Friday, October 28, 2016

**Info Probe** Tumeric (for flavor, health & beauty)

Since I posted about the types and benefits of butter (and ghee), I've been thinking of some of the other easily accessible products that we could all be taking advantage of. I'm thinking mainly of food items that lots of other cultures already make use of - and that we Westerners don't.

Image result for turmericTurmeric became one of my favorite cooking powders several months back. I started adding it to my coffee and baked foods when I heard that it was supposed to be anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Due to the aging process (and maybe some of the meds I've been on), I needed the anti-inflammatory properties. What I didn't know about turmeric is how many other healthy benefits it can have.

Just like when I was posting the information about butter, I want to point out that it pays to look to a variety of cultures for healthy ideas. Turmeric is, I learned, used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating a number of disorders. Of course, I know very little about the religious/spiritual aspects of Ayurvedic medicine, I can appreciate the things that are beneficial to physical health.

Other than the flavor it adds to food, one of the things I like most about turmeric is the vivid yellow color of the powder. When I bake meats and veggies, I love to add the yellow turmeric with some deep red curry powder.

The yellow color is not just something to please the eyes. Apparently, the main active ingredient in turmeric is something called curcumin. The amounts of curcumin found in turmeric is small and since it's not easily absorbed by the body, some people prefer to get the curcumin in higher doses via supplements. On the other hand, curcumin is better absorbed when combined with fatty substances or black pepper. I am intrigued by the anti-oxidant (and other healthy) claims of a curcumin extract so I've ordered some. Of course, I will let you all know how that works out.
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As far as non-food/uses for turmeric, you've probably already heard about using it as an eyeshadow. I think the first time I heard about that was when everyone was doing beauty hacks using cocoa and sugar and other kitchen staples. I'm careful about what I will use on my face - even natural products. I suggest that anyone planning on experimenting with this will make sure to use a lot of caution. I'm not sure if turmeric can

Just for kicks, I did a quick search for beauty tips using turmeric and... there are lots. Pinterest is, of course, loaded with various ideas and then there are all the folks selling books and products that include turmeric. As soon as I saw that turmeric can be used for hair removal, I was out. Here's just one link to give you an idea of some beauty uses. Like I said, proceed with caution.

Because I really like the Wellness Mama site, I wanted to include this link about turmeric. I was paying attention to the cautions as well as to the general info provided.

Since turmeric is mainly used for food, I am including some links for using it in the kitchen:

So, there you go. There are lots of reasons to look into using turmeric and lots of ways to do so. If anyone has any tips and/or recipes, don't be shy about sharing.


**NOTE - For anyone who, like me, wondered if curcumin was the same as cumin, the answer is no.  Maybe I ought to do my next Probe on cumin!

No-brainer DISCLAIMER: I assume you all know that I am not a doctor or any other type of medical professional. You should use your common sense and your doctor's advice when it comes to your health.