Image Courtesy: Maitri
I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Dr. Michael Greger speak at Philadelphia’s Food & Health Expo in 2007. Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues.
He was funny and wise, and one of the things he shared with us was the top 5 things that prevent cancer. I quickly jotted them down, and just as quickly lost the paper and forgot all but these: black/blueberries, walnuts, and also that one of the most valuable herbs is turmeric. I remember him saying, “It looks like gold, and it should be treated like gold. It’s just as valuable.”
A Curry Staple
As a practicing raw vegan, I tried and fell in love with the deep golden/orange spice known as one of the main ingredients in Indian curry. I loved the color, and how it temporarily stained my white plastic salad bowl a beautiful color. I had the feeling that there were healing elements in the color and as it remained on the bowl, it would leave a healthful imprint on my own growing cells.
For example, I felt that eating it in my raw salads made my skin glow similarly to its own hue. But even though I could feel the benefits of the spice, I was curious to know exactly what made it such a great condiment and alternative health item. Turmeric’s uses are many and great.
Herbal Power with a Punch
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant from the ginger family and is native to tropical South Asia. World’s Healthiest Foods (& Spices) says turmeric is a potent natural treatment long used in Asian healing traditions as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Turmeric has been successfully used for centuries to treat many ailments from toothache to chest pain. Turmeric also fights cancer, improves liver conditions, lowers blood cholesterol and may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Isn’t it grand to know that your favorite veggie curry dish is much more than just yummy? The next time you’re in the spice-selecting portion of your grocery trip, consider bringing home this delectable and therapeutic powerhouse.
Where do I Find it?
Turmeric is usually available in all common grocery stores. Most large stores in North America now have a South Asian food aisle where you will get all kinds of spices and stuff. It is sure to be in there. Else, it is available at all the Indian/South Asian grocery stores that have sprung up all across America.
In the native Hindi language of India, it is called ‘Haldi’ (Indian saffron) and is used in everyday cooking by Indian households – by everyday, I mean literally each day. If I recollect correctly, even Dr Oz, or a guest health expert on his show, also explained the long list of benefits of this ‘golden’ spice.
Cassendre Xavier (aka Amethyste Rah & Amrita Waterfalls) is an award-winning multimedia artist, musician and author, working in Philadelphia. She writes on various subjects including Raw Vegan/Live Foods, Alternative Health and Recovery from Addiction and Abuse.