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The Spices of Life: Turmeric

September 20, 2011

Food Preparation, Frontier Medicine

Those of us who advocate preparedness often focus largely on accumulating staple items like wheat and beans, but often give inadequate mention of flavorings that make those foods appealing.

Keeping spices in your prepping supplies

As you store away those bags and buckets of food, are you also stocking up on spices to make all those storage-friendly foods palatable?  If not, I would encourage you to do that (go ahead and put them in the buckets with the Mylar bags) and I want to suggest one that may be a little “off the radar,” but an excellent spice for the preparedness-minded person-  turmeric.

The Golden Spice

Though the name may not be very familiar to you, it’s taste and appearance probably are.  If you are a mustard-lover, you will recognize the tangy flavor and dark yellow hue.  It’s often in cheese also.  If you are a fan of curry, you find it there too.

Turmeric has been in use for thousands of years.  It has been used as a dye, a flavoring, and in natural remedies.  Curcumin, an element of turmeric, has been found to have very positive health effects.

Health Benefits of Eating Turmeric

This spice has been effectively used as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer, a powerful antioxidant, a digestive aid,  for arthritis, and as a treatment for skin diseases and wounds, and even to ease depression.

Recent studies have shown promise in treating a number of conditions with turmeric, including ulcerative colitis, the prevention of plaque build-up in arteries, controlling diabetes, reducing bloating and gas, and it even may assist the body in fighting cancer.

Scientists are studying its possible ability to protect the brain from neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.  It appears to have antiviral and antibacterial uses as well.  Some say it is helpful in addressing colds, fevers, menstrual problems, water retention, kidney problems and even worms.  It is used topically on bruises, pain, and ringworm.

A Nutritional Star

From a nutritive standpoint, turmeric is a stand-out also.  It provides high amounts of manganese and iron, and good levels of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and potassium.

If you have not been taking advantage of all this spice has to offer, how about getting started now?   Incorporate a Far Eastern dish into your menu.  Try adding it to egg salad and rice dishes (maybe in the place of ultra-expensive saffron).    Stir some in your veggie dip or salad dressings for extra punch and beautiful color.

Can you think of anymore foods that are a natural fit for turmeric?  Please mention them in the comments section.

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8 Comments on “The Spices of Life: Turmeric”

  1. Arsenius the hermit Says:

    There used to be a store in a county next to us that sold every kind of spice under the sun, and cheap. I bought cases of the things I like best, and have been using them up over the years but still have about half the things left. I like garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cajun spices, that kind of thing.

    Reply

  2. Laura Says:

    Yep, those are good ones! Garlic and onions have health benefits of their own. Good suggestions. One of these days I’ll get around to doing a post on garlic.

    Reply

  3. Gala Dinneen Says:

    Turmeric is a plant. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine.:

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    Reply

  4. Get'n Ready for It Says:

    I found organic Turmeric with other single organic spices in sealed bags that will last for years at http://www.naturesalternatives.com/food/culinary-spices.html.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tea for Good Health | PreppingToSurvive.com - September 28, 2011

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