Some of us don't know that turmeric is one of the most beneficial plants that we can use it as an alternative for ginger. We usually observe that retail shops offer turmeric products that are mostly prepared in a bottle that is ready for public consumption. This is because having a little knowledge about turmeric makes us ignore the most promising gifts of nature that we should be reconsidering it for the rest of our lives. For this reason, there are numerous issues that can be applied by alternative medicine to help individuals with illnesses to alleviate signs and symptoms of distress.

Turmeric is one of the most conventional condiments in our kitchen that we tend to forget it. The reason behind is that lack of information are keeping us from knowing the benefits of these miraculous products that are always responsible for making our lives easier. With the advent of new herbal products, turmeric is just one of the most promising herbal products that others are now using it as part of their regular routine. There is nothing wrong when a person will utilize this edible product because there are numerous testimonies that have already been surfacing in response with the optimization of herbal products.
A brightly colored turmeric powder in a bottle
Having a turmeric powdered beverage at home spices up your day

What is a Turmeric? For your knowledge, Turmeric is a perennial plant that is also rhizomatous herbaceous that is a member of the ginger family. It means that this plant is also a cousin of the common ginger that is commonly found in our kitchen. The rhizomes were regarded as an important spice when Europeans colonized Indian subcontinent. This plant is native to India but is now found in Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, and China, unlike its ginger counterpart that is more popular and cultivated by any country around the world.

With a scientific name of Curcuma longa, the plant is harvested for its rhizomes. The rhizomes can be replaced with ginger because it contains similar content with its ginger counterparts when cooking or even baking. Crop owners harvest the plant and then boils its rhizomes for at least 40 minutes. Rhizomes will be dried in ovens under a high temperature of over 300 degrees Celsius. The dried rhizomes will then be grounded to become a yellowish or deep orange colored power. The taste can resemble a peppery flavor with a bitter flavor. The smell is similar with that of mustard.

History of Turmeric For tens of millenniums, ancient settlers in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of Asia discovered turmeric to be used as an essential crop for dying fabrics. But when these ancient ancestors realized that it is a crop, they started using it as an alternative food source. However, the peppery taste confused their appetite and eventually regarded it as a medicinal crop. They usually clean and then cut the rhizomes into smaller pieces and then rubbing it with their wounds or any injured part of their body.

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Fresh ginger rhizomes in a rattan tray ready to prepare
This ginger rhizome is the cousin of turmeric plant
After several generations, turmeric began to be processed into a powdered material. Ancient South Asians integrated parts of powdered turmeric to their food and then started adopted it as part of their culinary culture. When Europeans colonized India, they discovered that this spice can improve the taste of a certain cuisine. When this spice was brought to Europe, they termed it as tarmaret or turmeryte, which is a Latin word that transformed the plant into turmeric.

Yellow and orange turmeric powder
Turmeric  can be either in brown or yellow powder
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Interesting Facts about turmeric

1. Improves voice: Due to its peppery taste, turmeric soothes the larynx and our pharynx so that our voice box will be relaxed. Hoarseness of voice can be alleviated because the peppery substance causes the blood vessels along the trachea, the pharynx and larynx to subside. Singers usually drink turmeric juice so that they can maintain their entertaining voice quality to the audience. They substitute turmeric if there are no available ginger tea that is usually made or bought while participating an entertainment show.

2. Improves health: Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a natural phenol that is now being conducted by medical scientists due to its ability to cure several diseases. This substance lowers the risk of developing tumor cells or any neoplasm that develops in our body. The reason behind is that curcumin reduces free radical formation in our body that is responsible for causing cancer formation to any parts of the body that make our health disease free in the long term.

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3. Reduces allergy: Turmeric contains an enzyme known as phenylalanine, which is similarly used by pharmaceuticals to produce drugs indicated for individuals suffering from respiratory as well as skin disorders. This protein aims to decrease the formation of prostaglandin as well as histamine that is responsible for causing our body to be allergic to pollutants and cold weather. When allergen formation is inhibited, it can cause epithelial muscles to be dilated.

4. Improves culinary taste: Turmeric is popularly known as a spice in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It is also regularly used in Southeast Asia because it can enhance spicy flavors that Asians love. The peppery taste can counteract with sweets and sourness of several dishes, making a certain dish having a different taste.

5. Refreshment: Turmeric has been developed as a form of refreshment by several industries that produces commercial beverages. This includes tea, which is one of the most common varieties of beverages that can be found in several retail outlets around the world. Aside from using it as a spice in some dishes, turmeric replenishes the body to prevent any risk from dehydration especially in hot and humid environments.

6. Used as dye: Curcumin is a known to be an effective dying agent. Individuals who love orange, yellow, or brown may use the rhizome of this plant to change the color of any surface. This was the first thing that ancient Asians thought about for this plant where they previously used it to improve the color of their crafts and garments from thousands of years ago.

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