The History of Turmeric Spice
Turmeric, a yellow spice hailing from the ginger family, has been used for hundreds of years as both a food and a drug. It is growing in popularity once again today thanks to the curcumin that it contains. This substance offers great nutritional value in quite a few areas including the treatment of inflammation and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. As it is a natural substance, there are no dangerous side effects that many other drugs do have. Curcumin is a wonderful antioxidant, and it has been found to protect healthy cells from carcinogens and other cancer-causing substances. It can even reduce cholesterol levels. And all you’ve got to do is eat some in a delicious curry!
Scientists refer to turmeric as Curcuma longa. The plant itself is rather small, growing no more than three feet tall. It can produce both flowers and rhizomes. The rhizome is the part of the plant that is known as turmeric. You can find this spice in just about any tropical country, but India undoubtedly claims the title as the largest turmeric producer.
Turmeric has grown in popularity over the past few years, but it’s actually been used medicinally for over 4000 years. Scientists have discovered turmeric, ginger, and garlic residue that is thought to have been left around 2500 BC. Approximately 2000 years later, turmeric became a part of Ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing practice that has been used for thousands of years until this very day. People believe that by inhaling the scent of burnt turmeric they can encourage digestion and by applying the juice of they spice they can promote recovery from bruises and wounds. The paste was used in quite a variety of ways for everything from smallpox to blemishes.
Turmeric has quite a big role in Indian culture. It is not merely used for medicine, but for religious practices. Those who practice Hinduism say that turmeric is sacred and holy. It is even a part of Hindu wedding traditions where a string dyed with turmeric paste is tied around the bride’s neck to symbolize and she is married and able to run a household. There are even some people who wear or carry turmeric with them to ward off evil spirits.
There are several practical uses for turmeric as well. The iconic yellow hue is often used to dye clothes and thread. Buddhist robes are great examples of this as they are usually dyed with this spice. There are even festivals, such as the Onam festival in Kerala, where children wear clothing dyed with turmeric for the duration of the ceremony.
Of course, turmeric is also used for cooking. It’s often used in curries and pickles, but it can also be used in drinks like turmeric chai. Spice blends containing turmeric often tout their nutritious benefits, such as encouragement of healthy digestion and increase of energy throughout the day.
Want to learn more about this amazing spice? This site is full of guides and information about where to find turmeric spice and more. Stop by to take a look today!