© 1994, 2012 Excerpted with permission from Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing
by Usha and Dr. Vasant Lad
Healing Properties of Turmeric
Fresh turmeric root looks a little like ginger, but inside it can be red or yellow. The red is called kunkum and is considered sacred. Only the yellow root is used in cooking and medicinally.
Turmeric is the best medicine in Ayurveda. It cures the whole person. Turmeric is pungent, bitter, astringent and heating and has a pungent vipaka.
Turmeric can be used by all doshas. It may stimulate vata, but doesn’t aggravate it (cause an imbalance). Turmeric helps digestion, maintains the flora of the intestine, reduces gas, has tonic properties and is an antibiotic.
Turmeric can be used for cough, sty, diabetes, hemorrhoids, cuts, wounds, burns and skin problems. It helps reduce anxiety and stress.
1 cup fresh turmeric roots
3 Tbs oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp pickle masala powder
2 pinches salt
Turmeric root and pickle masala powder are available from most Indian grocery stores. Turmeric root looks a little like a small ginger root but is brilliant orange under the skin.
Pitta should use less hing and mustard seed.
Wash and thoroughly dry the turmeric roots. Peel and chop very fine.
Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and hing. Stir until the seeds pop. Cool and pour over the chopped turmeric.
Add the pickle masala powder and salt. Stir well.
Cover and store in refrigerator. Keeps for up to 1 month AS LONG AS not a drop of water gets into the pickle, such as using a wet spoon to get the pickle out of the jar. The water will cause fermentation and the pickle will spoil.
Eat in very small quantities with the meal.
Note: People with hypoglycemia can use small amounts of turmeric in cooking but should not take it in quantity.