Basic information about Turmeric
Scientific Name: Curcuma Longa
Turmeric is from the ginger family called Zingiberaceae which is perennial rhizomatous herbaceous plant. This plant is a native of South Asia, tropical region of the world which grows in temperatures between between 20°C and 30°C together with considerable quantity of rainfall.
Nomenclature and taxonomy of Turmeric:
- Kingdom Plantae (plants)
- Phylum Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
- Class Liliopsida (monoctyledons)
- Order Zingiberales (gingers, bananas, birds-of-paradise, heliconias, costus, cannas, prayer plants, arrowroots, etc.)
- Family Zingiberaceae (ginger family)
- Genus Curcuma (curcuma)
- Species Curcuma longa (commonly known as turmeric)
Culinary uses of turmeric
Turmeric powder is used extensively in South Asian cuisine. It is used in the famous curry and other Indian, Persian, Thai, Filipino and Malay dishes.
Products made from turmeric:
- curry powder
- canned beverages
- baked products
- dairy products
- ice cream
- yellow cakes
- orange juice
- popcorn color
- sweets biscuits
- pop corn color
- cake icings
- food additives
- pickles and relishes
- food coloring
- mustard, etc.
Uses in folk medicine
Turmeric is used as antibacterial agent and antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises. It is used as anti-inflammatory and gastrointestinal agent.
Beauty and cosmetic uses of turmeric
Turmeric is now used in making sunscreens. It is also used to beautify /glowing hair and skin.
Dying properties of turmeric
Turmeric is used in Goa, India to dye clothing like saris.
Gardening use of turmeric
Turmeric is used to repel/deter ants in the garden.
Ceremonial uses of turmeric
Turmeric is used for various ceremonial rituals such as: gaye holud (turmeric ceremony), Bengali wedding, pujas (making of elephant god ganesha form), Pongal festival, Thali necklace, power and purification rites, etc.
Composition of Tumeric
5% essential oils
Curcumin is a pH indicator. It turns yellow if the solutions is acidic (pH <7.4) and it turns bright red if its not (pH > 8.6).
Health benefits of turmeric
- Turmeric helps in lowering LDL cholesterol. Studies have shown that turmeric lowers LDL cholesterol level. The Low-density lipoprotein or commonly know as LDL is the one responsible for the build up of plaque in the arteries that could lead to heart disease.
- Turmeric aids in treating high blood pressure. Studies shown that Turmeric can also improve blood flow as well as strengthen blood vessels.
- Turmeric aids in guarding against cancer. Studies point to turmeric’s ability to neutralize free radicals and other various chemicals that could damage human cells. Turmeric has also been proved to ward off cancer and tumorous cell growths.
- Turmeric aids in promoting general health. Turmeric extract contains powerful antioxidants which can help boost the body’s immune system and protect against illnesses and diseases.
Some of the dietary reasons of turmeric:
- Turmeric is useful in disinfecting cuts and burns because of its natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
- Turmeric prevents prostate cancer and/or stops the rapid growth of existing prostate cancer especially when it is combined to cauliflower.
- Turmeric prevents the spread of breast cancer as proven to the experiment to the lungs in mice.
- Turmeric helps prevent melanoma and/or the existing melanoma cells to collapse.
- Turmeric helps reduces the high of risk of childhood leukemia.
- Turmeric boosts the liver because of its natural detoxifying properties.
- Turmeric aids in removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain which prevents and slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Turmeric helps prevent metastases so that it will not occur in many different forms of cancer.
- Turmeric prevents inflammation without side effects because of its potent natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric controls and slows down multiple sclerosis as proven in the experiment with the mice.
- Turmeric has natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor properties
- Turmeric helps weight management because it aids in fat metabolism.
- Turmeric can treat depression as it has been used in Chinese medicines.
- Turmeric is used as treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric helps reduce the side effects of chemo therapy but boosts the effects of the chemo drug paclitaxel.
- Turmeric helps boost the pancreas thus it has promising effects towards pancreatic cancer.
- Turmeric has positive effects towards multiple myeloma.
- Turmeric controls/stops the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
- Turmeric assists in the reborn of damaged skin and speeds up wound healing.
- Turmeric aids in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric should not be used substitute for the treatment of people who are suffering from bile obstructions or with gallstones. It is very important to consult first our physician/doctor.