What is Turmeric?
Turmeric, the golden-hued, highly aromatic spice, is having a “moment.” This ancient spice, venerated for millennia as both food and medicine, has resurfaced in the health and nutrition community owing to curcumin, the healing chemical that gives it its brilliant colour.
How is Turmeric good for you?
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects comparable to those of ibuprofen. Turmeric has no harmful side effects and does not harm the body in any way. Quite often, people take turmeric supplements which have been found to aid healthy digestion. All told, it’s a great spice!
Where is Turmeric found?
Turmeric, or curcumin, is a plant that grows to be no more than three feet tall and has both a flower and a rhizome, which are found underground. Turmeric comes from the roots of a perennial plant. It is this root-like stem, rather than the rhizome itself, that gives turmeric its golden colour and sizzling flavour. Turmeric has been cultivated in India since ancient times, although it is now produced throughout the tropics.
The history of Turmeric
Turmeric has attracted a lot of attention in recent years for its natural healing properties, but it has been employed therapeutically for over 4,500 years. Residue from turmeric, ginger, and garlic was discovered in ancient pots near New Delhi, dating back as far as 2500 BCE. Around 500 BCE, turmeric became important in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is a 2000-year-old Indian method of natural healing that is still used today. Ayurveda comes from the words ayur, which means life and veda, which means science or knowledge.
Turmeric paste was applied to all sorts of skin diseases, from tinypox and chicken pox to blemishes and shingles, in addition to congestion relief from inhaling fumes from burning turmeric. Turmeric juice aided with the healing of wounds and bruises, while turmeric vapour inhalation was said to help alleviate congestion. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic texts for over a thousand years. There are more than 100 different names for turmeric in Ayurveda, including jayanti, which means “one who is victorious over illnesses,” and matrimanika, which means “as lovely as moonlight.”
Turmeric is not only used for medicinal purposes in India. Turmeric is sacred and auspicious in the Hindu religion. On the wedding day, the groom wraps a strand of turmeric paste-dyed yellow around the bride’s neck. A mangala sutra is a popular Hindu necklace with the inscription “I married happily.” It means that the woman is married and capable of managing a household, as shown by this mangala sutra. In Hindu communities, it has been likened to the Western tradition of wedding rings exchange. In southern India, a piece of turmeric rhizome is worn as an amulet against evil spirits.
Turmeric’s brilliant yellow natural colouring has been utilized to colour clothes and thread for hundreds of years. Buddhist monks wear saffron-coloured robes that have been dyed with turmeric. Turmeric was used to dye children’s clothing in Kerala, a state in southwest India.