Turmeric is actually indigenous to India but also cultivated in countries like Burma and Indonesia and can be found throughout the tropics, which is why it’s well-known and often found in many cuisines throughout the world but only recently making its way with such popularity to our shores.
There are multiple ways to consume turmeric, making it easy to incorporate into your daily diet. You can find the distinctly yellow root as a ground-up spice, in its original whole root form, or as a sippable juice.
What makes turmeric such a superfood medicinal powerhouse is that it is the only readily available edible source of curcumin, a compound so rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that it has been shown to protect every organ in the body. Filled with naturally occurring minerals like potassium, B6, vitamin C, calcium, and iron, turmeric helps purify the blood and acts as an antioxidant. In ayurveda, it's considered to support a healthy heart, liver, lungs, and both the circulatory and nervous systems.
Turmeric is best absorbed into your body if you use it combined with a bit of fat and something warming like ginger or black pepper, which makes the curcumin more bioavailable. In fact, combining it with black pepper to use in a marinade on meats enables protection from free radicals and toxins that are often produced when cooking animal products at high heat.
In ayurveda, turmeric is considered tridoshic, meaning it is beneficial for everyone. Its heating quality balances kapha and vata doshas (mind-body types), and its bitter taste balances pitta.