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Turmeric powder

Turmeric  powder

 

Turmeric…In Brief
From a simple housewife in an Indian family to the hermits in the Himalaya, turmeric is associated with everyone’s lives in some way or the other. It has been used since time immoral as a food ingredient, medicine, herb, coloring agent. It is also popular as medicine popularly used as a part of home remedy, when applied on face it is said to impart a natural glow on the skin. Turmeric is one of the most popular spices of India. Almost in every dish prepared in India, Turmeric is added in it. Further, it is also regarded by the Hindus as something ‘sacred’ for use in ceremonial and religious functions. With so many varied usage turmeric is a popular product all over the world.Several unique properties of turmeric make it an ideal choice as a food flavor. It also finds use in the preparation of liquors, dyestuffs, medicines, cosmetics and toiletries. It is used as natural colorant.

The curcumin present in turmeric imparts its distinctive yellow color. In beauty enhancement, women have used turmeric paste since very ancient times. Today, it is widely used for its antiseptic and anti tanning properties. It prevents and cures pigmentation, making skin translucent and glowing, besides smoothening it. It also helps in protecting the skin from water allergy.India is the principal supplier of turmeric to the world markets producing about 1,00,000 tonnes of rhizomes per annum.

Turmeric Plant Description
Turmeric also known by the names of kunyit (Indonesian and Malay) or haldi or pasupu in Asian countries and Indian Saffron in European nations, is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, zingiberaceae. Botanically known as curcuma longa, turmeric is a native of southern or southeastern Asia, probably India. It needs temperatures between 20 and 30 deg. C. and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.Turmeric plant grows uprightly upto the height of 1 meter, having a short stem and tufted leaves. Its flowers are somewhat yellow-white in colour and are sterile and do not produce viable seed.

The rhizomes are short and thick and they constitute the turmeric of commerce. These aromatic rhizomes, with a musky odour and yellow colour, are largely consumed as a spice for daily use.

Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and has a mustardy smell. Turmeric only reproduces via its rhizomes.
History of Turmeric in a Nutshell
For thousands of years turmeric has been widely used for its culinary and medicinal properties. In Hindu religious ceremonies, is finds an important space. The following is the brief history of turmeric:
  • It is believed that turmeric has been originated in southern Asia, possibly in India
  • Turmeric is mentioned in the ancient sanskrit writings
  • It is believed that turmeric was probably cultivated at first as a dye, and then became valued as a condiment as well as for cosmetic purposes
  • In the 13th century Marco Polo wrote of this spice
  • Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia, cited in Sanskrit medical treatises and widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems
  • Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, dating to 250 BC, recommends an ointment containing turmeric to relieve the effects of poisoned food.
Turmeric Powder 
Manufactured from the rhizome of the curcuma longa plant, turmeric powder is extensively used in Indian dishes, including lentil and meat dishes, and in south east Asian cooking. It adds a warm, mild aroma and distinctive yellow colour to foods. It is essential to curry powders, and it is also used to flavour many Indian vegetarian dishes.*Uses of Turmeric
Turmeric has a long history of uses. For centuries, this aromatic spice has been widely used as a medicine as well as a spice. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. In Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India, turmeric is mentioned as stomachic, blood purifier, and is useful in curing common cold, leprosy, intermittent fevers, affections of the liver, dropsy, purulent ophthalmia (inflammation of the eye), otorrhea (discharge from ear), indolent ulcer, pyogenic (forming pus) affections, wound healing and inflammation.

Culinary Uses
In India, turmeric is an important ingredient in preparing almost every recipe. However, in non-Indian dishes, it is sometimes used as a coloring agent. It matches well with meat dishes and is used extensively in the East and Middle East as a condiment and culinary dye. In Moroccan cuisine, it is extensively used to spice meat, particularly lamb, fish curries, etc., and vegetables, its principal place is in curries and curry powders.

Besides being widely used as a spice, turmeric is also used as a coloring agent in many preparing many food items. It also finds application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes orange juice, biscuits, popcorn-color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatins, etc.

Medicinal Properties
Turmeric has many medicinal virtues. An analysis of turmeric shows that it consists of moisture 13.1%, protein 6.3%,fat 5.1%, minerals 3.5%, fibre 2.6% and carbohydrates 69.4% its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium 150 mg%, phosphorus 282 mg%, carotene 30 mg%, thiamine 0.03 mg% and niacin 2.3 mg% its calorific value is 349. T.

It is used to heal many health disorders ranging from liver problems, digestive disorders to the treatment for skin diseases and wound healing. Since turmeric corrects the disordered processes of nutrition and restores the normal function of the system, it is highly beneficial in curing many diseases. It is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and liver disorders.

It is highly effective in curing many diseases including:

  • Anemia
  • Measles
  • Asthma
  • Cough and cold
  • Sprains
  • Skin disorders
  • Pain in chest
  • Dental problems
  • Poison of insect bite.

Interesting Facts Associated with Turmeric
In Indian Culture, especially in Hinduism, turmeric is associated with fertility and prosperity, and brings good luck if applied to a bride’s face and body, as part of the ritual purification before a wedding. Turmeric roots may be given as a present on special occasions, such as a visit to a pregnant woman. Turmeric powder is also sprinkled on sacred images. The use of turmeric is prohibited in a house of mourning.

Yellow and orange, the colours of turmeric are regarded as special colours in Hinduism, yellow being associated with Vishnu, and as the colour of the space between chastity and sensuality. Whereas, the orange colour signifies sacrifice, renunciation and courage.