EcoSalon Herbology Guide: Turmeric


When I first moved to a small organic farm on Maui and was given a tour of the land, the owner led me to a scraggly plant and said, “That’s the turmeric. It’ll fill out by summer and you can dig up the roots.” I had never eaten fresh turmeric before, although the dried powder was a staple in my mom’s Persian cooking and my own experimental fare.

By summertime the turmeric did send up new shoots and I dug into the red Maui clay for some fresh roots. I’d eat the sharply spicy nibbles that would leave my mouth bright yellow for the rest of the day. (Turmeric is the spice that lends delicious curry its famous yellow hue.)

Fresh turmeric is quite pungent and might not be palatable to you, but the dried powder is worth adding to your regular cuisine.

More than just a spice, turmeric has medicinal properties too:

– anti-inflammatory
– cancer prevention
– anti-bacterial
– digestive aid
– improves blood circulation
– arthritis prevention
– osteoporosis prevention

Foods are the oldest and most healing of medicines, and turmeric will make an exotic addition to your kitchen’s natural pharmacy.

For medicinal information about turmeric:

Seattle Times
BBC News

Image: Enygmatic-Halcyon