How turmeric is used?


The use of turmeric for healing wounds was mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus from Egypt. It’s the earliest record of turmeric plants’ medicinal use. In old Hindu texts, this spice was mostly used for treating ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis, sore muscles, inflammatory bowel disease, and more.

The use of turmeric in Ayurvedic medicine was mostly for treating digestive and respiratory systems. On the other hand, the use of turmeric in Chinese medicine was mostly for treating abdominal and gastric pain, menstrual irregularities, swellings, and trauma.


Books on Indus Valley Civilization state that aromatic plants like turmeric were used along with other herbs for preparing meals and also as a beauty product. The cultivation of turmeric might be traced back to the Gardens of Babylon. where the king cultivated turmeric and many other spices in his royal garden.
Although it has been present around us for thousands of years, it has become an integral part of our food culture lately. In India, it is used as a spice that adds an aroma to curries and even for coloring some dishes.
Turmeric is also a common ingredient of many Roman cuisines. In many South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, turmeric is widely used. For instance, this spice is an essential ingredient in Turmeric Cake, a popular Lebanese dessert. Also in many Iranian recipes, oil and turmeric is used to caramelize onions. Turmeric is an important ingredient of Moroccan spice mix. The same can be said for Persia. In Persia, it is used as a base of spice mixes and even for making stews.
Similarly, in Vietnamese cuisine, the use of turmeric is mostly for enhancing the flavor of certain dishes.
Also, the use of fresh turmeric rhizomes could be seen in Thai cuisines. The leaves of turmeric are often used for making certain curry bases in Indonesia. In South Africa, turmeric is added to boiling water to give the rice a golden color. For Thai cuisines, fresh turmeric rhizomes are used for making curry paste and soups, such as turmeric soup.
In the US and the UK, turmeric is used in drinks, known as Golden Mix, that contain non-dairy milk, turmeric, sweetener, and even black pepper. In Medieval Europe, turmeric was used as an alternative to saffron as the latter was very costly.


Turmeric gets its golden-yellow color due to curcumin. Along with curcumin, it contains some volatile oils which makes it easy to be used as a dye. During 1603-1867, turmeric was helpful in diluting expensive safflower. At present, it is used to dye clothes, like robes of priests and monks, and even saris. In some African countries, turmeric is used to dye mats.


In South and Southeast Asia, turmeric is used as classical Indian medicine. In Eastern India, this plant is considered as one component of nabapatrika along with other components, such as taro leaves, wood apple, barley, banana plant, pomegranate, manaka, Saraca indica, and rice paddy.

In India, turmeric paste is used during the Haldi ceremony, an important ritual. On the other hand, dried turmeric tubes are attached to a string and used as a necklace for Tamil Telugu marriage rituals. Similarly, along the western coast of India, turmeric tubers are tied to the wrists during Kankana Bandhana ceremony.