Turmeric

Photo: RustyBuggy.com

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa
Common Name: Turmeric
Family: Zingiberaceae
Ayurvedic/TCM Name: Haridra, Aushadhi, Gouri, and Kanchani
Parts Used: Rhizomes and tuber

Native Region: Southern Asia

Geographic Distribution: China, Bengal & Java, can be grown in pots in Florida and other sub tropical areas.

Botanical Description: Perennial plant that grow from rhizomes to 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall and has tufted leaves. Rhizomes/tubers oblong, palmate, and deep orange inside. Root leaves about 2 feet long, lanceolate, long, petioled, tapering at each end, smooth, of uniform green; petioles sheathing spike, erect, central , oblong, green; flowers dull yellow, three or five together surrounded by bracteolae. Propagated by cuttings from the root.[1]
Harvesting Guidelines: Dig rhizomes/tubers when leaves die back. Dries as a curved cylindrical, or oblong tuber 2-3 inches long and an inch in diameter. Will stain everything it touches yellow.
Constituents: An acrid, volatile oil, brown coloring matter, gum, starch, chloride of calcium, woody fiber and yellowish coloring matter named curcumin. Use black pepper with it to increase bioavailability.
Uses: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.Turmeric is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.[2]
Used for: arthritis, digestion, eczema, bleeding, wounds, ulcers, diarrhea, liver problems, pain, Alzheimer’s, colds/flu, cancer, heart health, and diabetes. Instructions for making dried turmeric from fresh tubers here.
Precautions: Consult healthcare professional if taking blood thinners or diabetes medication.

 

Disclaimer: The information in any Every Needful Thing article is not intended to replace medical advice.

 

 

Recipes
There are an amazing number of recipes which include turmeric. Enjoy experimenting!

Turmeric Tea – http://www.eatwell101.com/healing-turmeric-tea-antinflamatory-healing
Turmeric Soda – https://www.growforagecookferment.com/fermented-turmeric-soda/
Turmeric Bug – https://www.growforagecookferment.com/how-to-make-a-turmeric-bug/
Golden Mango Smoothie – https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2016/03/golden-mango-smoothie/
Curry Powder – https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/06/make-your-own-homemade-curry-powder-recipe/
Chicken and Vegetable Curry – https://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/06/simple-chicken-and-vegetable-curry-recipe/
Turmeric Apple Chips – http://www.southbeachprimal.com/turmeric-apple-chips/
Mac-n-cheese – http://www.thesimplemoms.com/2013/04/a-simple-real-food-recipe-quick-real-food-mac-n-cheese.html
One Tray Turmeric Chicken – http://thelittlegreenspoon.com/2016/05/06/one-tray-turmeric-chicken/
Turmeric Roasted Carrots – http://thisissogoodhome.com/2016/06/28/turmeric-roasted-carrots-paleo-scd-legal/
Vegan Turmeric Quinoa Power Bowls – https://www.jaroflemons.com/vegan-turmeric-quinoa-power-bowls/
Ginger Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup – http://www.bowlofdelicious.com/2016/12/15/ginger-turmeric-butternut-squash-soup/

References
1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
2. http://www.botanical.com/mgmh/t/turmer30.html
3. de la Foret, Rosalee, 2015, Top_3_Herbs_for_your_health.pd
4. https://www.turmericforhealth.com/general-info/how-to-make-turmeric-powder-at-home-from-raw-turmeric

 

Billie Nicholson, Editor
September 2017

 

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