Turmeric, also known as the Golden Spice, is an ancient plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Its exact origins are unknown, but many believe it is native to Southern India and Indonesia. Today, it is grown in many areas including: China, Taiwan, Brazil, Peru, Australia and parts of Africa. It is used as a spice for food and also as a component to religious ceremonies. Turmeric has been an important plant to many, but it was only in the late 20th century that Western herbalists began to recognise and utilise its benefits.
Turmeric is an herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the ginger family. From this plant grows branches that have yellow or orange rhizomes. These rhizomes are what people use most for cooking and medicine. Turmeric contains several chemicals, the most important of them being a group called curcuminoids. This group includes curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. It also contains turmerone, atlantone and zingiberene which are volatile oils important for ones health. In terms of nutrition, turmeric contains high amounts of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium and Manganese. It is also a good source of dietary fibre.
So why is turmeric good for your health? When used as a medicine or simply consumed daily, studies have shown it can help treat and prevent many chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, UTI’s, liver disease and much more. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds which helps with many degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and heart disease. As well as curing ailments, turmeric can also help boost body functions in the brain and immune system for stronger minds and bodies. It is also an effective antidepressant, with studies showing curcumin boosting serotonin and dopamine. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicinal system has known the benefits of turmeric for thousands of years and now science has proven time and again that turmeric is a magical cure-all plant. For a more comprehensive list of the health benefits of Turmeric – read 10 Health Benefits and Uses for Turmeric.