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.
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!
A History of Turmeric
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
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.