Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we learn about the treasure that is turmeric!
The people of India have long known what a treasure turmeric is and have used it in their cooking, sacred rights, in their beauty routines and as a healing helper for many ailments. Pottery discovered near New Dehli contained residue from the spice used as early back as 2500 BCE. It’s botanical name is Curcuma longa and it produces both flower and rhizome, a stem that grows underground, similar to ginger. The rhizome is the part of the plant that gives us golden hued turmeric. Indian curry gets its yellow coloring from it and it’s long been used in many other dishes, favored for its ability to aid in digestion and improve circulation.
Turmeric was also used in India and other surrounding countries in sacred ceremonies. In southern India, an amulet made of the turmeric rhizome was believed to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Saffron colored Buddhist robes are achieved by using the spice as a dye. Hindus also view it as sacred. During a wedding, a string dyed yellow with turmeric is tied around the bride’s neck by the groom. The mangala sutra, as the necklace is called shows that the woman is married and capable of running a household.
It’s sacred standing is owed to its remarkable healing properties as well. Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice of natural healing and these discoveries of turmeric’s abilities by these ancient peoples benefit us still today. They discovered that burning turmeric could relieve congestion and that the spice was also helpful in healing wounds, bruises and a variety of other skin problems.
Turmeric is prized for its many benefits in a skin care/beauty regimen. It’s been used successfully to aid in inhibiting facial hair growth, smoothing and evening out skin tone and lessening dark circles under the eyes. Its wonderful as an exfoliant and in treating dandruff of the scalp. Many swear by it’s ability to naturally whiten teeth and it’s also known to be effective as a treatment for cracked heels and softening the skin of the feet. Head to toe, turmeric has a myriad of benefits for the human body.
This includes internally. Turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller with abilities that have been shown to be as effective as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects. This makes it very helpful in dealing with arthritis and muscle pain. Numerous other studies are being done on its possible powers in treating some forms of cancer including melanoma, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain and its abilities to aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
There are so many different ways and good reasons to incorporate more turmeric into your diet and beauty routine. Below you’ll find a few links to ways to do just that!