Turmeric: The Ancient Wonder Ingredient – Metta Murdaya

18 Oct
Healthy Turmeric - Strong Antioxidant

Tasty and Good for you!

So there’s this ‘new’ ingredient that’s popping up in the US in health supplements, skincare, and exotic dishes that’s raved about as uber healthy with anti-cancer properties: Turmeric. We often nod “oh, yes, that plant.” But what is it, and why is it so awesome? Oh, let me count the ways. For one, it’s one of Indonesia’s most revered spices/ingredients used in its herbal medicinal tradition and beauty rituals for centuries, but that’s not all. Hopefully this brief overview will leave you the most interesting person at your next dinner party when you can quip up on the wonders of this spice – and leave people wanting to try it out!

What is it? Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a 5000 year old herb in the ginger family, and is known to grow wild in Southern Asia including India (oldest origin), Indonesia, Indochina, nearby Asian countries, and even in Hawaii. It is less fibrous than ginger, and has a nutty, slightly funky herbal/gingery smell to it and a nice, peppery and warm flavor.

What is it used for? Many things. Its roots are used in cooking as a spice, medicine, and even dye to color fabric/food. Known for its bright yellow color that can stain, turmeric has been used as a food colorant and dye for cloth historically as a less expensive alternative to saffron.  Indonesian and Indian cuisine frequent this ingredient, especially in curries, because it is not only yummy but healthy! In Indonesia, we use Turmeric in hundreds of healthy concoctions from a princess spa ritual to brighten skin to drunken medicines to help cleanse blood and liver. In Bali, a traditional healer mixed turmeric with sandalwood and water to create a paste he massaged in my sprained ankle to help reduce swelling and induce rapid healing! (For those of you who saw Eat, Pray, Love, yes – those healers do exist, I can personally attest to it!) Turmeric is also widely used in Indian Ayurvedic systems, most widely used to purify blood.

What’s the magic ingredient? Curcumin is the power ingredient in Turmeric that has many of the anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and blood purifying properties. Though studies conducted are still in the early stage, curcumin has shown positive effect on preventing cancer through its ability to suppress the proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells and to inhibit harmful molecules and enzymes. Topically, like in our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, the curcumin in our turmeric complex brightens skin and naturally fights discoloration and age spots naturally. It gives your skin a natural glow – just try it! 15 minutes and you’ll notice a difference.

What does it do, in a nutshell? Overall, turmeric is an amazing antioxidant, thanks to an ingredient in it – curcurmin. Turmeric can detoxify the liver, reduce cholesterol, brighten skin complexion (see our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask), is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, and does a whole lot more. So take your dose or turmeric – in capsules like a health supplement, fresh, or in a spice powder, in Jamu (Indonesian tonics), or in our JUARA Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask. Enjoy!

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