Richness of turmeric

You all must be wondering why I thought about writing this post. In last few days, I noticed that few of my readers have objections about my including a pinch of turmeric in the authentic dishes. First things first, we do include it from generations and my goal is to provide authentic, tried and tested recipes that I’ve learnt from my Aayi. The second thing is, a pinch of turmeric does not affect the taste in anyway and it has so many medicinal values that, if possible, better to include it in all dishes.

As I said, we include turmeric in most of our food. Then my pachi(mom’s sister) read an article somewhere, which said using turmeric in all the dishes, reduces the chances of Cancer. She kept on stressing this point and Aayi also started including it consciously. I try my best to include it in most of the dishes that I cook.

I found this interesting article in the collection from Kannada weekly ‘Sudha’. Hope it helps you all. Take some time from your busy schedule and go through it, I am sure it will help you all. I am translating this article as it is.
The name of the article is “Arishinada Arasutana”. Arishina means turmeric in Kannada. Arasu means king. Arasutana means royal (not too literal meaning, but close). So the title – “Richness of turmeric”, something close to the Kannada title.

The scientific name of turmeric is “Curcuma longa”. It also has the names like ‘Haridra’, ‘Kanchani’, ‘VaravarNini’. The turmeric powder is a powder prepared by the roots of this plant. These roots are hard and brittle. When tender, the outer skin of these roots has dark brown or yellowish green color, the inside of the roots has orange mixed brown or bright red color. The roots are cleaned, boiled, dried and then powdered to get the ‘turmeric powder’. The powder prepared in this way has yellow color and very good aroma.

Auspicious uses of turmeric:
Turmeric has the first place in any pooja, wedding, thread ceremony, house-warming ceremony etc. Any pooja (devataarchane – kannada) starts with turmeric and kumkum. Turmeric is mixed with water, given a shape of dome(Gopura) and worshiped as Goddess Gowri. In poojas, usually people wear the cloths soaked in turmeric(and then dried).

Turmeric in kitchen: Turmeric is the most important ingredient in Indian dishes. It gives color, taste and aroma to the dishes. This has blood purifying, antiseptic and digestive properties. In recent days, we are seeing an increase in usage of artificial food ingredients in various food and food products, which may affect our health adversely. With the intake of turmeric, the adverse effects on health can be controlled. The idlis and kadubus(a dish similar to idli) prepared with turmeric leaves are good for health. In villages, turmeric leaves (instead of plates) are used to have food. Turmeric is a main ingredient in preparing pickles as well.

Turmeric in cosmetics:
Turmeric is a very safe and effective beauty product.
– Apply a paste of turmeric and sandal wood paste to face and wash it after 10mins. This helps in making the face glow and cures pimples.
– Tender turmeric root and Raktachandan(no idea of an English name) are mixed with milk and applied to face twice in a day. This makes the face glow.
– Turmeric root mixed in coconut milk helps in getting rid of pimples and makes the skin more healthy and soft.
– Mix turmeric powder, besan(chick pea flour) and fenugreek powder in equal quantities with milk, apply this to body and take bath. This removes unwanted hair from the body and makes the skin soft and beautiful.

Turmeric as medicine: Turmeric is full of medicinal values.
– Turmeric has anti-cancer properties.
– For cold and throat pain, mix 2 teaspoons turmeric with 1-cup warm water and drink. (We usually drink turmeric and pepper mixed with hot milk whenever we get throat pain or cough. This gives immediate relief).
– For the cuts from sharp knifes, turmeric is applied to the cut and pressed to stop the bleeding.
– Mix clean turmeric powder with coconut oil, apply to body and take bath after sometime, to reduce the occurrences of skin diseases.
– Mix turmeric powder, ginger, garlic with milk and keep it for boiling. Drink this milk before going to bed to overcome cold and throat pain.
– The intake of turmeric keeps a pregnant woman healthy. This helps to increase the antibiotic properties in babies.
– For cough, drink 1-teaspoon turmeric mixed with 1-teaspoon honey. Followed by this, drink hot milk.
– Mix turmeric and amla(gooseberry) in equal quantities with 1 tea spn hot water and drink twice daily. This helps in controlling diabetes.
– Applying turmeric to boils in mouth helps to overcome the boils.
– Turmeric is good for people with heart problems.
– Mix turmeric with buttermilk and drink to overcome jaundice, piles.
– Mix turmeric with salt, brush teeth with this mixture to reduce tooth pain.
– Intake of tender turmeric mixed with pepper is good for urine problems.
– Mix turmeric with milk cream and apply to dry lips, hands and legs.

Read this for more details about turmeric.

Note: I haven’t tried and tested all of these remedies, but few of them. Also this article should not be taken as a medical advice. Please consult your physician for illnesses mentioned in the article.

29 thoughts on “Richness of turmeric”

  1. Great Info. on turmeric!! I am surprised some people object to it!! I have some dry turmeric roots I grind to use in almost all of my cooking.
    The aroma and color of REAL turmeic is unmatchable unlike those come in already powdered form! Hard to get the roots but try to get it ,Shilpa! you will know what I mean! My dal ie saaru gets rich color and nice aroma bcos of that!!
    I used to apply it on my face like a facial with besan when I was young,not anymore!
    Thank you for taking time to write about it!! And add away without worry and it’s Aayi’s orders, right??!! 😀
    My Food MEME is up!!

