Turmeric is a perennial rhizome herb that grows well in most climates but is originally from South Asia, and it is part of the ginger family of plant species. Its roots are a deep orange/red color and contain many healing qualities. Most people use only the roots of the plant in their cooking. The roots are harvested during the rainy season and then they left to dry and are ground to a powder before use. Many traditional cultures in South Asia and the Middle East use turmeric in their everyday cooking as it adds wonderful flavor and color to any dish. Turmeric has also been used a natural dye to color fabrics to sew into many things.
How Can It Help?
There is a component of turmeric called curcumin, which has many benefits for the human body. Most notably it is used to ease pain and help reduce inflammation. People might use it to help with things like fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain, Runner's Knee, Lupus, Gout and while recovering from an injury. These people might otherwise use non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or over the counter pain relieving pills to help ease their pain. But these medications can actually contribute to a person’s overall inflammatory load and thus contribute to their pain. NSAIDs and over the counter pain relievers come with other risks as well such as damage to the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular system. There are studies that show that curcumin can be a very real alternative to many medications.
A low to no-risk option to help people who suffer from these pain-causing conditions is to try adding turmeric to your diet. Dried turmeric is easy to find at your local grocery store in the dried herbs and spices section, and is bright yellow in color. You can also find fresh turmeric in the vegetable section at your local grocery store. Be sure to pair it with a little black pepper, as pepper helps to activate the properties of turmeric that help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.