Turmeric: More Than Just Another Curry Powder

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

What to look for:
A perennial plant with roots or tubers oblong, palmate, and deep orange inside; root-leaves about 2 feet long, lanceolate, long, petioled, tapering at each end, smooth, of a uniform green; petioles sheathing spike, erect, central, oblong, green; flowers dull yellow, three or five together surrounded by bracteolae. It is propagated by cuttings from the root, which when dry is in curved cylindrical or oblong tubers 2 or 3 inches in length, and an inch in diameter, pointed or tapering at one end, yellowish externally, with transverse, parallel rings internally deep orange or reddish brown, marked with shining points, dense, solid, short, granular fracture, forming a lemon yellow powder

How Mother Nature loves it:
It is grown in different types of soils from light black, sandy loam and red soils to clay loams. It grows on light black, ashy loam and red soils to stiff loams in irrigated and rainfed areas. It thrives well in a well-drained sandy loam soil rich in humus content or clayey-loam soil. he crop cannot stand water logging or alkalinity.

How to use it:
Turmeric is a mild aromatic stimulant seldom used in medicine except as a colouring. It was once a cure for jaundice. Its chief use is in the manufacture of curry powders. It is also used as an adulterant of mustard and a substitute for it and forms one of the ingredients of many cattle condiments. Tincture of Turmeric is used as a colouring agent, but the odour is fugitive. It dyes a rich yellow. Turmeric paper is prepared by soaking unglazed white paper in the tincture and then drying. Used as a test for alkaloids and boric acid. Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric can also be used to deter ants. The exact reasons why turmeric repels ants is unknown, but anecdotal evidence suggests it works

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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