India is the largest consumer, producer and exporter of spices in the world. Spices play a very important role in our day to day cooking. From the start of the day in our teas to curries, Indians use spices in everything. Spices not only impart a lovely aroma to any dish but also has amazing healing properties.
Let’s look at the ever so essential golden spice called Turmeric. About 80% of the world’s turmeric production is from India.
The use of turmeric dates back to more than 5000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had also had religious and medicinal significance. Marco Polo, in AD 1280, mentioned turmeric in notes of his travels in China: “There is also a vegetable that has all the properties of true saffron, as well as the smell and the color, and yet it is not saffron.” In medieval Europe, turmeric was known as “Indian saffron”. Since then, turmeric has been used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron.
Turmeric reached the coast of China from India in AD 700 and reached Africa 100 years later. The Arab traders were instrumental in spreading the plant to the European continent. There is a parallel here between black pepper and turmeric. The first explorers who went out in search of these two spices were the Arabs. The sea route was a secret until the Europeans came to the site because of Vasco da Gama’s landing in coastal Malabar in kappad, Kerala.
Turmeric has great significance in the Hindu culture. It is the symbol of the sun, good luck and fertility in popular belief. It symbolizes the inner pride and overall prosperity of we humans. Thus it forms one of the key ingredients in any pious occasion.
The use of ‘haldi’ in any Hindu marriage must have grabbed everybody’s attention. There is a ritual in Hindus of applying Turmeric paste to both bride and groom before their marriage. It is beloved to be suspicious as it stands for purifying both the bride and groom from all sins and prepares them for the wedding ceremony. The importance of using unadulterated and organic turmeric powder is very high here. You don’t want a bride to end up in rashes just before her big day right!
Turmeric powder is called a wonder spice for a reason. Turmeric has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities and also has the potential to reduce the risk of various malignant disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illness including rheumatoid arthritis.
It Contains Bioactive Compounds called Curcumin which has Powerful Medicinal Properties. Curcumin is one of three curcuminoids present in turmeric, the other two being desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin. These curcuminoids give turmeric its yellow color and curcumin is used as a yellow food colorant and food additive.
The curcumin in organic turmeric can help fight inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady, it could be a useful tool to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes. Remember how your mother gave you the “haldi ka doodh” whenever you had a cough or cold? It is because it helps you to fight off a variety of viruses, including herpes and the flu.
Studies have suggested that it can help in menstrual cramps and ease the PMS symptoms. It is also known to Improve Brain Function that lowers the risk of dementia and depression. It has shown to lower the bad cholesterol in the body lowering the risk Risk of Heart Diseases. Consuming organic turmeric with organic black pepper enhances its properties as black pepper boosts the absorption of curcumin in the body.
This warm, aromatic, spicy and slightly bitter spice is widely used to season a variety of meat, rice and vegetable dishes in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. The spice is also used to produce a deep yellow dye for coloring various textiles.
Making Organic Turmeric powder is a tedious process. The fresh rhizomes are first cleaned and then boiled in freshwater within 2 to 3 days of harvesting. The rhizomes are boiled in the copper, galvanized iron or earthen vessels until just about soft. These boiled organic turmeric rhizomes are then spread out on sheets to dry under the sun. It takes around 10 to 15 days to completely dry. They are then ground and packed.
Earthon brings you the best quality certified organic Turmeric powder from the organic farmlands of Karnataka. It contains up to 5% curcumin content which is higher than most of the other varieties. We strictly follow fair trade practices with our farmers.
You can shop for Earthon’s organic Turmeric powder and other organic spices on www.earthonstore.com. Earthon organic products are also available at Bigbasket in all the major cities in India.