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Turmeric, fresh (raw, organic?)

Raw turmeric (Curcuma longa, curcuma, turmeric root) not only stimulates digestion, but also has other health-promoting properties. Organic?
Given the lack of nutritional information for this ingredient, we completed the nutrition table with values from reliable sources.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 83.92%
Macronutrient proteins 11.99%
Macronutrient fats 4.1%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Turmeric ( Curcuma longa , turmeric , yellow root ) has a spicy, nutty aroma accompanied by a hint of bitterness. The raw rhizome (rootstock) can be chopped and added to salads.

Use in the kitchen

What does turmeric taste like? The fresh turmeric rhizome has a resinous, slightly burning, earthy-bitter taste. The root looks very similar to ginger and galangal, but is intensely reddish-yellow on the inside. The peeled rhizome is known both fresh (raw) and dried as a spice and coloring (turmeric powder).

Eating fresh turmeric: We often get questions like Can you eat raw turmeric (effects)? or Why not eat raw turmeric root? Finely grated as an ingredient in salad, as raw food or in a dish - you can eat raw turmeric root every day. Or you can bite off a piece of the turmeric root. The tuber is easy to chew. You should actually eat some raw turmeric every day to promote your health (use a little pepper).

What can you do with turmeric? Turmeric can be used to make tea or the popular turmeric latte (see the recipe for the ingredient turmeric, ground ). Thai cuisine in particular uses the fresh, raw turmeric rhizome in grated form. This is used to make the yellow curry paste. Curry consists mainly of turmeric (yellow root). Of course, you can also cook turmeric, but then it is more likely to be used in a curry mixture. Thai turmeric recipes often include rice and vegetable dishes. However, it is best to eat turmeric fresh.

How much turmeric can I eat raw? is also a common question. 3 to 5 grams per day is enough to achieve most of the claimed effects. More than that is probably above the optimum, unless it is spread over several meals a day. For an average root size, that's half a root per person. The size can vary greatly, however. Because the skin (not the peel, although you can peel it) of the turmeric is also valuable, we recommend organic quality.

Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is considered sacred. In Ayurveda (Ayurvedic medicine) it is considered a "hot" spice with cleansing and energizing effects. Turmeric is also used as a medicinal remedy in Chinese medicine. Raw turmeric does not yet play a major role in western cuisine. Turmeric is still mostly used dried and ground as an ingredient in curry powder , as a cheap saffron substitute or as a coloring in the food industry, e.g. for mustard , pasta or turmeric rice. But fresh, raw roots are becoming increasingly popular.

Vegan recipe for green smoothie with raw turmeric and spinach

For one person, prepare 50 g of fresh leaf spinach , 40 g of bananas , 35 g each of apples and pears , 190 ml of water and about half a teaspoon of grated, raw turmeric (depending on taste). Chop the well-chilled ingredients and mix in a smoothie maker or blender until you reach the desired consistency. If you like, you can refine the drink with a little pepper. The vegan smoothie is best enjoyed fresh.

Eating fresh turmeric raw: Vegan recipes with fresh turmeric root (raw) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes.

Purchasing - Storage

The best place to buy fresh, raw turmeric rhizomes is in a well-stocked health food store, organic store or organic supermarket such as Denns and Alnatura . Some of the larger supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa etc. or Asian stores sometimes sell the fresh version alongside dried turmeric powder (which may be irradiated, except for organic quality). Online retailers also offer fresh and raw turmeric, but you should look for a trustworthy organic seal and take the sender's ratings into account. You rarely get fresh turmeric roots at the weekly market, directly from the farmer or even in organic quality.

Since turmeric is mainly grown in tropical areas, the fresh rhizome is in season all year round . Turmeric cultivated in Central or Southern Europe is rare and is in season in winter.

Turmeric capsules are available as a dietary supplement. However, we recommend consuming raw, fresh turmeric at 3-5 g per day. A high dose of 8-12 g of turmeric daily (raw or cooked) can cause irritation of the stomach lining even in healthy people.

The availability of turmeric varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. If you are interested, click on our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries (above under the ingredient image). There you will find current prices from various supermarkets and their price development.

