TURMERIC. I know its good for me, but I still resist. Even with its long list of benefits. You know the ones I’m talking about—anti-cancer, inflammatory, the anti-everything spice. All the cool kids are talking about it now. Turmeric is the amazing spice we need to embrace. And we do! Ancient Vedic text dating at least 5000 years ago spoke highly of this golden spice. Turmeric is golden. Yay! No, seriously, yay yay yay!
The more we can continue to prove food to be medicinal the better. Let’s empower ourselves to towards building stronger immune systems through our food and spices.
Turmeric is a bitter, astringent, pungent in taste and a heating spice. It’s also a natural anti-biotic that supports the digestive system and purifies the blood. It fits well in the medicine cabinet as well as the kitchen pantry. In South Asian, turmeric is used as a coloring agent (as the color of a curry is just as integral as the taste) a flavoring agent (a little goes a long way), and a medicinal agent. Used in almost all cooked savory dishes to pickles. Other spices like cumin and coriander have medicinal properties too, but when I was growing up turmeric was revered. When someone had a cold, cough, swollen body part or winter season was near, turmeric was the go-to spice. To heal and prevent.
According to my teachers, the optimum way to use turmeric is fresh or in powder form rather than a pill, which isolates the single compound curcumin*. Consuming the actual spice is preferred as it engages our senses and brings a consciousness and an intention that a pill cannot manifest.
Ideally, like my Nana advised, this is a spice I need to eat a bit of daily. Like a vitamin because its that beneficial to my well-being.
Now, I rave about turmeric like I have completely incorporated this spice into my life, but I cannot tell a lie, I am not there yet. Yes, when I cook (South Asian food) turmeric is one of the ingredients. Helping balance my dish and bring with it a beautiful golden color. When I get sick, I try to take it, but every time I begin to mix honey and turmeric together, the childhood memories begin to flow. Childhood trauma and drama creates this push-pull energy of pure resistance. As I get older, more informed, appreciate my ancestral gifts, the resistance starts to fade.
Lad, Vasant and Frawley, David; The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine; Lotus Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA, 2001
*After writing this post I came across this great NY Times article by Catherine Price, Vitamins Hide the Low Quality of Our Food, where a recent study shows eating broccoli vs. its isolated compound is far more beneficial. Imagine all the foods they still need to study. Embrace the real deal.