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Turmeric is a spice widely used in India in cooking various curries. It has also been used since ancient times in the form of paste as a traditional medicine and also for beauty care. In the Ayurveda system of Indian medicine, the turmeric paste is an important herbal medicine prescribed for various ailments. It is very commonly used throughout India as an ingredient for traditional beauty care treatments. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric is used in Ayurveda in two ways- freshly extracted turmeric juice, which is taken orally, and turmeric paste used for skin application. Raw turmeric is actually a rhizome of curcuma longa similar to ginger in appearance. This raw vegetable is crushed and a paste is made by diluting it with water. The paste is a translucent reddish- yellow paste which is more or less tasteless.
How to select
The turmeric paste is not so readily available in market as ready paste fiorm It should ideally be prepared at home. Choose the turmeric which are firm, without any soft spots. The fresh rhizoids should be deeply orange inside with an orange-tinged beige-brown skin.
" Turmeric paste has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.
" The pretty color and delicate flavor of fresh turmeric paste is well-loved in the southern region of Thailand, where it is extensively used in curries, soups, stir-fried dishes, fried foods, snacks and desserts
" It is used in canned beverages and baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, biscuits, popcorn color, cereals, sauces, etc.
How to store
Fresh paste should be refrigerated and used within a week.
" Turmeric paste is cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic.
" In India Turmeric paste is popular as a gentle laxative
" Folk medicine uses Turmeric paste for sprains and swelling
" It is also said to be most beneficial in chronic illnesses with generalized weakness and in diseases like renal failure where toxins are released into the body.
" The other use of turmeric paste is in stomach ailments. It is said to have a soothing effect on the stomach and thus helps in diseases like hyperacidity and indigestion. Taken regularly, it gives a healthy glow to the skin also.
" It is used for spots of pigmentation or blotches that may appear on the skin, and also for diseases like eczema.
" Turmeric paste is also used in traditional medicine for cuts and burns as it is believed to have an antiseptic effect and also promote healing.