Storage tips

The raw turmeric rhizome loves darkness and can be used up quickly, as turmeric loses its yellow color and aroma in the light. Turmeric can be stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for about two to three weeks - or one to two weeks at room temperature. To avoid mold, you should wrap the fresh rhizome in kitchen paper if you live in a humid climate. To store fresh turmeric for a longer period of time, you can freeze the pieces in portions. A rootstock can be stored dry in sand or soil at around 10 degrees Celsius. The roots can be dried out with heat and then processed into powder. This can be done dry with an electric coffee grinder.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

The turmeric rhizome contains, among other things, essential oils with anti-inflammatory effects. The yellowish color is caused by curcumin or its derivatives (curcuminoids), which make up to 5.4% of the rhizome. 19 In addition to curcumin, the most important chemical components include demethodycurcumin and bisdemethodycurcumin. 3

Unfortunately, there are no nutritional values for raw turmeric in the databases we use. There are studies in which you can find some nutritional values. 1,2 Unfortunately, some of the data is contradictory, such as values for amino acids that are far too low 3 compared to known values for ground turmeric. For this reason, we have not listed some nutritional values - or, like the amino acids, we have calculated and stated them ourselves in relation to the amount of protein.

You can find all the ingredients of turmeric, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Effects on health

Turmeric is used in folk medicine, especially in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). There it is used to treat various ailments. There are no studies on turmeric carried out by Western conventional medicine that underline its healing effects.

Is turmeric good for the liver? According to Ayurveda, turmeric helps against breathing problems, liver disorders, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, colds, coughs and anorexia. In TCM, turmeric is effective against stomach pain. In Indonesia, turmeric is considered a traditional remedy, especially for strengthening the immune system and as a prevention against infections and respiratory diseases.

Turmeric is not a superfood, but it does have health-promoting properties. What is turmeric good for? In general, turmeric stimulates digestion, reduces flatulence and has a positive effect on fat digestion. 2

Curcumin, the most studied ingredient in the spice turmeric, modulates a variety of signaling molecules that cover a wide range of effects in the human body and animal models. These include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, chemopreventive, chemotherapeutic, antiproliferative, wound healing and antiparasitic effects. 13 For more information, see "Use as a recognized medicinal plant."

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children under 12 should not consume turmeric regularly or in large quantities, as there are hardly any study results on the effects or side effects for these groups of people. However, turmeric is harmless in moderate quantities. A large consumption of turmeric not only stimulates digestion, but can also cause gastrointestinal problems or inhibit blood clotting. This is why people with haemophilia in particular should clarify before taking turmeric.

Use as a medicinal plant

Turmeric and its effects are interesting for scientific studies, but not always clear, as curcumin contains PAINS (Pan-Assay Interference Compounds), which are believed to cause false results in chemical tests. 17

Some yellow dyes such as curcumin have anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, according to some authors. 7 However, there are also studies that suggest that curcumin breaks down the tumor suppressor protein p53, which may therefore have cancer-promoting properties. 8 However, this is controversial, as in 2006, opposite effects were found in breast cancer cells, where the p53 concentration increased in curcumin-treated cells. In addition, there has not yet been any scientific evidence of these mechanisms in human subjects. There have been positive studies on the effect against cystic fibrosis in mice, but no positive effect in humans. 9

Curcumin influences bone metabolism. In mice, it counteracts the loss of bone density caused by estrogen deficiency. It is still unclear whether curcumin promotes bone health in humans. 11,12 Curcumin has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on knee osteoarthritis, where it inhibits the enzymes cyclooxygenase-2, lipoxygenase and NO synthase. 6

Since we generally consume very little turmeric and, above all, the bioavailability of curcumin is very low, in vitro studies are difficult to transfer to humans. 4,5 In order to increase the bioavailability of curcumin, studies have shown that it should be combined with piperine, a component ofblack pepper , although interactions are to be expected here. 10,15 According to an in vivo study, curcumin reduces the neurotoxicity induced by fluoride. 16

The curcumin contained in turmeric can modulate several cell signaling pathways and has been used for therapeutic purposes in a variety of scientific studies, with one study using up to 12 grams daily for 3 months. 20

Based on a curcumin content of around 3.14% per 100g in pure turmeric powder 21 or up to 5.4% in fresh rhizome, 19 this would correspond to a daily amount of 380g of powder or 220g of fresh rhizome. However, such amounts can sometimes cause stomach problems, and the availability of curcumin can be increased by up to 2000% by adding pepper containing the ingredient piperine. 10

Despite the sometimes very high amount of curcumin in various studies 22, the WHO has recommended a daily dose of curcumin of 0-3 mg/kg of body weight since 2013 23 - for a person weighing 60 kg, this corresponds to a maximum of 180 mg = 0.18 g and thus 5.7 g of powder or 3.3 g of fresh rhizome.

