June 1, 2022 -Anna Fitter for Smart Village Movement
India grows a variety of spices that are in much demand globally. Today we tell the story of Meghalaya’s famous Lakadong Turmeric (Curcuma Longa), well recognized as one of the world’s finest varieties of turmeric known for its high curcumin content and eco-responsible methods of small-scale organic farming.
Smart Village Movement in Alliance with Berkeley Haas brings you this important story for two reasons. One, to showcase the superior quality of Turmeric that comes from this region with Curcumin levels of between 7% to 10%. (ordinary varieties of Turmeric only have about 3% Curcumin or less). Second, this is also an important story of a group of women coming together to create a sustainable livelihood for themselves through smart farming.
Turmeric Farmers from Farmers Development, Center, Laskien
Picture Credit : SVM
This April our Smart Village Team from California arrived in Meghalaya to visit several pilot projects and interact with the villagers, farmers and students who we seek to assist and empower. One of the visits was to our SVM- Efresh Farmer Development Center in Laskein village nestled in the remote foothills of Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya.
SVM Team with Entreprenurs in FDC, Laskien
Picture Credit : SVM
We interacted with the women Turmeric farmers from Self Help Groups who shared their experiences and challenges. They engaged with Smart Village Movement to help increase their knowledge base, production efficiencies and bring the benefits of this potent health-hero into the kitchens of rest of India and the world.
Why is Lakadong Turmeric So Highly Regarded?
Lakadong Turmeric Farm
This popularity of this famous, native spice of Meghalaya that is widely celebrated across the world for its premium quality can be attributed to its source of origin – the Lakadong village in Meghalaya. It is a secluded village in the pristine North-East that is still untouched by industrialization. Only locals and small-scale farming organizations are involved in the production of India’s most potent, authentic, flavourful turmeric. There is something unique about the land and the soil and other environmental factors which have created a microclimate of perfect conditions for producing the high curcumin content of 7% to 10%- which is what makes Lakadong turmeric so popular in India and overseas.
Fresh Lakadong Turmeric is bright yellowish-orange in colour, with strong earthy tones and a pleasant aroma. Just a pinch of Lakadong Turmeric powder is enough to transform any dish into a delicacy by enhancing its colour, texture, flavour, and aroma.
Traditional Farming Practices
Local farm products displayed and sold at FDC, Laskien
Picture Credit : SVM
The farmers we met explained how handpicked turmeric is sorted and washed three to four times, then sliced into small pieces, sun dried and powdered in small batches. As this is all done by hand by small-scale farmers who own small farms they must collaborate and work collectively to improve their output and marketability. SVM pilot FDC project in the Laskein Village, Tehsil District, brings them access to agri-inputs, soil-testing, and market linkages to increase their opportunities and revenue from farming.
Benefits of Lakadong Turmeric
Lakadong Turmeric Root and Powder with high curcumin content
India with her ancient science of Ayurveda has always understood the wonderful curative properties of Turmeric passed down from generation to generation. What’s once been a simple household ingredient is now touted as a wonderspice because of the health benefits it delivers. Traditionally, this spice has been used in Ayurveda and folk medicine for the treatment of gynecological problems, gastric problems, hepatic disorders, infectious diseases, and blood disorders. Modern science has now provided the scientific basis for the effectiveness of turmeric against such disorders and an aid to delay aging.
Curcumin, the key component, is acquired from the stems of the herb and is widely known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which can play an important role in combatting inflammation, arthritis, and problems of the stomach, skin, liver, gallbladder, or certain cancers.
From Kitchen to Clinic: The Science Behind It
Lakadong Turmeric Capsules
Thousands of studies and articles have been published on how curcumin is proven to minimize the risk of certain cancer types, prevent, and manage digestive challenges in all age groups. At a molecular level, Curcumin has been shown to modulate numerous cell-signaling pathways. In clinical trials, turmeric has shown efficacy against numerous human ailments including lupus, cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and fibrosis. A key nutrient is lipopolysaccharide, an enzyme that boosts the body’s natural immune system and aids in the body’s fight against several viral infections. Lakadong Turmeric is also known to enhance brain health, prevent the onset of diabetes, and keeps the skin healthy. Thus, a spice originally common in the kitchen is now exhibiting activities in the clinic.
Market Opportunities for Turmeric Farmers in our Smart Villages:
Elderly Turmeric Farmer cleaning the lakadong turmeric
Picture Credit : SVM
Wide applications of turmeric in home remedies, supplements, cosmetic and food products have driven the demand of the global turmeric market up. Moreover, increase in popularity of ethnic food fuels the market growth. Forecast statistics show the market volume 1.05 million metric tons of turmeric worldwide in 2017, and presents a forecast globally of approximately 1.7 million metric tons for 2027. With the right agri-inputs, storage solutions, processing facilities and forward market linkages, India in general, and Meghalaya farmers specifically can be the market leader in Turmeric supply for the pharmaceutical and food industries.
Smart Village Movement is excited to help farmers in Meghalaya profit from their labor and resources and facilitate the expansion of Lakadong Turmeric globally.
How to add more spice (turmeric) to your life:
Healthy glass of golden milk
Picture Credit : Unsplash
Recipe for Golden Milk: Adding a little pepper powder with your turmeric drink helps curcumin absorption and bioavailability.
Method: Mix ½ tsp of Lakadong Turmeric with ¼ tsp black pepper powder with warm milk. Add honey for sweetness, if desired.
Recipe for Morning Health Drink:
1 Cup of warm water
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric (Haldi)
Pinch of Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Honey to sweeten to taste
Stir these together and consume every morning on an empty stomach for multiple health benefits, boosted immunity and glowing skin.
Other ways to add this healthy spice in your meals:
- Add some turmeric & pepper to scrambled eggs or omelettes
- Add Turmeric liberally to meat and veggie curries
- Sprinkle these spices on sautéed or roasted vegetables
- Use these spices for extra delicious flavor in soups
- Add them to a salad or salad dressing
- Blend some turmeric into a smoothie
- Add extra flavor to rice
Where to buy authentic Lakadong Turmeric?
We are listing some websites where you can easily place your order for lakadong turmeric
- The State Plate
You can also place your order by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our ground team will help source ingeniously grown lakadong turmeric by SHG women from the villages of Meghalaya.
References: Schaffer M, Schaffer PM, Zidan J, Bar Sela G. Curcuma as a functional food in the control of cancer and inflammation. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011 Nov;14(6):588-97. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32834bfe94. PMID: 21986478.
Kocaadam B, Şanlier N. Curcumin, an active component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), and its effects on health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Sep 2;57(13):2889-2895. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1077195. PMID: 26528921.