What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is an ancient spice, produced from the dried and ground roots of the turmeric flower. From the ginger family, it is a staple of Asian cooking, especially in Indian cuisine. It is one of the primary ingredients in curry powder, which is where curry gets its bright yellow color. It has been part of Asian, and particularly Indian, life for thousands of years.

Turmeric Root Uses & Benefits

The turmeric spice is the product of drying and grinding of the turmeric plant root. This is the most common way of turmeric consumption, especially in cooking. It provides the aroma, flavor, and color for a variety of dishes. It does so either as a standalone spice, or as a mixture with other spices (such as curry).

In traditional Asian medicine, turmeric is often used as a potent anti-inflammatory. The chemical which gives turmeric this beneficial characteristic is curcumin. Curcumin also gives turmeric its bright yellow color.

Turmeric Curcumin Supplements

Turmeric curcumin supplements come in a couple of forms: pill and liquid. The supplement in pill-form is most common, but the liquid variety is the best delivery method.

The potency of turmeric increases when combined with ginger root extract. This combination can be further improved by adding black pepper which enhances absorption.

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder is the dried and powdered root of the turmeric plant. Homemade turmeric powder follows the same production process as the commercial variety, but on a smaller scale.

To make turmeric powder

  1. Break the turmeric root down into smaller pieces to make it easier to dry. Use a meat tenderizer or similar tool.
  2. Spread the small pieces of turmeric root on a flat pan or similar surface and cover with with a mesh or cloth. The covering prevents dust from settling while the root pieces dry in the sun.
  3. Place the prepared roots in the sun and allow to dry until the pieces are crunchy to the touch. If the root does not dry enough, the turmeric powder will spoil in a shorter period of time than one that has been well dried.
  4. Grind the dried root using a mortar, or use a flour mill for larger quantities.

Storing Turmeric Powder

Turmeric is best stored in a cool dry place. Homemade turmeric should be well dried and cooled before storage. This will help avoid premature spoilage. Store-bought turmeric should also be stored in similar fashion.

Turmeric Supplements

Turmeric supplements claim to help relieve pain through their anti-inflammatory properties. The benefits of the turmeric supplements derive from the curcumin chemical. Curcumin extract obtained from turmeric is the primary active ingredient in these supplements.

Turmeric supplements are available in a powder, pill, or liquid form. The ideal method of intake is through liquid sublingual delivery.

Turmeric curcumin is often combined with ginger root and black pepper extract. The black pepper extract helps with better absorption of curcumin.

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric, whether taken as a supplement or spice, has a variety of health benefits. The benefits are predominantly derived from its anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric supplement benefits include: