Turmeric (Haldi)- Overview, History, Uses, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What is Turmeric (Haldi)?

Turmeric is a medicinal plant, Curcuma longa (belonging to the same family as ginger), whose root has a characteristic orange or intense yellow colour. This root transformed into a powder is what is commonly known as seasoning or food colouring. The Rhizome part of the Turmeric plant is used in the medical and cosmetic world. It originated from the East Indies region and grows naturally in the wide range of tropical and subtropical hot and humid regions in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. 

Turmeric is known to contain a large amount of curcumin, a yellow pigment that is a type of polyphenol and has long been used as a representative spice and colouring agent in Asian cuisine. Generally, the pigment curcumin contained in turmeric is used as a colouring agent, and turmeric powder is used as a spice. It contains about 2 and 5% curcumin which makes it valuable. Turmeric holds a better position as a herb in the Ayurvedic medicine system and Chinese medicine systems. It holds medical properties which provide overall well-being to the body. It is a highly appreciated plant because it offers great gastronomic versatility and medicinal properties against cancer, high cholesterol or osteoarthritis, among other diseases, are attributed to it.  

  • Latin Name: Curcuma is the Latin name for turmeric or Haldi.
  • Family Member: Turmeric belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, the same as the ginger family.
  • Common Name: Haldi is the common form of turmeric in Hindi. In Sanskrit, it is known as Harida. Manjal is also famous in South India.
  • Habitat: Turmeric is a tropical plant, that required humid warm weather with a lot of rainfall
  • Season: Turmeric is harvested in the early winter season.

Type Of Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most versatile spices in the world. In India, there are 30+ types of turmeric available as per respective regions. The weather condition and environment gives variation in the kinds of turmeric. Among all, Lakadong turmeric is the world's best turmeric. 

Name of Turmeric Approx. Curcumin Percentage State

Lakadong 7-12% Meghalaya

Alleppey 5% Kerala

Madras 3% Tamil Nadu

Rajapore n/a Maharashtra

Sangli 2-4% Maharashtra

Erode 2-4% Tamil Nadu

Nizamabad bulb n/a Telangana

Lakadong Turmeric is a beast of spice because it is high in curcumin levels. It belongs to the hillocks of Lakadong village, Meghalaya. The amount of curcumin varies from 5-12%. Alleppey contains 5% of curcumin. The madras turmeric contains 3.5% of curcumin. The Erode contains 2-4% of curcumin.

History of Turmeric

Turmeric was first cultivated around 2500 BCE back in the East Indies region where it originated. In an analysis of pot found in the New Year, it has evidence of turmeric that is about 2500 BCE ancient. The use of turmeric is very ancient. It is also mentioned in the Ayurvedic medicine system which is around 500 BCE. The use of turmeric gets famous day by day. In 700 AD, it reached china. The Chinese medicine system also contains turmeric remedies and medical benefits. In 800 AD, it reached East Africa, In 1200 AD, it reached West Africa. In the eighteenth century, it reached Jamaica. It is also stated that turmeric was widely available in the forest regions of Java, Indonesia as early as the 5th century AD.

Nutritional composition

Turmeric is full of nutritional value. It contains fibre, protein, niacin, vitamins C, E and K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. But, since it is a seasoning to give flavour and aroma, the amount consumed is very little. It is a natural pain reliever, powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial, anti-microbes and many more in nature. The proportion of vitamins, proteins, fibre, minerals and other components can be increased if turmeric is consumed in higher amounts, in the form of a nutritional supplement.

Benefits of Turmeric (Haldi Benefits)

