The turmeric on shelves and in spice cabinets is formed of the bottom roots of a plant. The bright yellow-orange colour of turmeric has inspired many cultures to use it for dye. It is the main ingredient in many Indian dishes.
The spice has a history as a medicinal herb in the Ayurvedic medicine system. Just like many culinary herbs and spices that have medicinal properties, turmeric has a long and fascinating dual history.
According to 'myspicer', a health website, turmeric has been popular in Asia for thousands of years. By 800 AD, as history shows, the cultivation and trade of turmeric had grown across Asia, including China, and also across much of Africa. By the 18th century, as it continued to become popular, turmeric grew in Jamaica and other tropical locations.
Before it was used as a spice for food; it was used as a natural dye for skin and clothing and as medicine. Turmeric is also known as “Indian saffron” because of its deep orange-yellow colour. It is sometimes used rather than saffron because it's similar in colour and less expensive than saffron.
It is known by different names in different states such as Manjal in Tamil and Malayalam, Arishina in Kannada, Pasupu in Telugu, Haladi in Sanskrit and Haldi in Hindi and many other North Indian languages.
Many consider turmeric to be an indispensable spice because it's loaded with antioxidants and contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. While turmeric is a widely used spice, it has also traditionally been used in Ayurveda to treat inflammatory conditions, skin diseases, wounds, digestive ailments, and liver conditions.
We list some of its health benefits:
It’s no surprise that turmeric gets suggested as a treatment for headache, especially for migraines. However, there's little scientific evidence showing that turmeric can treat or prevent headaches.
Some people claim that putting a turmeric mask on their skin or eating turmeric helps fight pimples because of the spice's reported antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The next time you're under the weather, you may want to sip some turmeric and ginger tea. Curcumin might help you to fight off a variety of viruses and infections.
Taking turmeric by mouth seems to lower levels of blood fats called triglycerides. However, the effects of turmeric on cholesterol levels are conflicting.
India produces nearly 94% of the turmeric in the world. Turmeric grown in the Western Ghats is believed to be the finest variety across Africa, Indonesia and South America.