“Tur-me-ric / Tur-me-rik” or “kur-ku-ma / kur-kum / Cur-cu-ma” – How do you say it?
Looks and appears to be a close cousin of the ginger family with its own golden touch.
The best ancestral medicine in South-Asia which has carried over till the day. When I used to get a cut, I remember my grandma used to heat turmeric powder with some drops of water and used to apply a warm paste on my wound. This is the best Ayurvedic antiseptic used as a first-aid. Or be it drinking turmeric added in warm water in the morning is still continued in day-to-day life. Whether it’s consumed or applied, the result and benefits are tremendous.
Keep reading to know how turmeric is useful in various aspects of day-to-day life.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Zingiberaceae family of plants. Its a root similar to that of ginger but small in size with the color ranging from yellow to orange. The flavor is a mixture of gingery, deep earthy and quite mild of its own.
The root is heated, cooked and finally dried and ground it until we get the deep yellow-orange powder. Turmeric is also used in raw form, as anything in raw and fresh has the great influence. But according to Ayurveda, the turmeric is best when cooked and ground, as it helps the body to absorb.
As per the study, some famous varieties of turmeric are
- Local Haldi
- China Scented
- Red Streaked
And some of the major varieties in India are
- Alleppey Finger (Kerala)
- Nizamabad Bulb (Andhra Pradesh)
- Erode and Salem Turmeric (Tamil Nadu)
A powerful spice popularly known as haldi in India has been used diversely in Indian medicine(Ayurveda). Be it cold, indigestion, healing, boost immunity any of these, turmeric is the home medicine since it’s readily available in houses of India.
Curcumin, the active ingredient present in turmeric, makes it different. Nutritionists and health experts have claimed that consuming turmeric gives the strong well-being to be healthy. Here are some potential benefits of these.
Healing Property (a wound healer)
The curcumin found in turmeric, helps to heal the wound by decreasing inflammation and oxidation. It holds down the response of your body to cutaneous wounds. This results in healing the wounds more quicker.
Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Turmeric’s main claim to be used to fight inflammation and the inflammation-fighting power and medication is credited to curcumin present in turmeric.
By intake of a small amount of turmeric, it can aid your digestion. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used as a digestive healing agent.
Acts as a immunity booster
It helps to fight against infections and boost your immunity. Drinking turmeric mixed with milk, water or prepared as a tea helps to reach inside in a liquid form and helps to start activating it earlier.
To treat or delay diabetes
As per the studies, curcumin helps to prevent and treat diabetes. Also its been found that intake of turmeric has led to a remarkable decrease in blood sugar, as well as increase in the plasma insulin.
Role in treating depression
Researchers have suggested that curcumin may be a safe and effective treatment for depressive disorder. The spice promises to be an effective antidepressant.
Improves bone health
Plays a wide role in treating the inflammatory disorder called Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA), that often affects the joints and spreads further to other areas. The bones erode caused by the swelling in joints leading to physical disabilities. Researchers claim that intake of curcumin may help to slow down this disorder and give the positive result in improvement with safe treatment.
Improves skin health
It helps in effect a variety of skin treatment like acne, photo-aging and other inflammatory skin diseases and disorders.
Studies have suggested the use is safe, giving the negative side effects. Protecting the body against free radicals and age-related diseases can be cured with turmeric and curcumin.
The anti-inflammatory components like curcumin may play a role in preventing and treating different types of cancers(like pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and others). It also helps in slowing down the spread of tumour cells in the first place.
Preventing vision loss
Once the vision is gone, unfortunately it can’t be restored. But the preliminary measure is better. Applying curcumin eye drops may help in protecting eyes against degradation.
Helps in cleansing liver
As turmeric acts as an antioxidant, it may prevent the damaging of the liver caused by toxins. Adding turmeric to a glass of hot milk makes absorption of curcumin easier.
And so on…..
Adding, the whole plant has a distinct aroma and flavor that adds the soul to the Indian dish.
The golden-hued spice has pungent, earthy-sweet in taste. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s supply is done from India. This doesn’t surprise me that this spice is extensively used in Indian cooking including Thai and Malaysian too.
The spice is prepared from the flowering plant which belongs to the ginger family which is widely grown in Indian subcontinent and some parts of Southeast Asia. Part of the reason that turmeric is one among the curry powder is because it adds an element of deliciousness and beautiful color to food.
Be it a haldi water or cooking dish or a sweet, turmeric is widely used and found in the spice box of every Indian kitchen. Not just for its color, for its taste too.
That’s why most of the Indian curry’s or sabji have yellowish-orange tint.
Turmeric leaves are believed to prevent bloating, abdominal discomfort and improve digestion. According to Ayurveda, it is believed to be the best antiseptic medicine which helps to reduce the symptoms of jaundice, cold, fever and other respiratory issues.
In some parts of India, like Goa and in Mangalore, the sweet dumpling is prepared which is steamed in Turmeric leaves. These leaves are mainly used for wrapping to give the turmeric aroma to food. The leaf’s aroma boosts as it cooks and discharge anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties deep into food.
Turmeric leaves give a sharp notice when to harvest the turmeric from under the ground. When the leaf turns yellow, this pins out to be the time to harvest your turmeric.
As turmeric is a natural coloring agent, it is used as a dye in food and cosmetics. In cosmetics it is used as an antioxidant, anti aging and anti inflammatory agent. It also works as a natural cleanser when it is mixed with milk to give a healthy glow to skin. This is why in India, before marriage the tradition is followed in the name of turmeric(haldi), helps the bride and groom to have a natural glowing skin on wedding day.
The natural plant’s extract is used for skincare and hair care remedies in cosmetic products. It also said that washing in turmeric not only improves skin complexion but also reduces the hair growth in the body.
The leaf oil of turmeric and extract can be used as sunscreens. It is skin-friendly and adds up to an important ingredient in many lotions and creams.
The extracts are used as a hair growth simulator which helps in speeding up blood circulation and increasing the nutrition to hair follicles.
It appears to be that usage of turmeric, the family of ginger, may help to improve health in all ways.
Turmeric is not just a spice which is used in cooking but also has health benefits. Be it immunity booster, Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant, Cancer preventer, Cleanser or whatsoever, intake of this Golden Spice has abundant usage in our life.
In cooking, starting from starters to dessert, the whole plant plays its role. Most of the dishes in India are incomplete unless you add some pinch of haldi to it. Because of its color it gives the golden texture and of its scent it creates a different aroma for food.
Some of the cosmetics use Indian Saffron or its extracts as one among the ingredients. The leaf’s oil of turmeric has also a great role. It is used in skin-care products like lotion, creams and in hair-care products.
In the real world some things don’t work the same for everyone. So before you use it, try in a smaller quantity to know whether your body can hold it. Else the best advice is to consult and confirm with your doctor.
At the end of the day, the goals are simple: “Stay Healthy…. Stay Safe…. ”