The golden spice Turmeric which is an everyday condiment in Indian houses has been used medicinally for over 4500 years. Traces of turmeric date back to 2500 BC. Around 500 BC, it emerged as a healing ingredient in Ayurveda. This holistic approach is practiced in India even today.
History of Turmeric, The Golden Spice:
This spice was grown in southern India, mostly on the west coast, along the Indian Ocean. Slowly, with the advent of the British, this traveled to the west, but the Southeast Asian countries are still the home of turmeric. As said, the “Indian Saffron” is the native of Southern India and Indonesia. This is one of the best gifts India has given to the world. In 1997, the US got patent rights over turmeric healing properties. Thanks to our Indian scientists, especially Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar who fought for the turmeric patent rights and got them back.
Why is it called Turmeric?
The word Turmeric is coined from the Latin words “terra merita” or “meritorious earth” has got many names like haldi in north India derived from the Sanskrit word Haridra, and manjal in south India, mostly used in Tamil literature. Erode, a city in Tamil Nadu, is the world’s largest producer and is the trade center for turmeric. It is also called “Yellow City”, “Turmeric City”, “Textile City”. It has got fifty different names in Sanskrit. Turmeric, the dried part of Çurcuma longa’ is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the same family as the Ginger and the Cardamom, Zingiberaceae.
Benefits of Turmeric, The Golden Spice:
Turmeric and Ginger are roots or rhizomes of the plant, while Cardamom is the seed of the plant. The major constituent of Turmeric is curcumin which is the coloring agent and also an antioxidant that protects the healthy cells in the colon from cancer-causing agents. In ancient days inhaling fumes of burning turmeric was said to aid with congestion, heals, and wounds are treated even today in the Indian homes with turmeric which has antiseptic properties that are used to kill germs.
This pandemic made many people closer to turmeric further by adding turmeric drinks in their diet like Turmeric -Ginger tea, Turmeric latte which is known to keep any kind of flu at bay. It is used in treating inflammatory conditions. In Indian culture, this goes far behind the medicinal uses and is used in auspicious and sacred occasions like marriages, in the temples, idol worships, cloth-dying, etc. It is also found to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric also found its place in ayurvedic beauty routines. Topical application of turmeric is found to improve skin tone and treat acne, pimples, and some skin conditions like eczema. It also promotes hair growth and reduces hair fall, making it shiner and much volume when applied to hair. It is used for brides for good skin in the form of facial packs and body scrubs.
Everything is fine if taken in moderation. Excess intake of turmeric may cause a few side effects like stomach upset, nausea, dizziness. Curcumin is mostly absorbed in our body when taken with other agents like pepper. And this cannot replace the allopathic medicines, as it is found to be effective only when taken in the optimum quantity for longer periods of time. So, start adding this golden spice into your menu if you haven’t till now.