Turmeric, also known as Curcuma Longa and previously known as Curcuma Domestica, refers to a perennial plant that is native to the country of India. The original uses for this plant revolved around ceremonial use and cooking. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family (Ginger). It was brought to Europe from India during the thirteenth century. It became popular and was called Indian Saffron at the time. Its roots are used to make the culinary spice that has been used for centuries to flavor a variety of foods with its pungent taste.
Turmeric’s use was quite prevalent during ancient times in India. According to Ayurveda, the traditional method for preventative medicine, Turmeric is referred to as “the spice of life” due to its many beneficial properties. Turmeric is symbolic of prosperity, purity and fertility. It is thought to bring good luck to a new bride if it is applied to her face and/or body during the traditional purification rituals taking place during Buddhist or Hindu ceremonial events. It is also used to provide a rich glow to the skin of both the bride and groom during the ceremony. In India, a vermilion paste made from Turmeric and camphor was placed on the forehead of single women, and on the place of the scalp where the hair is parted of married women. During ancient times, Turmeric water was sprinkled across the threshold of all homes to prevent pests such as termites, ants, and other insects from entering the home.
Turmeric spice is a yellowish brown powder that is ground from the dried root of the Curcuma Longa. The root (rhizome) is boiled, allowed to dry, and ground into a fine powder. Turmeric features a distinctively earthy flavor that is slightly unpleasant. It exudes a minimal odor. Its rich pigment creates a rich yellow coloring to the foods it is added to, including curry powder, cheese, and mustard. It is sometimes used solely to provide color. It is a natural preservative that extends the life of foods in which it is used. Turmeric contains an active ingredient known as curcumin, and extracts from its roots have been used throughout many centuries for medicinal and healing purposes.
Multiple studies have shown that curcumin delivers rich anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antioxidant capabilities, protecting the body’s organs from disease. Turmeric is also credited with reducing inflammation, fighting infection, and preventing some types of cancers. It is commonly used to treat digestive disorders. However, it is important to note that conflicting results have occurred with these studies, primarily due to the fact that different forms of Turmeric (including injectable) have been used, the subjects in the study were animals rather than humans, or test-tube results were used rather than those obtained by using live subjects.
Ingesting Turmeric Herbal Tea is a popular treatment for heartburn, stomach bloating, intestinal gas, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, gall bladder problems, liver disorders, and jaundice. It has also been used to treat headaches, colds, fever, lung infections, bronchitis, and diabetes.
At the beginning of its use in the world of skin care products in the Western World, Essential Oil of Turmeric was used in the manufacture of women’s perfumes. Today, its use has become more widespread. Turmeric is viewed as a powerful agent that can protect the skin with its richness in antioxidants, minimizing certain skin from signs associated with premature aging such as discoloration, even lightening the effects of hyperpigmentation and age spots. In fact, the use of Turmeric in skin care formulas has proven to aid in the destruction of the pigment producing cells that create brown spots. Due to its concentration of antioxidants and its ability to fight free radicals, Turmeric is frequently used in beauty products intended specifically to provide anti-aging benefits.
Heal problematic skin issues with its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, warding off harmful bacteria and soothing the skin. These qualities make it a powerful ingredient in skin care products formulated to treat oily skin types as well as problematic skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, and diaper rash. Not only is Turmeric currently used as an ingredient of multiple skin care formulations, but it is also available as a health supplement in both pill and powder consistency.