  2. hi.I agree with you.Turmeric should be included in our diet as far as possible…i didn’t think anyone would object to that. great post…I was also thinking on similar lines.I have planted some turmeric roots in my garden and will send you a photo of the plants to add to this post.

  3. Shilpa, Very informative post. I also have the habit of adding a pinch of turmeric to everything I cook. One of the latest studies has proven turmeric to be an effective prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Have you ever wondered why AD is more common in the US and barely heard of in India? Three cheers to the magical powder.

  4. Hi Shilpa,
    Excellent article! most informative! Surprising people object to using turmeric! Well, well, after this write up,I hope they will change their mind!

  5. Hi Shilpa,
    Very valuable information about Turmeric. I do use turmeric in my daily cooking. As you have mentioned its good for skin and stuff should start using them …. Thanks for the very useful info Shilpa.

  6. Hi Shilpa,

    I am very new to your site but i should tell you its great. i tried most of your receipes and everyone liked it a lot…….the recipes are smiple and awesome to taste!!

    I was just wondering if you have any section for Low calorie food…..

  7. hi shilpa,
    I heard That ,after apllying turmeric if u go out in sun it tans ur skins and
    also skin gets wrinkle faster. Is that

    Shilpa: Sorry Puvana, I don’t have any information about this.

  8. Good day,

    I would like to ask you regarding the recipe for the tumeric for unwanted hair, is it a permanent one or similar to the waxing and such?

    Thank you

    Shilpa: Naoura, sorry, I don’t know.

  9. I would like to know how to use turmeric root-I would like to dry and grind this and use it topically. Do I peel it and boil it first? Do I need a special stone to grind it with, and how do I dry it?


  10. Thank you very much, i just found out about Turmeric by doing research for natural acne solutions. Thank you, i guess from now on ill be using Turmeric for many things! Plus ill spread the word 🙂

  11. We grow turmeric here in Texas and they do very well. I’ve made some ground turmeric and chopped some fresh ones then froze them. I just read in Fine Cooking that turmeric leaves are eatable but I’m having trouble finding recipes using the leaves. Would love to have more recipes for the root as well as the leaves. Thanks for your article. It is very informative and interesting.

  12. hi! good website! i have one question. i have bad skin very dry and lots of skin problems and acne. i want to take turmeric internally for it..can i take 1 tablespoon of turmeric with warm water or milk daily to help this?
    let me know! thanks!

    Shilpa: I don’t think it is a good idea to take so much turmeric daily. Only tiny bit is added for curries.

  13. hi , long time back i got a recipe to make chocolate from one Care magazine and i made it also ,but i lost the recipe and did’nt make it for 3 years. the ingredients were milk powder,sugar,butter,cocoa powder and i think choclate powder,but i forgot the quantity to be used. i would very much like to make it again. Can you help?

  14. I am surprised that people are objecting to using turmeric.
    What has happened to this world?
    They dont mind when MSG or food coloring is added to food. They say food is not tasty without MSG,
    turmeric and so many other spices that have gone out of the kitchen contribute a lot to taste, especially the satisfaction at the end of the meal.
    The only way I can eat an egg burji without bloating is by adding a lot of turmeric to it.
    But I guess people attitude is why add turmeric when you can have an antacid after your meal.
    Wonderful post.
    I have a terrible cough and cold which got better after a glass of turmeric in milk yesterday, today my milk got spoilt :-(. When searching for some other way to down my fresh turmeric I stumbled upon you site.
    Great article.
    Thank you

  15. Estella Zulu Soko

    I have enjoyed reading your article on turmeric. I have this irritating cough which has been bothering me. I will try turmeric with honey and see how it will work. Please continue giving us such informaion.

  16. My question is, do you need to peel fresh tumeric first before you dry it and grind it? Since it is related to the ginger family I assume you should. But when I read your article it says to clean, boil, dry and grind. Can you find out for me and let me know? Thanks

    Shilpa: Yes, you need to peel it. I forgot to mention that.

  17. Cure for Throat Cancer..??

    Curries may not be the healthiest of foods, but a chemical found in the curry spice tumeric can kill cancer cells, new research has found.

    Past studies have shown curcumin, found in turmeric and the chemical that gives curry its mustard-yellow colour, may have anti-cancer properties.

    Now scientists from the Cork Cancer Research Centre have found that it can kill oesophageal cancer cells in the laboratory.

    Dr Sharon McKenna, who led the study, said: “Scientists have known for a long time that natural compounds have the potential to treat faulty cells that have become cancerous and we suspected that curcumin might have therapeutic value.”

    They found that curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours. The cancer cells also began to digest themselves.

    Additionally, the results, published in this month’s British Journal of Cancer, showed that curcumin kills cells by triggering lethal cell death signals.

    “These exciting results suggest scientists could develop curcumin as a potential anti-cancer drug to treat oesophageal cancer,” Dr McKenna said Check this OUT…!

  18. Hi Shilpa,
    “Mix turmeric powder, besan(chick pea flour) and fenugreek powder in equal quantities with milk, apply this to body and take bath. This removes unwanted hair from the body and makes the skin soft and beautiful”
    How long I should stay after applying? I have a sensitive skin and hair above my upperlip.

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