The beautiful saffron coloured powder, often addressed as turmeric is a part of many Indian dishes, it adds to the sumptuous colour of the dish. Not only that, the hydrosol of turmeric in known to be highly antiseptic in nature.
Turmeric or Indian Saffron or Curcuma longa is rhizomatous plant native to South Asia including India. Turmeric roots provide one of the best known medicinal spices. Roots of turmeric have been used in as food additive, medicine, cosmetics, and fabric dying for more than 2,000 years in Asia.
Turmeric powder is obtained from boiling Turmeric rhizomes for several hours, subsequently drying and grounding.
Turmeric has been used since ancient times for treatment of variety of ailments. Turmeric is best recognized as anti-oxidant, hypoglycemic, colorant, and antiseptic. Turmeric leaf oil and turmeric extract can also be used as sunscreens and bio-pesticides.
Curcumin, the main component of turmeric has shown to have a wide spectrum of biological actions, including its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial activities.
In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric has many medicinal properties and in South Asia it is used as a readily available antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises.
Turmeric is extensively used as a spice, food preservative and colouring material in India, China and South East Asia. It is taken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which allegedly helps with stomach problems and other ailments. It is popular as a tea in Okinawa, Japan. In Pakistan, it is used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders. Milk taken along with turmeric helps in quick recovery, commonly taken during cold and cough.
It has been used in traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. Turmeric is currently being investigated for possible benefits in -
- Alzheimer’s disease
Turmeric is also used in a wide variety of skin creams and sunscreens. In south India, women apply turmeric to their body every Friday as part of tradition, where it is believed turmeric provides glow to skin and keeps some harmful bacteria away from the body.
Turmeric is currently used in the formulation of some sunscreens. Turmeric paste is used by some Indian women to keep them free of superfluous hair. Turmeric paste is applied to bride and groom before marriage in some places of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
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