Asia, notably India, turmeric has been spreading throughout the world from the 5th century onwards. Records show that it was grown wildly in regions of Java, Indonesia as early as 500 AD and probably reached China around the 7th Century AD mark. This was followed by the acquirement of the spice 100 years later in East Africa, and West Africa 400 years after that.
In 1280, Marco Polo described this spice, marvelling at a vegetable that exhibited qualities so similar to that of saffron.
Coming from the Curcuma Longa plant, a close relative of ginger, turmeric is often found in its dried powder form in supermarkets however the spice itself is a tuberous, underground root with vibrant colouring.
Now cultivated in the tropic regions of South East Asia, more produce than ever before is now finding its way to Australia. Over 80% of the world’s turmeric supply being produced in India, and specifically the South Indian city Erode, otherwise known as “Yellow City” or “Turmeric City”.
Turmeric has been commonly used as a healing substance in India because of the main active component residing in the root, curcumin. Curcumin not only supplies the intensely vibrant colour that is signature of the spice but also contains a wide range of health benefits:
Curcumin has powerful antioxidant properties that have shown to increase heart health and even protect healthy cells from cancer causing agents. It does this by contributing to the death of cancerous cells and reducing metastasis (spread of cancer). It is said to be particularly effective in the prevention of colon cancer.
It has also been seen that curcumin contains high levels of anti-inflammatory properties, useful in all-round health as you get older. Thus, it has also been seen to be effective in reducing the onset of arthritis, metabolic syndromes, and Alzheimer’s.
However, curcumin is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream on its own. One of the main activators for the healing benefits this spice provides is black pepper.
Containing the natural compound found in black pepper, piperine, the combination of these two ingredients increases the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream by up to 2000%.
Additionally, curcumin is a fat-soluble substance. This means that it breaks down and is easier to absorb with fattier substances. We recommend you eat turmeric with fatty foods loaded with pepper to get the full benefits.
Turmeric can be used in many ways, both as a natural cure and a delicious, vibrant ingredient.
Think past curries and expand your imagination. Adding turmeric and pepper to your scrambled eggs in the morning or mixing through turmeric whilst making a taco mix is a great way to increase the amount of turmeric in your diet (and the amount of flavour in your food).
Another great use of turmeric is the ‘Golden Latte’.
Essentially just a mix of warm milk and turmeric powder, this relaxing drink is the perfect combination to get all the health benefits you need. The hot milk helps to break down the compounds in the turmeric and an added pinch of black pepper then provides the necessary additions for it to absorb fully.
The Original Turmeric Latte
Alternatively, let Lord & Lion do the work for you and just relax.
The Original Turmeric Latte spice blend is the ultimate mix of delicious, beneficial, and premium ingredients for the perfect Golden Latte to kick-start your day. Containing turmeric, premium Ceylon Cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, ginger, and jaggery for sweetness, this beautiful recipe has been passed down through the generations to reach your hands today.
All in all, turmeric is a versatile and useful spice that can do wonders for your health. It truly is the ‘Golden Spice. Find out more here and don’t forget to check out the Lord and Lion Turmeric Latte.
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