A History of Turmeric – Is it Really That Old?

It’s an unusual history. A History of Turmeric. That amazing herb, Turmeric, is having a real ‘relevance’ moment in time. The ‘Golden Spice’ has been used for medicinal purposes for nearly 4,500 years. Strongly flavoured and coloured, turmeric is having something of a renaissance with the health and wellness community. So I thought it was time to learn a history of turmeric.

And a history of turmeric must of course include its strongest component, curcumin, the healing substance that provides its vibrant yellow colour. There have been over 6,000 peer reviewed articles written about the benefits of curcumin.

a history of turmeric

Curcumin has very significant anti inflammatory properties. Many studies have proven that curcumin rivals the likes of ibuprofen.

However unlike the over the counter drugs that are peddled by the Big Pharmaceuticals, curcumin has no toxic side effects on the body. Of course the Big Pharma tells us that there is no long term studies on the side effects of curcumin. They of course choose to forget that it has been used medicinally for nearly 4,500 years! Trust me folks, there are no toxic side effects, unlike Big Pharma’s hugely profitable pills!

The Push Towards Natural Healing

Another reason for this relevance of turmeric is because more and more people are turning to whole foods like fruit and vegetables, nuts, grains, juices, smoothies, fasting, fresh air, exercise and sunshine to heal themselves rather that the traditional health care system way. A health care that I call a ‘sick care’ system. It certainly doesn’t encourage health. Just have lunch at any hospital in the world to see that health is not big on their agendas.

But lets get back to turmeric and its best healing buddy, curcumin. (And a history of turmeric would not be complete without curcumin!)

Curcumin has been shown to protect healthy cells because of its anti oxidant properties. Particularly cells in the colon which is where most disease starts.

It basically helps the body destroy mutated cancer cells before they have a chance to spread. It also helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, scalds and burns, arthritis, Alzeihmer’s and teeth! All that and it tastes delicious too!

I used turmeric extensively when I was healing prostate cancer. I used it in juices, smoothies, salads and stir fries. It no doubt played a major role in my healing.

A History of Turmeric

a history of turmeric
Turmeric growing in the field

A history of turmeric is fascinating. The botanical name for turmeric is Curcuma Longa. The plant only just makes it to 3 feet in height and actually produces a flower and a stem that is found underground. The stem looks very similar to ginger. This is the root that produces the yellow spice. Since ancient times India has been the number one producer of turmeric although these days it is found throughout the tropics.

The interest in turmeric now is for its healing properties but as mentioned earlier it has been used medicinally for more than 4,500 years. A history of turmeric research found this amazing fact. Turmeric, ginger and garlic residue was discovered and analysed near Delhi and dates back to around 2500BCE! Turmeric became a major player in Ayurvedic medicine around 500 BCE. Now that is a history of turmeric!

What Is Ayurvedic Medicine?

A History of turmeric would not be complete with mentioning Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is a very ancient Indian process of natural healing that is still practised today. Ayurveda means ‘science of life.’ Back in those days people would burn turmeric and inhale the fumes. This was said to relieve congestion. Turmeric juice helped to heal wounds and bruises and the turmeric paste was applied to scalds, burns and any kind of cut or skin irritation. It was even used for small pox and chicken pox.

Turmeric was so popular in Ayurvedic circles that there are over 100 names for it in their literature. These include ‘jayanti’ which means ‘one who is victorious over disease’. Wow what a fantastic name! I happen to know a Sister Jayanti who is very high up in the Brahma Kumaris spiritual group. This name is so fitting for her.

Turmeric and Wedding Traditions

a history of turmeric
The ‘Mangala Sutra’

In the Hindu religion turmeric is looked upon as ‘auspicious’ and ‘sacred.’  India has one of the best  wedding day traditions. A piece of string is dyed yellow with turmeric paste and the groom ties it around the neck of the bride. The ‘Mangala Sutra’ as it is know means that the woman is married and can run a household. This takes the place of a wedding ring in the Hindu culture. Turmeric root is often worn as an amulet to ward of evil spirits.

I love history and I loved researching a history of turmeric. Check this little tit bit – We all know turmeric is used as a cooking spice but did you know that it appeared in Hannah Glasse’s 1747 cookbook, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy? Well it did. Hannah shared the recipe for Indian pickle made with turmeric and a later edition places it in an Indian curry.

