The Health Benefits of Turmeric
2 CommentsThursday, 10 January 2019 | The Tea Makers of London
Exploring the uses, flavours, history and health benefits of turmeric.
You may have heard about it already. Turmeric is causing a buzz on the Western health scene and is, subsequently, growing in popularity amongst health-conscious consumers. We have had several requests from our customers for a turmeric tea and are now happy to announce that we are launching our new ‘Turmeric Spice Tea Blend’.
This new herbal tea is a blend of turmeric, ginger, cocoa peel and other complementary spices. The tea is naturally-caffeine free and imparts a mild and aromatic flavour with a subtle note of sweetness, hints of ginger and aniseed and an invigorating aftertaste.
Turmeric powder is a quintessential spice. It is a relative of ginger and constitutes a healthy way to add flavour and colour to various dishes. In this post, we explore the history and health benefits of turmeric.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant that grows natively in large parts of Asia. Several parts of the plant are consumed in local Asian cuisines. However, it is largely a dried and powdered form of the root, which is used in foodstuffs all over the world. You probably recognise the bright yellow powder which constitutes the main component of commercial curry spice.
Turmeric root has a deep yellowy-orange colour but, otherwise, looks similar to ginger. The flavour is peppery and warm and imparts a distinctive spicy aroma.
The History of Turmeric
Turmeric has been consumed in Asia for thousands of years. It is traditionally used in cooking, folk medicines - such as Ayurveda - and as a dye.
While it is mainly the root that is used, the above-ground plant can grow up a meter tall and sports large green leaves and stunning flowers.
Turmeric root is typically dried and powdered, however - like ginger - it can also be used fresh. Some Asian cuisines also consume large chunks of pickled turmeric root.
During medieval times in Europe, turmeric powder was known as ‘Indian Saffron’ as it provided an affordable alternative to the much more exclusive saffron spice.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric contains several components which are thought to have potential health benefits to the human body. Of most interest to the medical community is ‘curcumin’ and ‘turmerone’. The research into the health-promoting benefits of turmeric is ongoing and more studies are required to determine the exact effect of consuming turmeric. However, some studies do point to positive results of consuming turmeric. We recommend that you consult with your GP for further information.
Curcumin - the component that gives turmeric root its distinctive yellowy-orange colour - is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which - studies show - could help to lower the risk of heart attacks in some people. Please note that the science is still young and further research much be made to determine exactly how turmeric consumption effects heart disease. Studies have also been made into the effect on turmeric on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
If you simply cannot get enough of this versatile superfood, try our indulgent Turmeric Latte with Vanilla Coconut!
For more information, we refer you to the following articles:
BBC - Trust Me, I’m a Doctor
BBC Good Food
The Huffington Post
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