Yes, you read right, I said “tumor-kick!” Well, you could practically call it that with all the properties it has to fight breast, prostate, colon and skin cancer. Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that I’m talking about the spice called Turmeric. It has long been used in the world of cooking, but also equally in medicine.
Where does it come from?
As with most things, the exact origin isn’t clear but it most likely came from Southern East Asia, becoming popular in China, Africa, Jamaica, and is pretty much cultivated in any tropical country in this day and age. History suggests it started out as a dying agent then moved on to a condiment and cosmetic. It has been grown in India for centuries, adding flavor to its popular cuisine, while Chinese medicine has been using it to fight off depression. It comes the root family, resembling ginger. It is a sterile plant that doesn’t produce seeds.
Some of its properties:
Just a few of its amazing properties include: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, detoxifying, anti-depressant, natural pain killer….and the list just goes on.
A quick word on Anti-oxidants and why the body needs them:
Our body and our skin need anti-oxidants to get rid of free-radicals. What are free radicals? Free radicals are toxic molecules in the cells that our body produces naturally. They are in fact by-products of the natural cell metabolism that occurs in the human body when it breaks down food that we eat, or from pollution, pesticides, tobacco and chemicals, etc. Although at times they do serve some purpose in helping the immune system – for the most part they are in the wrong place and can attack our healthy cells, causing health issue’s and speeding up the ageing process. This is why we need lots of anti-oxidants for the body – the more the better! Pack as many anti-oxidants you can into the body and onto the body on a daily basis.
A few spices to use in cooking that are full of anti-oxidants are:
- Cayenne Pepper
How you can use Turmeric:
While commonly known for its use in Curry’s it can be added to just about anything. Why not try it in your scrambled eggs, or in a tasty butter nut soup? Use it to color rice. Health practitioners believe in adding to your meat to reduce the carcinogenic compounds that form when frying or grilling meat.
On a personal note, my husband and I like to season our steak before throwing it on the pan with English mustard. It not only gives it a nutty rich flavor, but guess what…it has turmeric in it as well. Score!!
To reap the full benefits of this wonder-working spice, try to add it at the end of cooking as much as possible as to not destroy its amazing properties.