What exactly is turmeric?
If you’ve ever eaten a curry and noticed a strong, orangey-yellow colour to your plate (or accidently splashed onto your clean, white top), you’ve eaten turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice from the ginger family and is most commonly found growing in its native Southeast Asian countries. The root, or rhizome, is ground down to create the orange powder that many of us have in our spice racks.
Along with other spices such as ginger and cumin, turmeric is responsible for giving curries their glorious colour and spicy flavour.
Turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb and as a spice in cooking in India for thousands of years. In the West, we’re relative newcomers to the benefits of this wonder spice, but it’s actually a compound within turmeric that gives it its unique health properties, called curcumin.
Curcumin is one of hundreds of known curcuminoids found in turmeric, and is the most well-studied active ingredient in turmeric.