It can be assumed that the majority of people tolerate amounts of less than 6 g of curcumin per day well. However, especially with long-term use, one should follow the WHO guidelines (at least at the beginning) and increase the dose according to tolerance and one's own discretion. The University Hospital Freiburg , Germany, has published a very informative and comprehensive work by Prof. Dr. Sigrun Chrubasik-Hausmann . 18

However, it should be noted that until a complete safety profile is available, excessive consumption should not occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

To produce 1 kg of turmeric, you need about 1657 liters of water. 24 However, the source cited here does not indicate whether the value refers to powder or the fresh tuber. Producing powder requires a lot of energy, as the tubers either have to boil for up to 6 hours or cook for several hours. 25

Due to its special environmental requirements, turmeric has only been grown sporadically in Europe. In Austria, for example, it has been possible to cultivate organic turmeric in an unheated foil tunnel. 25 When buying, it is therefore worth paying attention to regionality. If turmeric comes from organic farming, no synthetic fertilizers or insecticides are used. Since these have a harmful effect on the environment, organic products are preferable to conventional ones, both in powder and fresh form.

The use of turmeric-based essential oils in agriculture has already shown good effects against various plant pests such as insects or mites in individual studies. Such an approach could be a good alternative or at least an option for reducing the use of synthetic plant protection products in the future. 26

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

The turmeric rhizome comes from South Asia, where it is still found growing wild, especially in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It is cultivated mainly in the tropical parts of Asia and Africa. Turmeric grows wild in South Asian forests (eg in India and Indonesia).

Cultivation - Harvest

If you like to enjoy turmeric raw and fresh, you can grow the plant yourself - organically. A piece of organic turmeric root is all you need. The root is left completely exposed and allowed to germinate. This works best if you first soak the root in water at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. However, the germination site should not be too moist to prevent mold from forming.

After planting, water the roots a little. After two to three weeks, you should see a sprout appear. Curcuma forms a false stem and large leaves. In warm regions, the plant can be kept in the garden from June to August. The temperature must not fall below 15 degrees Celsius, even at night. 14 In cooler regions, turmeric must be overwintered indoors or in a heated conservatory.

When the seedling has reached a few centimeters, plant it in a wide pot or in a vegetable box with potting soil. The turmeric seedling should point upwards and protrude slightly from the soil. A partially shaded place with room temperature and mostly moist soil without waterlogging would be ideal. Oxygen must be able to reach the roots.

After about nine months, the plant should have formed new rhizomes (roots). In winter, you can harvest 14 or propagate. Once the flowers and leaves have wilted, you can carefully dig out the rootstock.

If you want to multiply the plants again, you soak them again and let them germinate. This can be done at either end of the root and will initially appear green. This allows you to divide the root to grow several plants. However, the cut should first be allowed to dry out for a few days before planting it at a depth of around 5 cm. This is the method without prior germination in the air.

Further information

Are turmeric and ginger the same? Turmeric ( Curcuma longa ) is a plant species within the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and is related to ginger ( Zingiber officinale ).

Zedoary root or white turmeric or zedoary ( Curcuma zedoaria ) is a type of saffron root in India. White turmeric is very similar to turmeric. Curcuma zedoaria is used as a stomach, gall and liver remedy. There are many common names for it.

Alternative names

Wikipedia knows the following alternative names for turmeric: Curcuma, Curcume, Gelbsuchtswurz, Gilbwurtzel, Gilbwurzimber, Gurkume, Gurkumey, Gelber Ingwer, Mülleringer, Babylonian saffron, Indian saffron, Indian saffron, Javanese turmeric, Tumerik and Turmarik. 12 Other common names are Saffronwurz (saffron root), Turmeric (yellow root) and Gilbwurz (yellow root).

English names are turmeric, curcuma, Indian saffron, turmeric rhizome or turmeric root. Fingerroot or Krachai or Chinese ginger is also healthy (a medicinal plant), but has nothing to do with turmeric, although it is also used in Thai cuisine.