So turmeric is nothing new. It has been healing people for thousands of years. If your not using it then it’s certainly time you did.

Turmeric root is best but is often hard to get in some places. If you struggle to find it try using Pura Thrive turmeric. I don’t recommend supplements as a rule but if you can’t get your hands on the root or powder give it a try. I highly recommend it!

And if you do use it let me know.

Did you like this article ‘A History of Turmeric?’ Do you use turmeric? Tell me what you use it in and if it has helped you heal any disease or injury by typing in the comments below. And please share this article with your friends who will benefit from this knowledge.

healing prostate cancer naturally

37 comments

  1. Hey, thanks for the information in this post. My family has turned toward natural therapies just like so many of the rest of culture as you mention in your post. My husband has found turmeric helpful in his cancer fight. That said, I had no idea about it’s history in weddings and haven’t seen turmeric in extract form. I’ll tell my husband. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Randene,

      Thanks for stopping by. Yes it is a great fighter of any cancers. Tell him to keep taking the turmeric but make sure he adds some coconut oil and blackpepper to make it more absorbent into the blood. Over 4.000 years of history is amazing so keep it at home and use often 🙂

      Cheers,

      Kev

  2. I’ve heard the name turmeric being tossed around a lot recently. Is it basically a miracle plant that can kind of shotgun a variety of symptoms? I’m interested in trying it to see what it tastes like and now that I’m thinking about it I think I’ve had it mixed in with food as a spice, like you mentioned you can use it for. Anyways, I enjoyed the article. Best of luck.

    1. Hi Dom,

      Thank you, yes its a bit of a miracle herb and has now been proven to heal so many ailments, the biggest of which is inflammation which is the root of 99 per cent of disease. Most people have had it if they have had Indian food as it makes the curry yellow.

      It has been around for more than 4,000 years so has a great track record.

      Cheers,

      Kev

  3. I love turmeric for when I have a stomach ache, and always use it for this reason. I always make sure to have some in my house so that when the discomfort starts, I have an easy, effective, natural remedy for settling my stomach. I wanted to know more about turmeric, which brought me here. Lots of interesting stuff! It’s cool to know more about the things that add value to your life. Thanks.

    1. Hey Sean,

      Thanks man. Yes turmeric is great for an array of things. It definitely adds value and health to your life. Keep taking it buddy,

      Kev

  4. So I love cooking my vegetables such broccoli with turmeric. And absolutely enjoyed reading your article.

    It is hard to find do the real turmeric where I live. ..
    Anyway, Do you have any tips on how to remove turmeric stains from the kitchen counter or clothes?

    Thank you for the info

    1. Haha yes Udoh the stains can be a pain.

      You need to be careful. We get them on the bench top and just rubbing with a cloth eventually gets them out.

      The good thing is you are using turmeric. Great work.

      Cheers,

      Kev

  5. Hello here. You have a great website which will be eye opener for many visitors who do not know about healing abilities of Nature.
    Turmeric is one of goodies in nature. Previously I did not use it so much because in the North Europe spices were scarce and expensive. Nowadays we do not have any problems with adapting exotic spices to our cuisine.
    I like color of turmeric how it brightens all food. I buy just organic turmeric. It means that I do not need worry about chemicals and toxins.
    Plenty if my friends use turmeric as antiflammatory ingredient. There are no side effects as from drugs.
    Thanks for the great read about history of turmeric.
    All the best, Nemira.

    1. Thanks so much Nemira!

      Yes it is a major anti inflammatory and healer. Great in juices, curries, stir fries, smoothies, heck, I even use it in my porridge! Haha.

      Yes far better than any drugs 🙂

      Best wishes,

      Kev

  6. That’s a neat little history on a very widely used and well known spice. I learned quite a bit with your revelations. I’ve never been a fan of the smell of Turmeric, and it’s unmistakable.

    I had no idea of the medicinal qualities of Turmeric. I mean, it’s a spice right? As such, most spices are good for you and often have healthy qualities, but I had no idea it was also applied topically in some cases!

    I’m not sure my wife would have gone for a string over a wedding ring, but aren’t other cultures amazing?

    Thanks for the lesson!

