Turmeric – Introduction, Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Curcuma Longa – 2022


Turmeric scientific name is Curcuma Longa, some other common names are haldi, hardi, haridra, nisa, zarad chob. It has been mentioned in early Sanskrit works, it has been used by Ayurvedic and Unani practitioners since ancient times. It was prescribed as a drug to strengthen the stomach, promote its action, as a tonic, and as a blood purifier. It is an important and almost universally used flavoring spice in daily Indian cooking, it is used in the same way as saffron. Curcuma longa, known as the ‘golden spice’ and ‘life spice’, is one of the most utilized spices in the world and has medicinal, cosmetic, dye, and flavoring values

Morphology of Turmeric

Turmeric is a perennial herb, 60 to 90 cm high with a short stem and raised or lifted branches. The rhizomes or underground stems are short and thick, and these rhizomes constitute commercial turmeric. The rhizome, from which the turmeric is derived, is tuberous, with rough and segmented skin. The rhizomes mature beneath the foliage in the ground. They are yellowish brown with a dull orange interior. The coloring principle of turmeric is called curcumin, which has a yellow color and is the essential component of this plant.

turmeric fresh

Chemical Constituent of Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin and essential oil, dry rhizomes yield 5.8 % essential oil, while the fresh ones yield 0.24 % oil containing zingiberene. Ketone and alcohol are obtained on volatile distillation. An analysis of turmeric shows it to consist of moisture 13.1 %, protein 6.3%, and carbohydrates 69.4%, its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, and niacin. Its calorific value is 349.


Turmeric is a native of Southern or South-eastern Asia and has grown in India since ancient times. Turmeric is a plant distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, it probably reached China before the seventh century A.D. turmeric spread early throughout the East Indies and was carried across the Pacific by Polynesians to Hawaii and Easter Islands. Turmeric is cultivated all over India, particularly in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra.

Health Benefits and Uses of Turmeric

Turmeric has many medicinal and health benefits, the rhizome is an aromatic stimulant and a tonic, and it is useful in relieving flatulence and in restoring the digestive system to its normal health. It is also useful in curing periodic attacks of hysteria and convulsions. It has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fertility, anti-venom, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and anticoagulant properties. These medicinal properties of turmeric caused it to be considered a spice with multifunctional medicinal properties.

Turmeric – Introduction, Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Curcuma Longa – 2022

It has other useful properties with antioxidant activities and is useful in conditions such as inflammation, ulcer, and cancer.

It is used in traditional medicine and claims its powder against gastrointestinal diseases, especially for biliary and hepatic disorders, diabetic wounds, rheumatism, inflammation, sinusitis, anorexia, coryza, and cough.

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Here are some health benefits and uses of Turmeric


Being rich in iron, turmeric is valuable in treating anemia, a tsp of raw turmeric juice, mixed with honey, should be taken every day in treating anemia.


Turmeric is an effective household remedy for bronchial asthma, a tsp of turmeric powder with a glass of milk, twice or thrice daily is very effective. It acts best on an empty stomach.


An application of turmeric powder to boils speeds up the healing process, in the case of fresh boils, a few dry roots of turmeric are roasted, and the ashes are dissolved in a cupful of water and applied over the affected area. This solution enables the boils to ripen and burst.

Cough & Cold

Turmeric with its antiseptic properties is an effective remedy for chronic cough and throat irritations. Half tsp of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 30 ml of warm milk is an effective remedy. To prepare this, milk is poured on a hot ladle with turmeric in it and boiled over a slow fire. In case of a running cold, smoke from burning turmeric can be inhaled. This increases the discharge from the nose and brings quick relief.

Turmeric in combination with caraway seeds or ajwain is useful for colds in infants and children. A tsp of turmeric powder and a quarter tsp of ajwain is added to boiling water which is then cooled. About 30 ml of this decoction, sweetened with honey, can be given thrice a day in treating such conditions.

Intestinal Disorders

Turmeric is a useful intestinal antiseptic, the rhizome, its juice, or dry powder, mixed in buttermilk or plain water, is highly beneficial in intestinal disorders especially chronic diarrhea. It also helps prevent flatulence.


The herb is beneficial in treating measles, a finely ground powder of turmeric roots dried in the sun mixed with a few drops of honey and the juice of a few bitter gourd leaves is suggested for those suffering from measles.

Skin Disorders

Turmeric is very effective in treating skin diseases like ringworm and scabies. In such cases, raw turmeric juice is applied externally to the affected parts. Simultaneously, turmeric juice mixed with honey is given orally.

Sore Eyes

Turmeric powder is useful in relieving sore eyes, about 6 grams of powder is boiled in about half a liter of water till it is reduced to half. A few drops of this water are put in the affected eyes, three or four times a day to give relief.


For treating sprains or swelling caused by sprains, turmeric paste mixed with lime and salt can be applied with beneficial results.


About 20 drops of the juice of raw turmeric, mixed with a pinch of salt, taken first thing in the morning daily, is an effective remedy for expelling worms.

Other Uses

Turmeric is an indispensable culinary ingredient; it imparts a musky flavor and yellow color to curries. It is also used as a coloring matter in pharmacy, confectionery, and food industries.

Turmeric has been used as a foodstuff, cosmetic, and medicine. It is widely used as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. It lends curry its distinctive yellow color and flavor. It is used as a coloring agent in cheese, butter, and other foods.

Turmeric is also used in manufactured food products such as canned beverages, dairy products, baked products, ice cream, yellow cakes, yogurt, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn, sweets, cake icing, cereals, sauces, and gelatins. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. Turmeric has numerous uses in Asian cuisine. It is used in savory and sweet dishes and is widely used in Eastern specialties such as fresh turmeric pickles. 

Side Effects of Turmeric

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based and don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues. Overdose of turmeric may cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, and inflammation.

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