Plus, it's a powerful antioxidant that may help you maintain cholesterol levels already in the normal range, minimize oxidative stress, support brain health, and assist your gall bladder function.
You probably don’t realize how many common spices found in your kitchen cabinet contain robust nutrients.*
Of course, you naturally use many of these colorful herbs and spices to add flavor to your food. But many of them go well beyond simply tantalizing your taste buds.
Some of the spices you use can have powerful health-supporting properties.* And this is one of the underlying reasons why they’ve been used for thousands of years in ancient cultures. Modern research is now taking a closer look at some of these common spices and their potential to enrich your overall health.
One such spice is turmeric, the colorful “curry spice” often used in Indian cuisine. It’s even probably in your cabinet. Turmeric contains curcumin. This is the pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow-orange brilliance. And curcumin is a polyphenol identified as turmeric’s primary active compound…
So what are some of the ways you can take advantage of curcumin? Well, one approach is to use it in your cooking as a pure turmeric or curry powder (turmeric powder is my preference).
There are some more effective ways I feel you can take advantage of curcumin benefits. And I’m ready to share with you some of those strategies coming up. But first, you might be wondering… “Where does this turmeric spice get its ‘roots’ from?”
Why Some Hail It as ‘The Spice of Life’
A few years ago, I traveled over 15,000 miles to India to learn more about the herbs and spices that lie at the heart of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is India’s recognized authoritative source of knowledge and truth in holistic health promotion.
Of the many herbs and spices I studied, one that particularly caught my attention was turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that has been often labeled “The Spice of Life.”*
curcumin in turmeric - Spice of Life
Turmeric has been used as a spice and in other variety of ways 1000s of years ago in many ancient cultures.
Even though there may be some debate about the timing of turmeric's first use as a healthy spice, folklore has spawned many clues on when and how it was possibly used…
Thousands of years ago, people in India and China used turmeric in a variety of ways. Some stories suggest traditional use may date back more than 10,000 years ago in India.
The ancient Polynesians carried turmeric with them on their incredible voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Today, Hawaiians still use this spice known to them as Olena. In addition to a number of health-promoting properties, many ancient cultures used turmeric as a dye and it was even worn as dried beads to ward off evil spirits.
While in China, Marco Polo in 1280 AD recorded information on turmeric in his diary: "There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well the smell and the color, and yet it is not really saffron."
So, turmeric has been used as a substitute for saffron (an old world spice) in Europe for over 700 years. And when it comes to curcumin in turmeric, western scientists first isolated the curcumin molecule in 1815, obtained its crystalline form in 1870, and determined its overall structure by the early 1900s.