Turmeric | Turmeric-Uses, Health Benefits and Side Effects



Turmeric, a flowering plant, is a genus of Curcuma longa, of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the rhizomes of which are used in cooking. The plant is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia that requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a large amount of annual rainfall to survive. Rhizomes from plants are collected every year for food and for proliferation in the next season.

The main turmeric ingredient, curcumin, which gives the spice these properties, is utilised to create a vivid orange-yellow powder that is often used in Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as a colouring and flavouring agent. The rhizomes can also be dried after boiling or used fresh.

Turmeric powder has an earthy, mustard-like scent and a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavour.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States, the European Parliament, and the World Health Organization have all given their seals of approval to the bright yellow chemical curcumin, which is produced by the turmeric plant.

Despite having a long history of usage in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as haridra, there is no reliable clinical proof that taking turmeric or curcumin may cure any illness.

Turmeric Description

A perennial herbaceous plant with a height of up to one metre, turmeric. It features cylindric, aromatic, yellow to orange, and densely branched rhizomes.

The leaves are alternately arranged in two rows. Leaf sheath, petiole, and leaf blade are the three categories. Petiole length ranges from 50 to 115 cm. Simple leaf blades rarely exceed 230 cm in length and are typically between 76 and 115 cm long. They are oblong to elliptical in shape and range in breadth from 38 to 45 cm, narrowing at the tip.

Turmeric Nutrition

About 60–70% of turmeric powder's composition is made up of carbohydrates, while the other ingredients include 6-8% protein, 5- 10% fat, 3-7% dietary minerals, 3-7% essential oils, 2-7% dietary fibre, and 1-6% curcuminoids. Curcumin is what gives turmeric its golden yellow hue.

Diarylheptanoids, a class of compounds that includes several curcuminoids like curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin, are among the phytochemical components of turmeric. Curry powder contains far less curcumin than turmeric powder (an average of 0.29%), which includes up to 3.14% of the analysed commercial samples (the average was 1.51%). Turmeric contains 34 essential oils, among which turmerone, germacrone, atlantone, and zingiberene are the main ones.

Turmeric Uses

One of the main components in many Asian dishes, turmeric gives food a pungent, slightly bitter flavour and an earthy, mustard-like scent. Although it is usually used in savoury foods, some sweet dishes, such the cake sfouf, also use it. Patoleo, a particular sweet delicacy made with turmeric leaf, is made in India by layering rice flour and coconut-jaggery mixture over the leaf, sealing it, and steaming it in a unique vessel.

The most common way to utilise turmeric is as rhizome powder to add a golden yellow hue. It is a common ingredient in many goods, including gelatin, baked goods, dairy products, ice cream, yoghurt, biscuits, popcorn, orange juice, canned beverages, and baked goods. Turmeric is a key component of curry powders in Asian Cuisine. Similar to how ginger is used fresh, turmeric is also utilised in its dried, powdered form. It is used in a variety of East Asian dishes, including a pickle that includes sizable chunks of fresh, soft turmeric.

In both Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine, turmeric is a common spice. Onions caramelised in oil and turmeric are the foundation of many Iranian khoresh recipes. Turmeric is a typical ingredient in the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout. When white rice is boiled, turmeric is added to give it a golden hue. This yellow rice, called geelrys, is typically eaten with bobotie in South Africa. Turmeric powder is used in Vietnamese cooking to add colour and flavour to meals like banh xèo, banh kht, and m Quang.

Fresh turmeric is usually used in the common Cambodian curry paste known as kroeung, which is used in various dishes, including fish amok. Turmeric leaves are used in Indonesia to make a variety of Sumatran dishes with a Minang or Padang curry foundation, including rendang, sate padang, and many others. Turmeric is a spice that is used in the cooking and preparation of satay and kuning in the Philippines.

Fresh turmeric rhizomes are commonly used in Thai cuisine, especially in southern dishes like yellow curry and turmeric soup. Golden milk, often known as "turmeric latte," is a hot beverage made with milk—often coconut milk—and turmeric. A popular Indian recipe is the turmeric milk beverage known as haldi doodh (haldi means turmeric in Hindi). The beverage known as "golden milk," which is sold in the US and UK, is made with nondairy milk, sugar, and occasionally black pepper instead of the usual ingredients (which may also use ghee).

The designation E100 designates turmeric as a food colour that is permitted for usage. The oleoresin is utilised for items that contain oil.

Numerous food products have been coloured with turmeric and annatto. Some prepared mustards, canned chicken broths, and other meals are coloured yellow with turmeric, which is frequently used as a far more affordable alternative to saffron.

Traditional uses

On the basis of their long-standing historical use, the European Medicines Agency came to the conclusion that turmeric herbal teas or other oral preparations could be used to treat moderate digestive issues, such as satiety and gas.

The wild turmeric that grows in South and Southeast Asian woods is harvested for use in traditional Indian medicine (Siddha or Ayurveda). The plant, together with young plantains or bananas, taro leaves, barley (jayanti), wood apples (bilva), pomegranates (darimba), Saraca indica, manaka (Arum), or manakochu, and rice paddy, are used as one of the nine ingredients of nabapatrika in Eastern India. The Haldi ceremony, also known as gaye holud in Bengal (literally, "yellow on the body"), is practised by people of Indian culture throughout the Indian subcontinent during wedding ceremonies.

