Turmeric - 6 Facts You Have To Know
Turmeric is a flowering plant that is native to South Asia and is a product of Curcuma longa, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae. It’s name is derived from the Latin word Terra Merita (meritorious earth), which refers to the color of ground turmeric. Across India, it is called by various names (as per the local language) and has been used in culinary preparations and skincare rituals since centuries. While the uses of turmeric is plenty and it’s history expansive, we’ve put together six quick facts about this ancient wellness ingredient for you below that will help you discover more about its origin and some of the ways it is used in and consumed.
-In Sanskrit, turmeric has at least 53 different names. Some of them include bhadra (which means auspicious or lucky), haridra (which refers to Lord Krishna’s affinity to turmeric), jayanti (one that has the power to eradicate diseases), laxmi (proximity), mangalaya (auspicious), yuvati (which is often used to refer to a young girl).
-India produces nearly all of the world’s turmeric and also consumes about 80% of it; it’s most common use is that in culinary preparations, including haldi doodh (aka golden milk) - an Indian staple that has been prepared since centuries to aid in both internal and external health, dal (or lentil soup), vegetable curries and so many more. Erode - a city in the South Indian of Tamil Nadu - is the world’s largest producer of turmeric and is also known as the Yellow City or Turmeric City. Indian turmeric is often considered to be the best variety of turmeric in the world.
-Turmeric is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutaganic, antimicrobial and anti-cancer agent. It is traditionally used for both prevention AND treatment of diseases throughout Asia by means of different local culinary preparations and skincare and wellness rituals.
-While it’s picked up in the West only recently, golden milk - or haldi doodh as it is known traditionally - has been an Indian culinary staple since centuries. Often touted for it’s many health benefits (and for good reason!) haldi doodh helps boost immunity and prevent and treat a wide range of diseases, thanks to it’s antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and it’s ability to improve your mood, boost your memory, protect against heart disease, lower blood sugar. Plenty of haldi doodh recipes also use ginger, that can help with indigestion and aid in the treatment of dyspepsia.
-In India, plenty of cultures include a pure-wedding ceremony known where family and friends of the bride and groom apply a turmeric paste to the bride and groom. It holds special significance since turmeric helps purify and cleanse the body both internally and externally. It also denotes protection and the yellow colour of the turmeric is believed to bring prosperity to the couple in their new life together.
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