I've been digging up lots of turmeric from my food forest and kitchen garden lately. I use it every day and love it fresh - in juices, grated in salad, but also in curries, egg dishes, teas, soups and rice. Fresh and raw is best though - it's more potent that way.
I've made a 8 minute film about how I grow, harvest, use and store turmeric. The link is here. I hope you enjoy it.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and has been used in India for over 2500 years. Well known as the orange/yellow colour in curries, and more recently in the popular golden mylk, it is a medicinal powerhouse with a great health benefits.
It is a superb natural cold and cough remedy with its antibacterial and anti-viral qualities. The anti-inflammatory action of its active ingredient, curcumin, helps to relieve chest congestion.
Turmeric is a fabulously easy plant to grow in warmer climates and it has so many beneficial uses.
Plant a segment of turmeric when the soil begins to warm, and nine months later, when the tops die back, dig for the abundant rhizomes. One of my plants yielded 5 kg last year!
|5 kgs from one piece of turmeric in just 2 years.|
In courtyards, balconies and courtyards, you can grow it in big pots and grow bags. It certainly does prefer a warm humid climate, but there are niches you can find or create to extend it's range somewhat.
Thanks to Bernie, a Turmeric farmer (www.selfhelpretreat.com.au) for writing and saying there are three key forms of turmeric:
- LONGA: deeply orange and contains lots of curcumin - the one to grow and use for medicine.
- AROMATICA: yellow, the one in my film, mostly for culinary purposes.
- NATIVE: Australia has a native turmeric in North Queensland. Polynesia has a black turmeric, and Hawaii folk has white turmeric.
(Please note, it is recommended that people on blood thinners should not consume turmeric).