Turmeric: Properties, Benefits And Uses

Turmeric is a very tasty spice that gives an intense and exotic flavour to any dish. But did you know that it is also really healthy? Let's explore how to use this spice and the benefits for our body.

Turmeric: Nature's Healer

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, the same as ginger. The Turmeric plant has long oval leaves and the floral spikes are harvested as well as the roots. It is native to India but is distributed throughout South Asia. To grow well, the plant needs a temperature ranging from 20° to 30° as well as plenty of rainfall throughout the year. Rhizomes are extracted from the roots by boiling and drying them. They are then crushed with the special tools to release the beneficial healing properties of the turmeric powder. There are two types of rhizome: the main one, which encloses the roots, and the secondary one, in the shape of fingers. Cutting it into slices reveals its orange colour, similar to that of the carrot.

A Brief History of Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that has played a part in human history from about 3000 years. It was used by the Assyrians to dye fabrics and by the Indians for its medicinal properties, as well as using it in the kitchen. In the past, it was such an important composition of curry that it was considered a sacred spice. It was brought to Europe by the Arabs who called it Kurkum, the worn eventually evolving to turmeric as we know it today. It was known in ancient Greece, and in 1815, the rhizome of turmeric was analysed in the west for the first time. In the last thirty years, however, there have been numerous laboratory tests that have demonstrated the power of turmeric to treat many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's.

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