Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used as a home remedy in different ailments since ages. From a common cold to joint pain, from improving the taste to healing wounds and from relieving itching to improving skin complexion, Turmeric has it all. It has been described as golden in colour and compared with the beauty of a full moon day. In the South Asian countries like India and Nepal, the paste of turmeric is applied on the bride’s body as a pre-wedding ritual to improve her glow and complexion.
The Plant “Turmeric”
Belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, turmeric plant is an erect perennial herb 2-3 ft high. The leaves are long and broad, bright green with distinct mid-rib, 6-10 in groups on pseudostems about 40cm long. The flowers are yellowish in pairs in the axilla of brackets, one opening before the other.
Energetics Of Turmeric
- Rasa (Taste): Bitter, pungent
- Guna (Quality): Lightness, Dryness
- Virya (Potency): Hot
- Vipaka (Rasa essence): Pungent
- Dosha: Pacifies Kapha and Vata
Chemical Composition Of Turmeric
Turmeric contains volatile oil, Curcumin, Vitamin A, protein, minerals, and carbohydrate.
Actions, Therapeutic Uses And Health Benefits Of Turmeric
- Local application of turmeric paste is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, good for complexion and helps cleanse and heal wounds. Medicated smoke obtained after burning turmeric powder is found to be antitoxic and helpful in hiccough and shortness of breath. It is used in various skin problems, itching and in wounds. The facial pack made up of turmeric, gram flour and mustard gives a facial glow.
- Oral use and Dhumapana, medicated smoke of turmeric has analgesic effects in traumatic pain and nervine pain.
- Turmeric is a very good appetizer, antibacterial and promotes bile flow. This is why it has been used anorexia, jaundice, and ascites like problems.
- It is a potent blood purifier and thus used in skin-related diseases, allergies and urticaria.
- It is used in cough, dyspnoea and chronic sinusitis with jaggery or honey due to its Kapha pacifying nature.
- Turmeric along with honey and fruit juice of Indian gooseberry is an effective formulation for diabetes.
- It is a bitter tonic and an antitoxic herb, therefore, can be used in general weakness and toxicity as well.
The part of the turmeric used is the underground stem, often referred to as root. Fresh turmeric juice can be taken in 10-30 ml amount while the dried powder is recommended to be taken in 1-3 gm dose.
With its multiple systemic effects and side benefits, turmeric has been helping us heal in many ways as it is used as a spice in vegetables and pickles. As our kitchen’s doctor, it continuously helps in keeping our good health and maintain peace. We can use it better, wisely and as per our body’s need if we are aware of what miracle it has yet to do.