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What Curry Is
Effects & Benefits
History of Curry
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Effects and Benefits of Turmeric, Curcumin and Curry Powder
Excerpted from the
Ram Traders Website
To Traditional Ayurvedics, Turmeric is seen as an excellent natural antibiotic, while at the same time it strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora. As such it is a good anti-bacterial for those chronically weak or ill. It's not only purifies the blood, but also warms it and stimulates formation of new blood tissue. Turmeric gives the energy of the divine mother and grants prosperity. It is effective for cleansing the chakras (nadi-shodhana), purifying thechannels of the subtle body. It helps stretch the ligaments and is, therefore, good for the practice of hatha yoga. Turmeric promotes proper metabolism in the body, correcting both excesses and deficiencies. It aids in the digestion of protein. Externally, it can be used with honey for sprains, strains, bruise or itch. It is tonic to the skin, for which purpose it can be taken internally as a milk decoction. Turmeric is aromatic and a stimulant and has many helpful functions. It is bitter, slightly pungent and a good blood purifier, and works as a tonic to aid digestion and relieve congestion. It has a soothing action on respiratory ailments such as cough and asthma. It also is antiarthritic and acts as a natural anti-bacterial. Turmeric may be added to high-protein food to assist digestion and prevent the formation of gas. It is effectively used to maintain the flora of the large intestine.
Excerpted from the
In animal studies and in one human trial published in 1992, turmeric also showed promise in lowering cholesterol levels and fighting atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart attack. Preliminary tests even indicate that curcumin can inhibit the replication of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. More research in this area is clearly needed before any specific recommendations can be made.
Today, turmeric is widely recommended for myriad diseases, from stomach ulcers and skin infections to eye conditions (such as chronic anterior uveitis). ... when it's applied as a paste, it may well eliminate scabies, an itchy skin condition caused by parasitic mites.
In laboratory and small animal studies, curcumin has been found to hinder the growth of errant cells associated with cancer of the breast, skin, and colon, as well as lymphoma.
In a small but interesting 1992 clinical trial of 16 cigarette smokers, those taking 1.5 grams of turmeric a day for 30 days had a significantly lower level of mutagens (in the urine) than a control group consisting of six nonsmokers.
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Curry: as used in India, this simply means "sauce"; Indian foods made with sauces are thus all "curries"
Curry Powder: a readily-available blend of spices which is a Western approximation of Indian spice blends, and typically contains turmeric, coriander, chillies, cumin, mustard, ginger, fenugreek, garlic, cloves, salt, and any number of other spices
Masala: In India and her neighbors, a blend of powdered spices, of a specific type for a specific type of dish; said to be about 100 kinds of masalas in Indian cooking
Garam masala: A readily-available masala composed of delicate, heat-sensitive spices; thus, it is added at the end of cooking, after the flame has been turned off (see left)
Curcumin: Confusion exists in present usage of this word; Curcumin is the name for turmeric in many countries; however, expensive products called "Curcumin" are now being sold with the vitamins at health food outlets, and research on curcumin abounds in current medical literature. Some say that curcumin is the yellow oils that give turmeric its yellow color, and which are also used as both food coloring and textile dyeing. Others call these yellow oils "curcuminoids" or "curcumin extract." Curcumin has nothing to do with "Cumin" spice (see below). See the
Curcuminoids: Chemicals in turmeric that are being studied for their physiological effects; one group of curcuminoids comprises a potent yellow-orange volatile oil (see Curcumin Extract below); this oil contains three compounds called turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberone, among other substances
Curcumin Extract: The term used by Indian pharmacists to denote the potent and expensive yellow-orange oil which is the dye substance extracted from turmeric, used both for food coloring and for textile dye; has been used for centuries in India
Curry Leaves: A plant with small, dark green leaves (about 1 inch long) that give a mild flavor to Indian food; usually used fresh, not dried; they are sometimes included in Curry Powder, but do not give Curry Powder its name
Cumin: A small, warm-climate annual plant of which the seeds are used; often mistranslated as "caraway" in curry recipes due to similarity of the Indian words for both cumin and caraway, jeera, as well as nearly-identical appearance of the seeds; assume that "caraway" means "cumin" in curry recipes; "Cumin" has nothing to do with "Curcumin" (see above)
Chilli: Red chillies, also called Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper in America
Chilli Powder: In Asia/Europe, the powder of pure red chillies -- this would be called Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper in America; American "Chilli Powder" is a very different blend of spices, including cumin and with very little red chilli in it, used in Chili con carne, barbecue and "Texas" style cooking
Haldi or Haldie: The Indian name for Turmeric
Turmeric: A plant of which the root resembles ginger, and is used extensively in India, which produces almost the whole world's supply, as well as consumes 80% of that supply; botanical name is curcuma longa; is native to Southeast Asia, from Vietnam to the humid hilly regions of Southern India; Indian name Haldi