Turmeric – India’s Special Spice

Turmeric – India’s Special Spice

Turmeric, that pungent, bitter spice usually incorporated in curry powders giving it that deep yellow color, offers many health benefits.

In the Ayurvedic medicine tradition, Turmeric is regarded as a “cleanser of the body”. The root and powder are used in drinks, ointments and poultices to treat sore throats, indigestion, sprains, inflammation and wounds. Traditional Ayurvedics believe that it’s a powerful antibiotic, strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora.

Despite this long tradition in Asia, it was not until the early 1070’s that laboratory researchers discovered the inflammation-fighting compounds prevalent in curcumin (the active ingredient in Turmeric).

One of the easiest ways to incorporate this beneficial spice into your diet is to use to eat it, so cook yourself a batch of delicious vegetable curry, or alternatively take it in supplement form.

Vegetable Curry (serves 4)

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
¾ cup water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets
¾ cup frozen organic peas
½ teaspoon garam masala
Cilantro (optional)

1. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are soft and opaque.

2. Add the spices and salt and sauté a few minutes, until you can smell the aroma of the spices.

3. Stir the spices from the bottom of the pot occasionally.

4. Add the butternut squash and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to prevent sticking.

5. Add sweet potato and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the rest of the water and scrape all the spices up from the bottom of the pot.

7. Add cauliflower and peas on top of the butternut and sweet potato, do not stir.

8. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.

9. Just before serving, add garam masala and stir through.

10. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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  • Karen sakas

    Can you take this in pill form and should you

  • I take Inflamma-Blox and it has helped enormously with my fibromyalgia. The main ingredient in it is turmeric.

  • Karen
    yes you can may not be one of the essential supplements to take but
    can help inflammation. Scott has it in his pharmacy

  • Lynnsalazar

    I'm a RA survivor (no prescription meds)…..I'm always trying to incorporate tumeric into my diet. Everyday I make my salad dressing in the bottom of my bowl before adding the veggies.
    1/2 tablespoon organic olive oil
    1/2 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (or half lime juice)
    1/8 teaspoon tumeric
    1/8 teaspoon cumin
    1/8 teaspoon organic dijon mustard
    1/4 teaspoon mixed dried herbs with sesame seeds
    small piece of crushed garlic
    splash of organic tamari

    stir, add veggies, and….enjoy, Lynn

  • Elwrite

    do turmeric supplements interfere with tamoxifen?

  • not that I know of

  • shmeesh

    Does dried turmeric have the same medicinal properties and potency as raw turmeric root?

  • Elaine Springer

    “The popular spice turmeric packs more than just flavor — it shows promise in fighting devastating viruses, Mason researchers recently discovered.”

  • Lisa

    Hi Lynn by RA is that rheumatoid arthritis?

  • Is the 4th or 5th ingredient supposed to be something else? Also, I was told the benefits of turmeric occur when it’s mixed with some black pepper.

  • Dasha

    How about adding turmeric in water with lemon juice? Will it provide equal benefits?

  • Misty

    Curry recipes are very common in India. And when I make some, I add a lot of turmeric powder. :)

  • ana_nox

    I’d suggest turmeric with warm milk, its excellent for cough, and sleeping well at night!

  • ana_nox

    From my experience the turmeric root is more effective medicinally (for colds/coughs, pimples). However, if you cook regularly, the powdered turmeric is good enough.

  • Fss1

    The early 1970s, perhaps?

  • Anonymous

    Yes! That is a typo we should correct — not the 1070s but the 1970s. Thanks

  • Fss1

    I have made this curry twice now and really enjoy it. Thanks.

  • Rahul Wadke


    Turmeric also has properties, which act against cancer. It is a know

    anti carcinogenic. In India during winter a curry is made using raw turmeric. Best way to consume turmeric is to mix a small pinch of the yellow powder with a glass of warm milk and honey.