    1. Hey Jack,

      Thanks for your great and interesting comments! Loved your thoughts. yes I think a ring is the better option but I love the thoughts behind the string haha! Yes so many uses for turmeric. Anti inflammation is what helps me so much.

      Thanks for stopping by and please call in again soon 🙂

      Kev

  7. Hi Kevin

    You have done a really good post on the history of turmeric, as I have known nothing much about it but was fascinated to read that it has been used for thousands of years for healing all sort of ailments and diseases.

    And to think that you have used it in your own healing of prostrate cancer which I hope you have made a full recovery from.

    I don’t currently use turmeric but it’s good to know more about it and to be aware of what it can do, so thanks for the history lesson on it, that was great.

    1. Thanks Adrian,

      Yes it is a fascinating history and a great healing food. yes I have fully recovered and never felt stronger and fitter 🙂 The Asians knew what they were doing all those 1,000’s of years ago!

      Appreciate your time to comment, Kev

  8. Turmeric is probably available in pill form in herbal stores. If it works like ibuprophin, then it’s ptobably free of addatives. You mentioned other benefits from the Turmeric plant. It sounds like an herbal remedy for people wanting to get away from all the pharmaceuticals and all there medicines with lots of side effects.
    Anyway, I have read that more and more people are moving away from orthodox medicine to holistic medicine which includes much much more.
    Thank you,
    Ed Mijarez

    1. Hey Ed,

      Thanks for the comments. Yes I certainly encourage people to consider food as medicine before pills. It is definitely a better move and has very few side affects.

      Cheers, Kev

  9. Very interesting Herb Turmeric, I actually never heard of it before until now, I totally agree with you that the best way of healing is the more natural way, Turmeric sounds like an amazing addition towards healing naturally, ill definitely buy a bottle and add to my diet, my way of life has always been by the rules of exercising, eat healthy and live healthy and with Turmeric my lifespans will increase even more!

    1. Thanks for the comment Mark,

      Yes turmeric is really an untapped treasure. Its healing properties are enormous. Yes it will definitely help your body 🙂 Good luck and let me know how it goes,

      Cheers, Kev

  10. I started cooking chicken with turmeric and stopped only because one day my little white toy poodle got into the bowel I’d been eating out of and stained her whole little face yellow!
    But it is great for preventing a lot of ills and a good anti-inflammatory I believe. Anything anti inflammatory is good, maybe I should give some to my bigger dog who has a bit of a skin condition right now.
    The history is fascinating and I live and work in Asia so eat a lot of different things and like you I also believe in the healing/preventative power of food.
    We are what we eat most definitely.
    I am interested in this as a supplement as opposed to eating the powder…is the main point that it’s better absorbed or is it combined with something else to aid absorption?

    1. Haha that would have looked hilarious Alison seeing your little yellow faced poodle!

      And yes turmeric works really well for animals too! If you are looking at supplements make sure they also contain elements of black pepper and some kind of oil – preferably coconut or extra virgin olive oil. The other good thing is vulvic acid. These things help to absorb the turmeric into the body as it goes straight through you otherwise.

      The supplements I recommend on the website are great. I use them when I can’t get hold of the turmeric root but there are many good (and bad!) ones out there. As I say make sure they have the above ingredients for full effect.

      Have a brilliant week, Kev 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing the history of turmeric. This is great stuff. You are not kidding when you say it’s a strongly flavored and colored herb — all my wooden spoons now have a yellow tinge to them from all the cooking my husband and I do using turmeric. I make a breakfast veggie hash on the weekends and my husband cooks soup. And all we add is probably no more than a teaspoon. Every now and then I would add it to my water in the morning, just a pinch. I noticed the pain in my foot from arthritis went away after weeks on turmeric. I thought it was just coincidental that the pain subsided, but after not taking turmeric for a month, the pain came back. Yes, I’m back on using turmeric regularly now. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. Hi Norma,

      Thanks so much for the feedback. Appreciate that. yes it is an amazing herb. I am a little obssessed with it now haha!

      But it really does heal. Great that you are using it often. All the best,

      Kev

  12. Fascinating! I was looking for an old recipe which I used for Indian curries and found this article. I’ve been using turmeric for at least 25 years, always in cooking. I love cooking Indian style. It’s very popular in the UK, we have a lot of Indian restaurants. In fact, it’s been called traditional British food by some people!

