This turmeric health tonic contains the king of spices, turmeric contains a powerful compound called curcumin. Curcumin is a naturally occurring chemical compound called a carotenoid. It is a polyphenol with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin has been studied for its potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and possibly even reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. It acts as a free radical scavenger and is a microbial warrior.
Inspired by the great Jamu Kunyit at Janet DeNeef’s Bali restaurant Casa Luna, this is my version with the fresh produce created for the cooking school in 2005. The photo shoot is from an assignment in Sri Lanka 2008 for Kahanda Kanda boutique hotel’s wellness menu ©ImageJennyCollins.
While the majority of turmeric is cultivated in India, it is also grown and harvested in a few other regions of the world. Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many curries, providing them both colour and flavour. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of the turmeric plant are used medicinally. Like its little sister ginger, turmeric has been used in traditional medicine as a liver tonic and blood purifier, and continues to be useful for a variety of skin conditions and minor injuries.
Today, turmeric is considered potentially beneficial for use in connection with symptoms associated with a variety of health conditions due to its purported antioxidant, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial effects.
The active constituent in turmeric is known as curcumin, which is believed to be responsible for the following medicinal and therapeutic properties:
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory by lowering histamine levels.
- Acts as an anti-oxidant protecting against free radical damage.
- Protects the liver from certain toxins.
- Improves circulation by inhibiting blood platelet from aggregating.
- Curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric, induces the flow of bile, which breaks down fats.
- Extracts of turmeric root inhibited gastric secretion and protected against injuries caused by medications such as indomethacin and reserpine in an animal study.
- Further studies are needed to confirm these effects in humans.
- Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves the aches and pains associated with arthritis.
- Turmeric has been shown to decrease symptoms of skin cancers and reduced the incidence of chemically caused breast cancer in lab animals.
- The herb’s volatile oil functions as an external antibiotic, preventing bacterial infection in wounds.