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Turmeric, is it a panacea?

More and more people in the US are taking turmeric as a food supplement. The sales of turmeric has increased significantly in the last decade as an over the counter nutritional pharmaceutical . Turmeric ,scienifically known as curcuma longa is a rhizomatous ,herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. It grows well in tropical area where rain is plentiful. Erode, a city in South India ,State of Tanil Nadu, also called the yellow city or Turmeric City is the largest producer of turmeric in the world.Turmeric is the key ingredient to many Indian,Persian,Thai and Malay dishes . In indian, it is a component of the spice blend known as garam marsala,used in preparing curries.In other South East Asian countries the fresh leaves are used in cooking where the leaves are used to wrap fish and meats to prepare ethnic specialty food with peculiar but delicious taste. It is also used as a fresh ingredient in cooking similar to ginger. In Persian ,it is used to add color to rice dishes.In the manufacturing industry, turmeric is use to give the yellowish hue in mustard.

In folk medicine, turmeric has many medicinal properties. In South East Asia, it is used as an antiseptic,and applied directly to bruises and cuts to prevent infection and for healing. It is also taken as a supplement which allegeably helps in stomach problem and menstral discomfort.In Okinawa,Japan it is a popular tea. Pakistan, use turmeric as an anti inflammatory agent and for wound healing and skin care. In india,Bangladesh and Pakistan turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom to make there skin glow and keep bacterias away. Plant turmeric in your garden if you have problem with ants and ants will soon disappear. In Vietnam, the fresh fish sold in the market are dusted with turmeric powder to keep them fresh. Cambodia rubs turmeric paste in the fontanel (soft spot) of a new born infant head to hasten the closure and to protect the infants from colds etc.

In the US turmeric is currently being investigated for its ability to reduce or moderate the progression of alzheimers disease,cancer,arthritis and other clinical disorders.NIH (National Institute of Health) currently registered 19 clinical trials to study turmeric and curcumin for a variety of clinical disorder. Although there is no recommended safe dosage to take, there are no documented harm from excess intake of this spice when added to food.
I add turmeric powder when I cook adobo. It is not the traditional way to cook adobo, Turmeric enhance the flavor of the dish It is not a traditional way to prepare adobo but it sure add verve to the dish. Try adding turmeric to stir fry’s, meats, rice and pastas and enjoy a delicious and nutritious dish. More research needed to validate the attributes of turmeric but the current findings are promising. I will keep you posted for new findings. In the meantime start trying new recipes for turmeric and enjoy the delicious taste it imparts to your dish.

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