    I think it’s great that turmeric has these healing properties. It’s certainly something I am going to consider. I usually drink green tea for detoxing but if turmeric has anti oxidant properties, even better!

    1. Thanks for your comment Craig!

      Appreciate that. Yes turmeric is amazing. Really helped me with healing prostate cancer a few years ago.

      Keep using it, the green tea is wonderful too. Whole foods really are medicine as opposed to pills!

      Cheers Craig, Kev

  13. As far as I know, turmeric belongs to the ginger family and has been used in the far and Middle East for thousands of years. It was noted for its anti-inflammatory properties.

    The name turmeric comes from the Persian saffron. We use it to make curries. It’s very good for you.

  14. This is a very interesting history. I have read and heard a lot about turmeric and my husband uses it religiously in his food and as a supplement as well. It is indeed amazing for healing all kinds of diseases. My mother also takes it for some lung issues and every time she stops taking it, the issues come back, so she continues to take it. If you use the raw root though, beware that it stains! We have nice little yellow marks on our counter, dish towels, etc.

    1. Haha thanks Sarah!

      Yes well aware of the stains lol! Including on my hands after having too much one day it comes out in my skin!

      It really is a great all round healer. Interesting about your mum. That is great that its helping.

      Thanks again,

      Kev

  15. Hey that you for the information on Turmeric. I think turmeric has amazing healing properties. I didn’t know that it helps to prevent and heal cancer. It make me remember my mother. She used to put it our food. I loved it when she color rice with it. May be that why I am still going strong. But of the urban life style we have stopped using these herbs.

    Thank you for remaining us about such an impotent healing herb. I will share this blog with my wife for that we can start using it again. WE should try using this product you have recommended.

  16. Hey that you for the information on Turmeric. I think turmeric has amazing healing properties. I didn’t know that it helps to prevent and heal cancer. It make me remember my mother. She used to put it our food. I loved it when she color rice with it. May be that why I am still going strong. But of the urban life style we have stopped using these herbs.

    Thank you for remaining us about such an impotent healing herb. I will share this blog with my wife for that we can start using it again. WE should try using this product you have recommended.

    1. Thanks Jonathan!

      Yes its a very powerful healing food. It helped me cure prostate cancer and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

      I use it in my juices most days. The Pura Thrive is excellent product if you can’t lay your hands on the real turmeric root. Thanks for your comment,

      Kev

  17. Hello,
    I’ve recently changed my diet to incorporate healthier foods and non processed foods.
    I had heard people talk about turmeric but never really took the information on board.
    The Pura Thrive looks great and I’ll get a bottle, do you think it’s helpful to use turmeric a lot more in cooking?
    Thanks
    Neil

    1. Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes absolutely. In fact I just drank a turmeric juice this morning. Here is a quick recipe –

      2 to 4 inches turmeric root

      2 to 4 inches ginger – 2 lemons – 2 apples – Put them in the juicer and add cayenne pepper for the turmeric to absorb then drink away. A really great way to ease inflammation and arthritis and a myriad of other health issues.

      We add it to salads and stir fries and I have even been known to sprinkle some powder on my porridge!

      The Pura Thrive is the best supplement I know of if you can’t get the turmeric root. Give it a try I know you will be impressed.

      Thanks again Neil, Cheers, Kev

  18. Thanks for revealing the history of turmeric. I can tell you from experience that it’s amazing stuff.

    I’ll be sixty this spring. About five years ago the little aches and pains weren’t so little and my joints were stiff. Fortunately, I stumbled onto information about turmeric and started taking it.

    At first, I tried just powdered turmeric I got in a health food store. I got good results with it, but later when a friend recommended the PuraThrive Extract the results were phenomenal.

    My girlfriend takes PuraThrive too for knee pain. When she takes it each morning she doesn’t limp.

    1. Hey Gary!

      Thanks for the comment. I take Pura Thrive too and swear by it. I also use the turmeric root in my juices when I can get hold of it and yes its amazing stuff.

      I’m 58 so not far behind you! We need all the natural stuff we can get haha! I also healed prostate cancer with this magic stuff as well as lots of juicing, fasting and fruit and veges.

      Food really is our medicine.

      Cheers Gary 🙂

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