In our Ingredient Spotlight series, we take a deep dive into our powerful plant-based ingredients.
Turmeric - the little root that can do it all. Turmeric is the flavorful spice that gives curry its yellow color, but beyond being delicious, this root is packed with a bunch of health benefits.
The Long History Of Turmeric
Native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, turmeric, or curcuma longa, is a tropical plant related to the ginger family. Its roots are bright yellow in color, giving it the nickname “yellow ginger” in some cultures.
With its distinctively bright color, turmeric is recognizable in Indian cuisine including curries, cakes, and rice dishes. Turmeric’s golden hue has also led it to be used as a natural fabric dye, most notably by Buddhist monks who use it to lend their robes the signature bright, sunny color they are known for. In Hindu culture, turmeric powder is known as the “golden spice” or “spice of life,” and still shows up as a ritual offering at weddings and other events.
The Many Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Known as an energetically “hot” ingredient, it is thought to help warm the body, fight off infection, and support general wellness. The root can be used fresh or dried and powdered, lending a slightly bitter taste with a warm, earthy quality to it.
The primary active component in turmeric is called curcumin, a powerful compound that is shared by the plant’s close cousin, ginger. Historically, circumen has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to address breathing problems, rheumatism, chronic pain, and fatigue. Multiple studies have found circumen to be safe for human consumption as well as a promising anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient.
Turmeric is thought to help relieve many ailments and promote an overall healthy body because, similar to CBD, it interacts with our endocannabinoid system to support our body’s own natural checks and balances. Overall, turmeric is seen as a deeply beneficial ingredient that has vast potential applications for human health.
We know that it can be confusing and a bit intimidating to try a new ingredient for the first time, so we’ve rounded up some specific ways that you can use turmeric for your health.
How To Use Turmeric To Boost Overall Health And Wellness
Turmeric digestive tea: Brewing fresh or dried turmeric into a tea is a simple and easy way to soothe indigestion, heartburn, and painful gut inflammation. Add some ginger or cinnamon to boost both the flavor and metabolic health benefits. If you deal with chronic digestive issues or find yourself with an upset stomach somewhere far from a teapot, try HOLISTIK’s digest STIK as an easy, on the go solution.
Whether you’re rubbing it on your face or brewing up a beautiful golden milk latte, turmeric can provide a wide range of short and long-term health benefits for your body. And the best part is that it tastes delicious!
This post was written by Faye Lessler, a California-based freelance writer working towards environmental justice. She writes best while sipping black tea in a beam of sunshine.