Lakadong Turmeric: the ammunition to fight inflammation

Inflammation is triggered in the body when the immune system recognises anything foreign such as invading microbes or toxins, and gets into action to defend the body.  However, when inflammation persists in the body without any foreign invaders, it is harmful.  Many major health threats of today – cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s- are all linked to chronic inflammation.

While this is a worrying sign, thankfully, there is also growing understanding and awareness around food and their role in preventing or alleviating certain conditions. There is an increasing emphasis on consciously including food which are anti-inflammatory (a substance that reduces inflammation in the body) in our diet.  There are some superfoods which are known to possess powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  We’ll introduce you to one such ingredient from the Northeast state of Meghalaya that has been getting a lot of attention lately. 

Lakadong Turmeric – the bright tangerine coloured spice from Meghalaya is packed with medicinal properties. The potency of turmeric comes from the presence of curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin and Lakadong turmeric variant has the highest curcumin percentage (7-12%) as compared to others (2-3%). This variant is found growing only in Lakadong, in Meghalaya, thus, its name.

Interestingly, when the farmers tried cultivating it outside the traditional region of Lakadong, they noticed that its quality deteriorated.  Perhaps, the typical terroir - high rainfall, altitude, soil type, and geographical location, all have a hand in contributing to its potency.  In addition to its potency, its exclusivity is unparalleled.  Even at peak production capacity, Lakadong Turmeric would be just about 3% of the total turmeric produced in India as its cultivation is restricted to a small geographical region.  What’s more, it is cultivated by farmers using sustainable, indigenous farming techniques.  There are no harmful chemicals used in its cultivation and that makes it pure and unadulterated.

Having looked at what’s special about Lakadong variant, let’s also take a look at why it is such a prized spice. The medicinal properties of Turmeric have been long known and it has been employed in Ayurvedic, Unani, and other traditional healing practices over the ages. It has been used as an antacid, in a powder form to promote wound healing, as an analgesic to relieve headaches, as a stimulant to promote blood flow, and so on. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant , anti-carcinogenic properties and it helps boost immunity. Various studies from around the world have found that curcumin can combat many maladies, including some of the biggest health threats such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.  It is even known as an anti-cancer spice because of its ability to fight cancer on many levels including providing protection against cancer-causing pollution.

Thus, incorporating Lakadong Turmeric in the diet is a good way to boost immunity and stay fighting fit!  If you are wondering how to include it in your daily wellness ritual, at Beyondarie we have got some delightful beverage options that you can try. 

We have explored the rich variety of herbs & spices found in the Northeast, some growing in the wild and others sustainably cultivated, hiked in the forests to forage wild teas (yes! teas growing on trees in the wild), and looked at ways of complementing various flavours, aromas, and tastes to create the most potent blends. In all our curated recipes that feature Lakadong Turmeric, the turmeric is paired with black pepper. Piperine, a compound found in black pepper, helps in the absorption of curcumin in the body and that makes the two of them a great team! 

The classic Lakadong Turmeric Herbal Latte is a great way to enjoy the pure benefits of turmeric. The golden milk has a smooth flavour and is best had warm.  If you want to enjoy a medley of flavours then go for some exciting blends -  Ghost Chilli, Karbi Ginger, or Ashwagandha herbal latte. These are brimming with the goodness of not only Lakadong Turmeric & black pepper, but also other herbs & spices.  You could even have these in water instead of milk and take in the benefits they offer.

Or you could try the wild or herbal tea blends that contain the dashing duo.  The wild tea blends (wild smoked tea and wild green tea) are power-packed with flavour and taste.   The herbal tea blends (wild cinnamon, ghost chilli, wild litsea, and sweet cardamom) are second to none.

If the summer heat is getting to you then give the untamed immunity frappe a try.  Add Lakadong Turmeric to cold milk, some honey and ice- give it all a good shake- and voila, you have a chilled drink to chill with!

Who says healthy food is boring? We are giving you ten delicious reasons to smile!