The dried turmeric tuber is wrapped with rope to make a Thali necklace as part of the Tamil-Telugu bridal ceremonial in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Turmeric tubers are attached to the couple's wrists during a ceremony called Kankana Bandhana in western and coastal India during weddings of the Marathi and Konkani people, Kannada Brahmins.

Although turmeric does not lighten well, it is frequently used in Indian apparel, including saris and the robes worn by Buddhist monks. Beni itajime shibori was created during the late Edo era (1603–1867) using turmeric to dilute or replace more expensive safflower dyestuff. In 1896, Friedrich Ratzel wrote in The History of Mankind that people in Micronesia used turmeric powder to decorate their bodies, clothing, utensils, and objects used in rituals. It was brought to Hawaii by native Hawaiians, who use it to produce a vivid yellow dye.

Golden Milk | Turmeric Milk

One of the best cures passed down to us by our ancestors is turmeric milk, also known as "Haldi ka Doodh." It is sometimes referred to as "Golden Milk" because of the colour that turmeric provides to milk when it is combined with it.

This brilliant yellow beverage is typically made by heating turmeric and additional spices like cinnamon and ginger with cow's or plant-based milk.

It is commonly used as a supplemental therapy to boost immunity and ward against illness and is acclaimed for its many health benefits.

The primary ingredient in golden milk is turmeric, a yellow spice that is prominent in Asian cuisine and gives curry its yellow colour.

Curcumin, the primary component of turmeric, has long been employed in Ayurvedic medicine because of its significant antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are chemicals that shield your body from oxidative damage and stop cell ageing.

Studies repeatedly imply that eating a diet rich in antioxidants may help reduce your risk of getting sick or developing disease. For the wellbeing of your cells, they are essential.

The majority of recipes for golden milk also include the strong antioxidants cinnamon and ginger.

For any ailment, including colds, coughs, the flu, wounds, joint pain, etc., turmeric milk is the best option. In addition to these advantages, it decreases blood sugar levels, gaining a place on the list of foods for diabetics. Because it is also known to slow the advancement of heart disease by improving the function of your blood vessel lining, it can be incorporated into the diet plan for persons with heart disease.


Paper that has been soaked in a turmeric tincture and left to dry is known as turmeric paper, curcuma paper, or curcumapapier in German literature. It serves as an acidity and alkalinity indicator in chemical analysis. With a pH range of 7.4 to 9.2, the paper is yellow in acidic and neutral solutions and turns brown to reddish-brown in alkaline solutions.

Medical research

Numerous clinical experiments have investigated the effects of turmeric and curcumin on a range of human diseases and disorders, but no strong evidence of a disease-preventing or health-improving effect has been found. As of 2020, there is no proof from science that curcumin lowers inflammation. Weak data suggests that turmeric extracts may be helpful for easing knee osteoarthritis symptoms as well as for minimizing pain and muscle damage after physical activity.

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric is frequently used by people with osteoarthritis. It is also used to treat depression, high cholesterol, a certain form of liver disease, hay fever, itching, and other conditions, but the bulk of these uses lack solid scientific support. Additionally, there is no credible study to support the use of turmeric for COVID-19, while it may be effective for hay fever. Oral turmeric dosing seems to decrease the hay fever symptoms of sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.

May Effective for

  • Hey fever-it might be helpful. Oral turmeric dosing seems to decrease the hay fever symptoms of sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.
  • Depression-The majority of studies demonstrate that giving people who are already taking an antidepressant curcumin, a substance in turmeric, by mouth lessens their symptoms of depression.
  • Lower Cholesterol-Taking turmeric orally appears to lower blood triglyceride levels. Regarding how turmeric affects cholesterol levels, there is some debate. There are also a lot of products related to turmeric available. The most effective ones are unknown.
  • Healthy Lever-Liver damage signs are lowered in those who drink turmeric extract while suffering from this condition. Additionally, it appears to aid in preventing the liver from accumulating additional fat.
  • Ulcers-During cancer radiation therapy, ingesting curcumin, a substance in turmeric, orally, as a lozenge, or as mouthwash, appears to minimize swelling and ulcers in the mouth.
  • Osteoarthritis-People with knee osteoarthritis who take turmeric extracts—alone or in combination with other herbal ingredients—experience less pain and have better function. Turmeric may be about as good as ibuprofen at reducing pain. It doesn't seem to work as effectively as the drug diclofenac, though.
  • Itching-Itching brought on by numerous disorders may be lessened by taking turmeric orally.

Side Effects

Turmeric is probably safe when given orally for a brief period of time. It appears to be safe to use turmeric products containing up to 8 grammes of curcumin per day for up to two months and to consume up to 3 grammes of turmeric per day for up to three months. Most often, turmeric has little side effects. Minor side effects like diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness, or upset stomach could happen to certain persons. These side effects occur more frequently if consumed as higher doses.

Turmeric is probably safe to apply to the skin. Turmeric may be safe when used as mouthwash within the mouth.

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