Labelled as the ‘it’ spice for this decade in the common world of superfood and remembering my childhood memories of growing up in Indonesia having to drink this (at that time) disgustingly refreshing orange yellow drink, I’ve always had the inquisitiveness to do a little more reading on Turmeric. Why has the world traditions and scientists recognized their powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidants?
Turmeric is a flowering plant where the roots are used for cooking, medicinal effects and cosmetics. Curcumin is the principle component of turmeric and is the main active ingredient property of the plant. Cultivated mainly in Asia, Africa, South America and Australia, the Golden spice is used worldwide; evident through the commonly use to flavour or colour curry powders, mustards, butters and cheeses. It is suspected to have originated from the Latin word Terra Meritta which means sacred soil. In the 13th century, Marco Polo introduced Turmeric to Europe and only in the recent decades has scientific attention been given to its medicinal properties in the Western world.
Go to any of your favourite brunch cafes or your own local coffee shops, there is almost a guarantee that turmeric latte is a staple in every menu! After thousands of years of uses as flavour and colour in cooking, we should now understand the multiple additional health benefits that Turmeric has.
These benefits has been generationally practiced and engrained within multi-continental traditional medicines and lifestyles. The ancient Hindu medicine uses Turmeric topically to treat sprains and swelling, the traditional Chinese medicine mainly uses Curcumin in treatment for conditions associated with abdominal pains whilst the Indonesian tradition uses turmeric as one of the base ingredients in their Jamu – their holistic herbal healing therapy (more on this in the coming weeks!).
Curcumin has been confirmed by scientific research to be anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective and thrombosuppresive. It is also used as herbal medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, liver ailments, digestive disorders, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, abdominal pain and distention, for overall improvement of digestion and energy of the body. In many South East Asian countries, they are also used as an antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises, as an antibacterial agent and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
No wonder why this little plant root and its benefits has so seamlessly re-integrated and reinvented itself into our generation! Whilst I put my other yearly list of goals on hold due to the unexpected current circumstances, I am certainly encouraged by reading through multiple articles on Turmeric that this Golden Superpower Spice of the Past and Present, will definitely be a staple in my strive to a more healthy and sustainable living!
Note—this post is for informational use only, for any supplementary or dietary changes please contact your health care practitioner.