Turmeric is an aromatic medicinal plant, that belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae and scientifically termed as Curcuma longa. It is a rhizomatous (underground stem), the stem turns into an orange-yellow shade which renders a vibrant colour to the dishes. Turmeric, a native spice to India and also cultivated in South Asian countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
The rhizomes are used fresh or steeped in water and dried which is then pounded into deep orange-yellow powder, which is widely used as a colouring and flavouring agent in Indian cuisines. The leaves and stem are also used for cooking. Turmeric is prized as the golden spice of India, it renders a warm, bitter, peppery and earthy flavour and distinct mustard-like aroma. Also Read: Turmeric The Golden Spice Of India
It is reported that turmeric derived its name from the Latin word Terra Meritta which means sacred soil. In other parts of the world, it is commonly known as saffron. It goes by several vernacular names 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.
Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows to a height of 1 meter with several small branches of yellow to orange, cylindrical rhizomes. The most vital chemical components of turmeric include a group of compounds called curcuminoids.
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Turmeric is an integral part of the religious rituals and ceremonies since ancient times. The rhizomes and leaves are a key ingredient in many traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha owing to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Ayurvedic medicine strongly vouches by turmeric plant for its indispensable medicinal properties. The vast reserves of antibiotic and cleansing properties of turmeric heal burn, cut, and get rid of foreign substances. Add this humble spice in your regular meal plan to bolster immunity and keep disease at bay.
Turmeric Nutritional Facts:
Curcumin is the key polyphenolic compound present in the root and main pigment that renders yellow-orange colour. Turmeric is imbued with potent anti-tumour, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic, and anti-inflammatory properties. The wealth of nutrients in turmeric includes vitamin B6, C, choline, niacin and riboflavin and minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
Turmeric is one of the valued and cheapest herbs that contain a notable amount of phytonutrients. The plethora of nutrients in turmeric can be replenished by adding a pinch of it in the form of powder, crushed root or fresh which helps to treat anaemia, neuritis, boosts memory, prevent cancer, control high blood pressure and keep you free from infections.
Turmeric Health Benefits:
Potent Anti-Inflammatory CompoundCurcumin is a highly prized compound for its indispensable anti-inflammatory properties, so effective that it mimics the function of some anti-inflammatory drugs. The bioactive compound curcumin is beneficial in battling inflammation and reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Turmeric also works as an effective antineoplastic which helps in battling cancer.
The powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties of turmeric are valuable as a disinfectant and skin-healing agent. Evidence has revealed that applying turmeric on the wound aids in healing by promoting new tissue formation and collagen synthesis. Turmeric has been valued in ayurvedic medicine for treating injuries, healing burn, sting bites and speeding up the wound healing process.
Evidence has strongly proven that curcumin in turmeric plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels. The strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric aids in improving the insulin sensitivity and lowering the blood sugar spikes. Adding this amazing spice in your regular diabetic diet plan or taking a supplement would help in controlling diabetes.
Promotes Gut Health
Turmeric plays a crucial role as a potent digestive aid and stimulant by easing bloating, flatulence, promotes bile secretion and growth of gut-healthy bacteria. In addition, it is also helpful for treating irritable bowel syndrome. However, people with gall bladder should avoid turmeric as it stimulates the secretion of bile acids which may aggravate the condition.
Improves Skin Health
Turmeric works as an amazing natural wonder in enhancing skin health and glow. Thanks to its powerful antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in lessening dark spots, blemishes and treats skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and rosacea. The exceptional antiseptic properties of turmeric aids in healing acne. Also Read: Skin Care: 5 Amazing Ways In Which Turmeric Helps