Other uses

The most common use of turmeric root is processing it into powder as a basis for curry spice mixtures . Its use as a colorant ranges from food to paper, varnishes and ointments. In chemistry, turmeric paper has been used as an indicator paper (similar to litmus paper, not litmus paper) for alkalis (change point to brown-red at pH = 8.6). Curcumin is used as a reagent for detecting boron in the form of boric acid and in acidic solution produces the red dye rosocyanine.

Since turmeric (Kurkume, Curcuma, not: Cucuma) is relatively inexpensive as a powder, counterfeiters often use it to dilute saffron powder; caustic soda helps to check this. When the alkaline lye is added, the extract of saffron threads diluted with turmeric turns red; without turmeric it would retain its yellowish color. The flower of the turmeric plant is cream to pink in color and has a long shelf life, which is why it is popular as a cut flower. 12

Bibliography - 16 Sources

1.Balakrishnan K. Postharvest technology and processing of turmeric. Ravindran P. N, Nirmal Babu K, Sivaraman K, editors. Turmeric: The Genus Curcuma. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2007. pp. 193–256.
2.Prasad S, Bharat B. Turmeric, the Golden Spice From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2011, 2(13). PMID: 22593922.
3.Sharma D, Maheshwari A, Mohan P. Nutritional analysis of Curcuma longa L. in different cities of west uttar Pradesh (INDIA). International Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2013, Dez., 4(4). ISSN:0976-9390.
4.Nelson K, Dahlin J, Bisson J, Graham J, Pauli G, Walters M. The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2017, Jan, 60 (5). doi: 10.1021/ acs.jmedchem.6b00975.
5.Baker M. Deceptive curcumin offers cautionary tale for chemists. Spice extract dupes assays and leads some drug hunters astray. Nature. 2017, Jan, 541/7636. doi:10.1038/541144a.
6.Madu K, Chanda K, Saji M. Safety and efficacy of Curcuma longa extract in the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Inflammopharmacology. 2012, Dez.
7.Aggarwal B, Shishodia S, Takada Y, Banerjee S, Newman R, Bueso-Ramos C et al. Curcumin suppresses the "paclitaxelinduced" nuclear factor-kappaB pathway in breast cancer cells and inhibits lung metastasis of human breast cancer in nude mice. Clin Cacncer Res. 2012, 11(20), PMID 16243823.
8.Tsvetkov P, Asher G, Reiss V, Shaul Y, Sachs L, Lotem J. Inhibition of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 activity and induction of p53 degradation by the natural phenolic compound curcumin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2005, 102(15). doi:10.1073/ pnas.0501828102
9.Egan M, Pearson M, Weiner S, Rajendran V, Rubin D, Glockner-Pagel J et al. Curcumin, a major constituent of turmeric, corrects cystic fibrosis defects. Science, 2004, 304(5670). doi:10.1126/ science.1093941.
10.Shoba G, Joy D, Joseph T, Majeed M, Rajendran R, Sirinivas P. Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers. Planta Med, 1998. 64,(4). doi:10.1055/ s-2006-957450.
11.Oh S, Kyung T, Choi H. Curcumin inhibits osteoclastogenesis by decreasing receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) in bone marrow stromal cells. Mol. Cells. 2008, 26(5). PMID 18719352.
12.Kim W, Ke K, Sul O, Kim H, Kim S, Lee M et al. Curcumin protects against ovariectomy-induced bone loss and decreases osteoclastogenesis. J. Cell. Biochem. 2011. PMID 21732406.
13.Deutschsprachiges Wikipedia: Kurkuma.
14.Artikel zur Anpflanzung und Vermehrung von Gelbwurz mit Bildern: und
15.Prasad S, Tyagi AK, Aggarwal BB. Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice. Cancer Research and Treatment : Official Journal of Korean Cancer Association. 2014;46(1):2-18. doi:10.4143/ crt.2014.46.1.2. Free text: pmc/ articles/ PMC3918523/
16.Sharma C, Suhalka P, Sukhwal P, Jaiswal N, Bhatnagar M. Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence. Pharmacognosy Magazine. 2014;10(37):61-65. doi:10.4103/ 0973-1296.126663. Free text: pmc/articles/ PMC3969660/
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