Indian saffron, the golden spice, turmeric. Whatever you wanna call it, this rhizome (underground stem)-derived spice sits as one of the most popular in the world—for both culinary purposes and its perceived good-for-ya (medicinal) benefits. Turmeric has been a kitchen essential for thousands of years (most notably in India), often used for its ability to add a vivid, bright yellow permanence to any dish. It’s a traditional addition to many Indian recipes, like curry. But, feel free to mix it up. We did. Check out our Turmeric Pickle recipe.
Turmeric’s mildly aromatic notes of orange and ginger give way to its more pungent, somewhat bitter & earthy flavor profile. You may find yourself using it more for visual aesthetics in your dishes rather than flavor—either way, just remember, a little goes a long way. Beyond Turmeric’s culinary exploits, the spice has been used in both Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of generations. Though more research is needed to confirm its place in modern medicine, holistic and traditional medicinal practices attribute the spice to healing a variety of ailments, including chronic pain and inflammation.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in Turmeric, makes up only 3% of the spice, yet is credited for most of Turmerics “healing” benefits. Though difficult for the body to absorb (pro-tip: adding Spicewalla Black Pepper to the mix helps the body to absorb the compound), Curcumin contains strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Which is probably why Turmeric has been used as a dietary-supplement to treat health conditions for so long; like skin infections, upset stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, liver and gallbladder problems, and menstrual pain.