We as Indians know so much about the benefits and values of turmeric powder already. It is a common spice available in every Indian kitchen and it is consumed daily by adding it with the food.
While working playing in your home, if you encounter a minor scratch or wound the first medicine our mom brings is from the kitchen and it is turmeric powder. From this, we all got to know about its medical values. Turmeric powders also have numerous health benefits.
This is the reason why this Indian spice is famous not only in India but also in many other countries. The turmeric powder price in India is relatively less than in other countries. This is because of its manufacture and origin. Now, let us take a tour of the history and values of this Indian saffron.
Origin and history of turmeric
Turmeric is an aromatic medicinal plant with south Asia as its origin especially southern India and Indonesia. The medicinal values of turmeric have been stated back from 4000 years ago during the Vedic culture in India.
Turmeric was used in ayurvedic and Unani medicines for treatments such as overall body strength, improving digestion, and healing wounds. Then, later on, this spice traveled through China, East Africa, and West Africa from 700 AD to 1200 AD. Turmeric was also used as a perfume in ancient times.
The crop and cultivation
Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family which grows up to 1 meter with long leaves and cylindrical rhizomes of yellow-orange color which tastes bitter warm.
The rhizomes are the most widely used part of the turmeric plant as when it is dried, it can be powdered. Its leaves and stem are also used in cooking. It is widely cultivated in India, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Java, Peru, Australia, and some parts of Africa.
But nearly 94% of turmeric production in the world is from India. This is the reason why turmeric powder prices in India are cheap. The name turmeric comes from the french word “terra meritta” which means sacred soil or yellow root.
In India turmeric has many other names like Manjal, Haladi, Haldi, Pasupu, Arishina, etc in different Indian languages.
Components of turmeric
The major components of turmeric are curcuminoids and volatile/essential oil. These oils are widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
Curcuminoids are the coloring agents in turmeric which consist of natural antioxidants such as curcumin dimethoxy curcumin, 5’-methoxycurcumin, and dihydro curcumin. And turmerone, ar-turmerone, and zingiberene are the components responsible for the aroma of the turmeric.
The rhizomes of the turmeric contain stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, cholesterol, and 2-hydroxymethyl anthraquinone. Turmeric also contains calcium, sodium, potassium, saturated fat, cholesterol, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, protein, and acids.
Health benefits and medicinal values of turmeric
Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
Turmeric has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties in it because of the active ingredient of curcumin. It can be used as a disinfectant for your wounds and cuts. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties which can cure chronic diseases. It also helps in reducing hay fever, cough, itching, runny nose, and congestion
Helps to increase antioxidant
Increased antioxidants help to cure arthritis and depression. Therefore turmeric can be taken as an antidepressant medicine because of the curcumin in it. Curcumin also boosts the brain-derived neurotrophic factor which is BDNF which improves brain function and helps to fight depression. It also helps with brain disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Helps in digestion and weight loss
Turmeric helps to lower triglycerides which are the blood fats that help in weight loss. Turmeric also helps in faster digestion by stimulating the gallbladder. It also helps in reducing the fat buildup in the liver to prevent liver diseases caused by alcohol.
Helps with diabetes
Turmeric helps to control the sugar level in the blood by fighting resistance to insulin. This helps you to prevent diabetes and also lowers your fat level.
Lower risks of heart disease
The curcumin in turmeric may not completely prevent you from heart diseases but it can help you to reverse the steps that lead to the disease. The main benefit is that it helps to improve the function of the endothelium.
The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels. The dysfunction in endothelium leads to blood clots, blood pressure, and various other major factors of heart diseases. But by improving the function of endothelium you can prevent these diseases.
Curcumin has antioxidant properties that inhibit free radical production. This helps to repair the damaged cells thus helping in anti-aging.