  • Natural Anti-Inflammatory: For years, turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory herb. It fights inflammation and reduces the inflammation for skin health, bone health and overall body health. Its active ingredient named curcumin is compared with inflammation-fighting medications such as Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin as per one study. It's ideal to use in chronic inflammation diseases.
  • Improve Liver Function: Turmeric is generally known to improve liver function and promote bile secretion. The liver is an organ that is crucial to metabolism, excretion, detoxification, and maintaining fluid homeostasis. It is situated in the upper right portion of the abdomen, almost below the ribs. An alkaline fluid called bile is created by the liver. It helps with fat digestion and absorption by emulsifying the fat in the diet. Taken internally, turmeric is thought to enhance liver function by increasing bile secretion, liver detoxification, and hepatic detoxification.
  • Improve Digestion: Turmeric adds flavour to food, which explains its presence in curry powder. However, turmeric can also play an important role in the digestion of that food. The spice's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities may help promote good digestion. Additionally, it serves as a digestive healing agent in Ayurvedic medicine. Intestinal permeability and inflammation, two indicators of digestive efficiency, are currently being studied in Western medicine in relation to the potential therapeutic benefits of turmeric.
  • Natural Pain Relief: Turmeric is a pain reliever. The spice is also famous for relieving arthritis pain. Studies seem to support that turmeric relieves pain, with one study noting that it seemed to work as well as ibuprofen in people with arthritic knees.
  • Appetite-Enhancing Effect: Turmeric is said to have the effect of increasing appetite by activating the function of the stomach. Additionally, it is supposed to preserve the stomach mucosa and enhance gastric juice secretion. By the regular use of turmeric, you can increase your appetite and change in weight. Many choose it to increase weight as well as boost the digestive system.
  • Reduce Arthritis: Due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties, it is famous in arthritis patients. It reduces the inflammation between bones, reduces pain, increases movement and provides quick relief in arthritis cases.
  • Improve Blood Flow: Due to its antioxidant properties, turmeric lowers cholesterol levels and enhances blood circulation by preventing the oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. It increases heart health and reduces the risk of heart problems. It is also expected to prevent arteriosclerosis and prevent stroke and heart disease
  • Immune-enhancing effect: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which help to increase immunity. Old-age people prefer to drink turmeric milk in winter to increase the immune system and protect the body from infections. In addition, turmeric also reduces free radicals and creates a protective layer for the body. It keeps the virus, bacteria, and pathogens away.
  • Reduce Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Turmeric or turmeric extract is able to relieve the characteristic symptoms of IBS, such as intestinal spasms and flatulence.
  • Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease: Turmeric is also good for the brain. It protects the brain from common degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease. Turmeric works on delaying and reversing brain degeneration. It keeps the nerves healthy and helps in learning and memory.
  • Skin Health: Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis and many skin conditions can be improved by turmeric use. It is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant which helps with any kind of skin problem. In addition, turmeric also detoxes the blood which helps to keep the skin healthy.

Turmeric Precaution

The consumption of turmeric or curcumin as a nutritional supplement is considered safe when administered orally or topically. The possible side effect of turmeric is nausea, diarrhoea, or stomach upset in some people. Before consuming fresh turmeric or turmeric supplement, you should know the below precaution points-

  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is safe to use in common food items. But you should not use turmeric supplements without professional guidance. It stimulates the uterus, and menstrual period and may increase the risk of pregnancy.
  • If you have gallbladder problems or diseases, then it is not good for you. It can make the situation worse.
  • If you have bleeding problems, you should avoid using them. It can increase the risk of bleeding.
  • A diabetic patient should also consider turmeric use. Turmeric also lowers the blood sugar level and can affect medication too.
  • Turmeric causes stomach upset in some people. If you are a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patient, it can worsen your problem.
  • A high dose of turmeric also affects the fertility rate, testosterone level or sperm movement in men.
  • A high level of turmeric also disturbs iron absorption. Consult with healthcare professionals always.
  • Turmeric reduces or slows down blood clotting. Hence, it is good to stop turmeric consumption of turmeric 2 weeks before or after any surgery.

Turmeric Dosage

For effective and positive results, the right dose is required for any herb. It is important to consume turmeric in the right dose to avoid adverse effects and better results. As per FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), the recommended dose of turmeric is:-

  • Rhizome Haldi: 1-3 g (as powder)
  • Fresh Rhizome/Leaf: 5-10 ml (as juice)

Turmeric is very famous as a spice, especially in India. It is safer to use turmeric in common food in the same way we used to use it. Do not overdose the turmeric in the supplement as well as in fresh form. 

For better guidance, it is good to talk to some professionals. The use of turmeric varies as per health condition, age and other factors. There are many ways to use turmeric. Some choose to use fresh turmeric roots whereas some choose to go with extract form. You should also go with fresh organic turmeric for the maximum benefit of its medical properties if it is easy to find for you.

