La turmeric and curry are exotic names that in el country we know for their use in the kitchen as a seasoning spice. In eastern countries, however, these two ingredients are typical and have been used practically every day since ancient times.
The two spices seem similar to us Westerners because of the semi-sweet and slightly acrid smell and also because of their color which is equally the same being a beautiful yellow-ocher.
This is easily explained by the fact that Turmeric is a spice obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and it is used pure with the name of “turmeric” in India and of “saffron of the Indies or turmeric” in the country. Turmeric is harvested from the root or rather the underground rhizome with an orange color and a strongly aromatic odor.
In the lands of cultivation and origin such as India and Malaysia this turmeric rhizome is consumed fresh even if the use of the dried powder is more widespread. In the country we usually find turmeric in the spice department and it is precisely the dried and powdered rhizome.
In the same spice department in the village we find he curry. With this name we can speak of the Murraya koenigii plant of the rutaceae family of which the leaves are used as a spice or more commonly with the name of curry is called the mixture of spices which in the East is called "masala".
In this mixture of spices known precisely also in the country with the name of curry we find chilli, ginger, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon, saffron and above all turmeric which gives the ocher color.
Here is revealed why we confuse the 2 spices: ultimately we can say that turmeric is an ingredient in the curry blend.
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Properties of turmeric
First turmeric is rich in antioxidants such as curcumin which have the ability to fight free radicals responsible for cellular aging.
This ability becomes very important in many metabolic steps in maintaining the well-being of the body above all, it reduces the effect of free radicals on inflammatory states and this generally means less problems since most diseases start from inflammation.
Especially for people suffering from joint inflammation such as'arthritis, turmeric becomes an excellent natural remedy. Also because the active ingredient curcumin in addition to being an antioxidant is also an excellent natural anti-inflammatory.
The use of turmeric in anti-inflammatory diseases it is very similar to the use of synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
Turmeric can also be used on wounds, sunburn, insect bites, bruises or for various skin problems. This topical use is given by its healing properties e antiseptics which act locally in the sore spot.
Turmeric has been studied for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer with excellent results. Other studies have confirmed that curcumin can help to combat the onset of various cancers such as those of the colon, lungs, skin, kidneys, breasts, liver and in some leukemias. In fact tumor manifestations in the eastern lands such as India where the use of turmeric is daily there is also a low incidence of these diseases.
Turmeric has also been studied for its beneficial properties on the cardiovascular system in fact it is capable of strengthening the endothelial tissue of blood vessels allowing a better regulation of blood pressure and blood coagulation. This therefore allows to have excellent beneficial effects on blood vessels and on the entire cardiovascular system, lowering the risk of heart disease.
Finally, turmeric reduces bad cholesterol levels by up to 10% (LDL) and even manages to increase levels of the good one by 30%. Furthermore, according to the latest scientific studies, curcumin is able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol thus avoiding deposits and encrustations in the blood vessels with a consequent reduction in the risk of stroke or heart attacks.
All these properties are also present in the curry spice blend precisely because turmeric is an essential ingredient in curry-masala.
Properties of curry-masala
In curry we will have the properties of turmeric associated with all other spices such as chilli, cardamom, cumin, coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, fenugreek, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, saffron and the leaves of the curry plant that make it so curry-masala is a real panacea for human health.
Indeed it seems that thanks to the daily use of these spices many diseases and health problems are reduced or almost not present in the eastern lands that use curry-masala.
Curry is therefore also rich in antioxidants that reduce the aging process of the body and thanks to the presence of turmeric it is also a valid natural anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, always thanks to curcumin, curry can prevent cardiovascular problems and reduce cholesterol.
Thanks to the presence of cumin, curry also has beneficial properties for digestion and the stomach being an excellent carminative and lowering abdominal bloating problems. Furthermore, curry increases the levels of gastric juices thus helping the digestive function and thanks to the presence of cloves the intestinal flora is regularized, creating a healthier environment with a lower risk of onset of diseases.
Several spices contained in curry have an antibacterial action which therefore helps to counteract any possible presence in the body of external pathogens. This natural antibacterial action therefore helps to keep the body clean and purified.Curry also has beneficial properties on the liver and on the production of bile.
Finally, curry also has a slimming effect because it contains ginger and chilli which help to consume more calories and cinnamon which lowers the feeling of hunger. Even the retention of liquids is regulated by the presence of these spices and in particular pepper helps to stimulate blood circulation, thus helping to fight the imperfections of cellulite.
Turmeric and curry: conclusion on the differences
As we could see the differences between curry and turmeric are slight and given by the fact that turmeric is an ingredient in curry-masala.
Therefore the properties of curry have a greater range of action and cover a broader action towards restoring the well-being of the body. Turmeric contributes a lot to this process but it is only one of the many ingredients of curry which as we have listed is made up of over 10 spices.
Aesthetically, the two spice powders are similar in color and smell. Curry obviously has a more distinctly aromatic flavor and is spicy thanks to the presence of chilli and pepper.
LTurmeric, on the other hand, is sweet and has no spicy taste. The use in the kitchen obviously depends on the preferences of individual tastes between those who love spicy and those who do not. In eastern countries, turmeric and curry are in common use since childhood and even pregnant mothers consume these spices to accustom the unborn child to the traditional flavors of their local food.
> The cosmetic uses of turmeric
> How curry is made