Everyone knows that you add turmeric to curries and it can be bought cheaply in pretty much any supermarket. But, consuming at least a spoonful is considered a daily essential for any ‘respectable’ healthy-eater and the Curcuma longa plant, (known as nature’s ‘Golden Goddess’ in India where 94% of the world’s supply originates) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Research shows it has a long list of health-boosting properties that make it worthy of serious superfood status. As well as containing iron and manganese, it’s thought that Curcumin (turmeric’s active ingredient):
compliments the work of your liver and helps to detoxify the body
lowers cholesterol and reduces blood sugar
is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antimicrobial
fights free radicals and both prevents and destroys cancerous cells
works as an anti-depressant
helps alleviate season allergies
suppresses the growth of fat tissue
benefits brain health
(Illustration of Curcuma longa by Franz Eugen Kohler, from Kohler’s Medicinal Plants, 1887 – via Kew Gardens)
Bake foods in it with oils and other spices or add it to eggs, soups, salads, pulses, nut milks, latte, juices…Or, Hemsley and Hemsley-style, add it to a teapot full of hot water, with grated ginger, cayenne pepper and raw honey and ice it for the summer months.
It also makes a great cleansing/calming face mask when mixed with raw honey, lemon juice and coconut oil.
Buy organic and fairly-traded versions and you’ll be helping to both reduce the use of nasty chemicals and alleviate poverty, sustainably. Good for your health AND your soul.