Turmeric

Latin name: Tuber curcumae, Cortex/Ramulus Cinnamoni Herba H, Curcuma longa L.
Chinese names: yu jin, jiang huang (meaning “ginger yellow” in English)
Other names: curcuma, gauri, haldi, Indian saffron, kunyit

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a popular cooking spice that comes from the curcuma plant. This plant is a perennial, native to India, and it is now grown in tropical climates throughout the world. The genus name Curcuma is from an Arabic word kurkum, which means saffron, in reference to the color of turmeric. The word turmeric is from the medieval Latin terra merita, meaning “deserving earth.” In India, women with lovely, velvety skin often attribute it to consuming turmeric. The rhizome and root of this plant are the edible parts. Typically, turmeric is boiled, dried, and then ground, forming a deep yellow powder.

What are the health benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric has been used in traditional medicines for the treatment of jaundice and other liver ailments, ulcers, parasitic infections, various skin diseases, sprains, strains, bruises, inflammation of the joints, cold and flu symptoms, as well as for preserving food and promoting digestion. Native peoples of the Pacific islands sprinkled the dust on their shoulders during ceremonial dances and used it for numerous medical problems ranging from constipation to skin diseases.

This herb is used medicinally in two primary areas of focus. First, it calms the emotions to treat anxiety, agitation, and insomnia. Turmeric also treats pain, particularly from traumatic injury, as well as pain in the chest, flanks, abdomen, or discomfort related to menstruation. Oil of turmeric can be used as a natural insect repellent. Add the spice to your cooking to promote healthy circulation.

Where can I find Turmeric?

Turmeric is available as a powder, chopped and dried, tea, tincture, oil, and poultice. It can be found at most any grocery store, Asian and Indian specialty stores, health food stores, online through herb suppliers, and at the offices of Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Western medical practitioners.

You can find this herb combined with other herbs in the Traditions of Tao formula:
Calmfort/Sleeping, which calms the spirit, alleviates insomnia, and increases the body’s ability to cope with stress.

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This entry was posted in Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.