Turmeric, a relative of ginger, boasts a staggering range of qualities that make it a must-have in your spice box. Besides, this beautiful yellow spice gives a rich colour to gravies, stir-fries and lentils, and it is known to bring a radiant glow to skin.
According to Ayurveda, turmeric imparts three of the 6 essential tastes to food: bitter, astringent and pungent (the other three being salty, sour and sweet).
It balances all the doshas—Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
India has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimers in the world, and research studies give part of the credit to the nation’s high usage of turmeric.
The magic ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, time-tested for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antispetic properties. That is why my grandmother used to comfort burns and wounds with a warm poultice of ghee and turmeric—both highly prized by Ayurveda for their role in healing.
Although Ayurvedic healers have known of turmeric’s wondrous qualities for many centuries, modern research has not lab-tested it to prove its role in healing tumours, curing coughs, lowering bad cholesterol, easing arthritis and pampering skin. Every now and then, a new study announces yet another good thing that turmeric can do, and high time, too! This humble relative of ginger deserves all the glory.