How To Take Turmeric

Opening the jar and sprinkling the turmeric is not a plan. There are many ways to consume turmeric. In India, the right thing to do is to add it to stews and dishes as a condiment. It has been done for thousands and thousands of years. Here is extracted turmeric supplements and way to consume turmeric for better health benefits-

  • Turmeric Infusion: Turmeric infusion or Haldi kadhi is an ancient process of transferring medical properties to the water. All you have to do is put ground turmeric in the water and simmer it for 10 minutes. Add honey and lemon for a better taste, it is optional. You can experiment with the ingredients and aromas until you find the best option to consume. Add such Tumeric drinks in the morning time.
  • Turmeric Capsules: In the market, turmeric capsules are available as dietary supplements. It is an easy-to-use way to get medical properties and health benefits from turmeric. Turmeric capsules are prepared from the extract form of turmeric roots. It is perfect for the one where it is not easy to find fresh turmeric or Haldi in the market. The doses vary from brand to brand and person to person. You should talk to a professional before using the turmeric capsule for the right dose.
  • Turmeric Gel: Turmeric is a good ally for many skin problems and even burns. It is also used in cream and gel form. You can get turmeric gel or cream from the market or can prepare it at home. Mix some turmeric powder in the little aloe vera gel and apply it to the affected area.
  • Turmeric Powder: The use of fine powdered form from the dried turmeric roots is also famous. It is popular in the kitchen as a spice. But you can also consume it by mixing it with milk for natural relief, inflammation and more. Haldi milk is a traditional way to get turmeric benefits.
  • Turmeric juice: Turmeric juice is also available in the market. Extract from Haldi is used to prepare it. Do not consume pure turmeric juice. It is good to dilute it with water, milk or any beverage.

Besides this, turmeric is included in many products like turmeric toothpaste, turmeric face wash, turmeric cream and many more.

Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) on Turmeric (Haldi)

What are turmeric vitamins?

Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and other antioxidants are turmeric vitamins.

What is black turmeric?

Black turmeric is a rare herb. It is most similar to ginger instead of yellow turmeric. Black turmeric is bluish in colour instead of yellow pigment.

How to make haldi milk?

Pour some milk container, and add some ground turmeric powder. Pinch in black pepper and sugar as per your taste. Boil it properly and stir it. Drink it hot.

Which haldi is best for skin?

Wild Kasturi Turmeric or Haldi is the best for the skin. It helps to make skin look younger and glowing.

How to apply haldi on face?

Haldi is a traditional skin care remedy. It helps to make skin glowing and clean. Add some yoghurt, honey and Haldi powder in a bowl. Apply a thin layer on the face and keep it for 15 minutes. Rinse it off with water. Apply twice a week for effective results.

What is the turmeric capsules benefits?

Turmeric capsules provide benefits to heart patients, and Alzheimer patients, boost immunity and reduce inflammation and pain. Regular use of turmeric capsules is effective for body health.

What are curcumin benefits?

Curcumin is an active ingredient from turmeric or haldi. It is an antioxidant and reduces oxidative stress in the body. It protects the body, reduces inflammation, boosts metabolic syndrome, reduces anxiety and many more.

What is curcumin structure?

Curcumin has a unique structure. It has seven carbon linkers and three major functional groups: an α,β-unsaturated β-diketone moiety and an aromatic O-methoxy-phenolic group.

Difference between curcumin vs turmeric?

Turmeric is a herb and curcumin is a natural compound present in the herb. Yes, the benefit is the same for both of them.

What benefits may turmeric tablets provide?

Turmeric tablets are good to use for weak immunity, heart problems, skin problems and many more. 

Is taking turmeric every day a good idea?

Yes, taking turmeric every day is a good idea. Only regular use of natural herbs is able to show results. Just make sure about your dose. An overdose of turmeric is not good for the body.

When should I take my turmeric capsules?

It is ideal to intake turmeric capsules twice a day or as per a healthcare professional.

Are turmeric pills effective?

Yes, turmeric pills are prepared from natural turmeric roots, and then will be effective but will take time.

How many pills of turmeric should I take?

Most turmeric pills are suggested to intake 2 pills a day. But the right dose is only suggested by a professional. 

Which drugs should you avoid taking with turmeric?

Anticoagulants, Antiplatelet drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin ), or Acetaminophen (Tylenol ), etc drugs should not be used with turmeric tablets.

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