By Foodism Team
A Closer Look at Turmeric
An integral part of every masala (spice) box in India is turmeric. This member of the ginger family is practically interwoven into our daily life, cuisine and cultural and healing traditions. Applying turmeric to wounds is believed to fight infection; drinking it in milk is supposed to calm the mind; highlighting the entrance of new homes with the paste is purported to welcome prosperity; and applying it on the to-be bride and groom is believed to erase negativity besides bringing in a glow.
A look at the history of this miracle spice reveals that it goes back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic Culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. Apparently it reached China by 700 AD, East Africa by 800 AD, West Africa by 1200 AD, and Jamaica in the eighteenth century.
Ayurveda describes turmeric as a ‘hot, light, and dry spice with a bitter taste’. It claims that turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, a blood tonic, a carminative and stimulates blood flow. Other supposed pluses of turmeric include – promoting ovulation in women; excellent for the skin; antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial; blood thinner and blood detoxifier; helps in eliminating worms; a pain-killer that also speeds up the healing of wounds; eases the effects of psoriasis and arthritis; anti-carcinogenic et al.
Turmeric is usually used in – veggies, dal, soups, snacks, biryani, milk, tea, scrambled eggs, energy bars etc.
But medical practitioners caution that high doses of turmeric and its isolated constituents can have some rather unpleasant side effects, including diarrhoea and nausea.