A trip around the souks in Marrakesh will be a colourful experience. Outside many of the stalls are bins of colourful spices. Turmeric – one of the most widely used spices – is the root stalk of a plant which is part of the ginger family. But it also has medicinal properties.
The main ingredient of turmeric is curcumin said to possess anti-inflammatory effects which are present in many illnesses. Inflammation is the body’s response to infection and tissue damage. Curcumin is also a powerful anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are substances which it is currently believed may prevent or delay certain types of cell damage. Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhoea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, headaches, bronchitis, colds and lung infections.
Studies have been conducted in laboratories to test these claims with positive results in relation to oesophageal cancer cells, liver damage, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia. In recent research conducted at Monash Asia University, a gram of turmeric consumed with breakfast appears to boost working memory.
So Moroccan Lamb Tangine for breakfast anyone?
Take as a supplement
To get the full effect, it would be difficult to take enough turmeric to just using it as a spice in your food, so it is recommended by experts that curcumin is taken as a supplement. If you decide to take turmeric/curcumin as a supplement then try to get one with bioperine (found in black pepper). This will aid absorption.