Spotlight on Black Turmeric
This week we are featuring black turmeric from Dean at Pinner Creek Organics who swears by the curative properties of this rare cousin to the popular orange variety and would love to see it grown in more home gardens across the island. Read on for an overview of the properties of this pungent, medicinal plant.
Black turmeric (Curcuma caesia) or kali haldi, is a medicinal plant belonging to the zingiberaceae family. This herb is considered endangered in India where is grows in hilly, forested areas and is highly valued for its medicinal properties. Black turmeric contains an even higher content of curcumin than its orange relative and is used to treat a wide range of ailments including menstrual disorders, tooth aches, bronchitis, asthma, fever, wounds and skin conditions. It has been found to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and helpful for pain relief. 
The flavor of this herb is strong and medicinal and is not meant to be used in cooking. Dave from Pinner Creek Organics suggests preparing the root in the following ways:
Slice and pound roots before wrapping in a cloth and using as a chest poultice for chests colds and other bronchial ailments.
Make a black turmeric cordial by slicing and pounding roots or running them through a food processor to gill 1/3 of a glass container. Fill the balance with Crème de Menthe and shake daily for 3 weeks. Strain into another sterile container and sip before or after dinner as a general tonic or use as a cough remedy.
Alternatively, you can research tincture recipes and make your own black turmeric tincture or extract.
Dean delivered this sweet, handwritten note along with our turmeric order. A big Mahalo to all our customers for supporting local farmers!
Take Dean’s suggestion and try saving a black turmeric root to plant in your garden or a large grow bag (10 gallons or larger). Pick a root that has a nubby green bit protruding from it and dig it a couple inches deep into well drained soil with the nubby bit pointing up.