You may already be blending turmeric into your daily morning smoothie or throwing it on salmon with abandon, but as a relative newcomer to American spice racks and palates, its flavor and superpower potency can still be something of a mystery as an easy, everyday food ingredient. Which is especially important since curcumin, the powerful medicinal compound that gives turmeric its health benefits, is best consumed in food, with fat and pepper.
So what exactly is turmeric—and what is it good for?
Turmeric is a rhizome (underground root stem) of the leafy Curcuma longa plant. Also known as crushed gold in Persia and used as medicine & the Persian cuisine for thousands of years as is in Indian culture, in cooking, medicine and it is called Indian saffron, everyone from mothers to ayurvedic practitioners uses it for a wide range of medicinal purposes, including:
to support a healthy inflammatory response
to treat infections due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties
to nourish healthy joint mobility and alleviate arthritis symptoms
to relieve occasional nasal and throat congestion
to maintain a healthy digestive and cardiovascular system