The health ingredient of the moment?
Easy, that's turmeric.
The flowering plant – of which the roots of which are used in cooking – is omnipresent in health food aisles, in the form of pills and powders.
Native to South Asia, the ochre-hued spice is one of the world's fastest-growing dietary supplements.
In 2018, products racked up an estimated €300 million in sales in the US, a more than a sevenfold increase from a decade earlier, according to a report from Nutrition Business Journal.
A member of the ginger family, turmeric has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.
The spice is interwoven into daily life in India, be it in cuisine or cultural and healing traditions. Children and adults are fed haldi doodh when poorly – something packaged in the Western world as turmeric lattes. In Indonesia, locals drink Jamu, a turmeric and ginger health tonic during times of illness.
Turmeric is applied to wounds in certain regions of the world as it is believed to fight infection. Mixing it with milk is set to calm the mind and tinting the entrance of your home with the substance is understood to welcome prosperity.
The botanical may boast importance to Irish people specifically, as they provide healing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of temporary work disability amongst Ireland's working-age population) as well as a component called curcumin, which helps treat spots and minimise damage caused by UV rays (Ireland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the EU).
How can I incorporate it into daily life?
Indian brands such as Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials already offer soaps, face packs and scrubs featuring this elixir.
Closer to home, Kiehl’s offers a turmeric and cranberry seed “energising, radiant and exfoliating” mask; Verso claims its Turmeric Booster Serum fights free radicals; Aveda’s Tulsara Wedding mask promises soft and supple skin, and even the famed Double Serum by Clarins lists turmeric as one of its ingredients.
An indie brand called Alaffia has brought the goodness of this spice into its haircare range, while SW Basics offers a turmeric oil serum.
What's great about the product, however, is that you don't need to spend a fortune to reap the benefits. Mix it with milk or into porridge for a boost first thing.
Or, to apply topically, combine a pinch in a bowl with some chilled yoghurt, honey and chickpea/regular flour – ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
A word of warning, though: don’t overdo it. An extra pinch and your skin tone will go from golden glow to traffic light real quick.
Main image by @jourdandunn
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