Benefits of turmeric for health.

turmeric is an antiseptic medicated powder .

TURMERIC.

Turmeric (/ˈtɜːrmərɪk, ˈtj-/) or Curcuma longa (/ˈkɜːrkjʊmə ˈlɒŋɡə/), is a flowering plant in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. It is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia that requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and high annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered each year for their rhizomes, some for propagation in the following season and some for consumption.

The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for the dyeing characteristics imparted by the principal turmeric constituent, curcumin.

Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma.

Curcumin, a bright yellow chemical produced by the turmeric plant, is approved as a food additive by the World Health Organization, European Parliament, and United States Food and Drug Administration.

Although long used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as haridra, there is no high-quality clinical evidence that consuming turmeric or curcumin is effective for treating any disease.

Botanical view of Curcuma longa

Origin and distribution.

The greatest diversity of Curcuma species by number alone is in India, at around 40 to 45 species. Thailand has a comparable 30 to 40 species. Other countries in tropical Asia also have numerous wild species of Curcuma. Recent studies have also shown that the taxonomy of C. longa is problematic, with only the specimens from South India being identifiable as C. longa. The phylogeny, relationships, intraspecific and interspecific variation, and even identity of other species and cultivars in other parts of the world still need to be established and validated. Various species currently utilized and sold as “turmeric” in other parts of Asia have been shown to belong to several physically similar taxa, with overlapping local names.

History

Turmeric has been used in Asia for centuries and is a major part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, and the animistic rituals of Austronesian peoples. It was first used as a dye, and then later for its supposed properties in folk medicine.

From India, it spread to Southeast Asia along with Hinduism and Buddhism, as the yellow dye is used to color the robes of monks and priests. Turmeric has also been found in Tahiti, Hawaii and Easter Island before European contact.  There is linguistic and circumstantial evidence of the spread and use of turmeric by the Austronesian peoples into Oceania and Madagascar. The populations in Polynesia and Micronesia, in particular, never came into contact with India, but use turmeric widely for both food and dye. Thus independent domestication events are also likely.

Etymology

The name possibly derives from Middle English or Early Modern English as turmeryte or tarmaret. It may be of Latin origin, terra merita (“meritorious earth”). The Latin specific epithet longa means long

Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall. It has highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes.

The leaves are alternate and arranged in two rows. They are divided into leaf sheath, petiole, and leaf blade. From the leaf sheaths, a false stem is formed. The petiole is 50 to 115 cm (20–45 in) long. The simple leaf blades are usually 76 to 115 cm (30–45 in) long and rarely up to 230 cm (7 ft 7 in). They have a width of 38 to 45 cm (15 to 17+12 in) and are oblong to elliptical, narrowing at the tip.

Inflorescence, flower, and fruit

The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and threefold. The three sepals are 0.8 to 1.2 cm (38 to 12 in) long, fused, and white, and have fluffy hairs; the three calyx teeth are unequal.

. The three corolla lobes have a length of 1.0 to 1.5 cm (3858 in) and are triangular with soft-spiny upper ends. While the average corolla lobe is larger than the two lateral, only the median stamen of the inner circle is fertile.

The outer staminodes are shorter than the labellum. The labellum is yellowish, with a yellow ribbon in its center and it is obovate, with a length from 1.2 to 2.0 cm (12 to 34 in). Three carpels are under a constant, trilobed ovary adherent, which is sparsely hairy. The fruit capsule opens with three compartments.

In East Asia, the flowering time is usually in August. Terminally on the false stem is an inflorescence stem, 12 to 20 cm (4+12 to 8 in) long, containing many flowers. The bracts are light green and ovate to oblong with a blunt upper end with a length of 3 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in).

Phytochemistry

Curcumin keto form
Curcumin enol form

Turmeric powder is about 60–70% carbohydrates, 6–13% water, 6–8% protein, 5–10% fat, 3–7% dietary minerals, 3–7% essential oils, 2–7% dietary fiber, and 1–6% curcuminoids. The golden yellow color of turmeric is due to curcumin.

Phytochemical components of turmeric include diarylheptanoids, a class including numerous curcuminoids, such as curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin constitutes up to 3.14% of assayed commercial samples of turmeric powder (the average was 1.51%); curry powder contains much less (an average of 0.29%). Some 34 essential oils are present in turmeric, among which turmerone, germacrone, atlantone, and zingiberene are major constituents.

Uses

Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many Asian dishes,

imparting a mustard-like, earthy aroma and pungent, slightly bitter flavor to foods.  It is a principal ingredient in curry powders. 

Various Iranian Koresh recipes begin with onions caramelized in oil and turmeric. The Moroccan spice mix rash el hangout typically includes turmeric.  The staple Cambodian curry paste, kroeung, used in many dishes, including fish amok, typically contains fresh turmeric. The turmeric milk drink known as haldī dūdh (haldī [हलदी] means turmeric in Hindi) is a traditional indian recipe. Sold in the US and UK, the drink known as “golden milk” uses nondairy milk and sweetener, and sometimes black pepper after the traditional recipe (which may also use ghee).

Traditional uses

Khandoba’s newer temple in Jejuri, where devotees shower turmeric powder (bhandara) on each other

 Native Hawaiians who introduced it to Hawaii (Hawaiian: ʻōlena) make a bright yellow dye out of it.

Indicator

Turmeric dispersed in water is yellow under acid and brown under alkaline conditions

The paper is yellow in acidic and neutral solutions and turns brown to reddish-brown in alkaline solutions,

with transition between pH of 7.4 and 9.2.

Adulteration.

These additives give turmeric an orange-red color instead of its native gold-yellow,

and such conditions led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

to issue import alerts from 2013 to 2019 on turmeric originating in India and Bangladesh.

Lead detection in turmeric products led to recalls across the United States,

Canada, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom through 2016.

Researchers identified a chain of sources adulterating the turmeric with lead chromate:

from farmers to merchants selling low-grade turmeric roots to “polishers” who added lead chromate for yellow color enhancement

, to wholesalers for market distribution, all unaware of the potential consequences of lead toxicity.

Medical research.

Turmeric and curcumin have been studied in numerous clinical trials for various human diseases and conditions,

with no high-quality evidence of any anti-disease effect or health benefit. There is no scientific evidence that curcumin reduces inflammation, as of 2020.

 There is weak evidence that turmeric extracts may be beneficial for relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis,

as well as for reducing pain and muscle damage following physical exercise. There is good evidence that turmeric is an allergen etc.

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