Turmeric has powerful health benefits

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Indian medicine, but now it seems the rest of the world has finally caught on to the health-giving powers of the golden spice.

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory, powerful antioxidant and cold and flu fighter. Research points to it also having benefits for arthritis and joint pain, diabetes, Alzheimers, heart health and even in fighting cancer.

Fresh turmeric can be a little hard to come by at your local grocery store, but there’s plenty to be found at the market, especially in the coming months as the main turmeric harvest gets underway.

Turmeric growers include Church Farm, Organic Forrest, Iona Herbs and Summit Organics.

You’ll also find plenty of farmers and food producers at the market using turmeric in food, drinks, juices and pastes.

Billinudgel farmers Andrew Morris and Amanda Callan, of Church Farm, cold press their fresh turmeric into a convenient paste and a juice, which make it easy to add to curries or stir fries or to add to your chai (as Amanda does). To get the maximum benefits from your turmeric, it needs to be taken with a little black pepper and a little fat, says Andrew, as this helps the body to absorb turmeric’s live ingredient, curcumin. Golden milk, made with turmeric, black pepper and coconut milk is a classic  way to enjoy turmeric.

Other turmeric suppliers at the market include organic farmer Rod Bruin, of Summit Organics, who makes fresh organic turmeric juice. Rod says he has substituted his morning coffee for a turmeric and ginger tea, made by adding a dash each of his home made ginger juice and turmeric juice to hot water and sweetening with a little honey. Sue Mangan, of Organic Forrest incorporates fresh turmeric and into her traditional Indonesian health tonic, Jamu, which she sells by the bottle, and also uses it in her soothing honey lemon and ginger tea, which always goes down well in the winter months. Sauerkraut experts, Anna David, of Alive Foods,  add turmeric to their super-healthy Earth n Sea Kraut. You can also check out Anna and David’s  lovely recipe for turmeric milk on their website byronbayalivefoods.com