Ayurvedic treatments, including turmeric use are very valuable to western societies. They may even fill some of the many holes that allopathic medicine has not been able to. Since many centuries, Turmeric was used for a long period of time because of its numerous health benefits. It is one of the spices that Indians use in daily diet. This herb has the origin in India. Americans tried to patent it but this herb is naturally grown in all parts of India.

Indians use turmeric for its medicinal purposes and it has become integrated into spiritual life as a symbol of protection and purity. It is also known by the name “Golden Spice”.Turmeric is one of the most wonderful and very useful herb which is used widely in Ayurvedic practice. This wonderful herb can be used in various ways and there are many routes of its administration like—nasal, over the skin, oral, etc.

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa

Family: Zingiberaceae

Sanskrit Synonyms

  • Haridra-- which means that improves skin complexion
  • Kanchani—it means which has colour of gold and that brings golden colour to the skin and also improves skin glow.
  • Nisha—which is as beautiful as the star full night
  • Krimighni—which relieves worm and microbial infection

According to Charaka, Turmeric is considered among the group of herbs that have

  • Scraping property
  • Group of herbs that relieve skin diseases
  • Group of herbs that relieve microbial infection
  • Group of herbs that relieve itching sensation
  • Group of herbs that are useful to remove toxins from the head.

Different varieties of Turmeric:

In Ayurvedic texts, there is a description of two Haridras

  • Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  • Daruharidra (Tree turmeric, Berberis aristata)

In many Ayurvedic formulations, Turmeric and Tree Turmeric are used together.

Medicinal Properties of Turmeric

  • Taste: Bitter, Pungent
  • Qualities: Dry, Light
  • Potency: Hot
  • Undergoes pungent taste after digestion
  • Effect on Tridosha: It balances Vata and Kapha doshas due to its hot potency, Due to its bitterness, it balances Pitta dosha. Hence, it balances all the three doshas.

Major Chemical Constituents of Turmeric

  • It contains certain phytochemicals which acts as a powerful healing tool. Curcumene, Curzerenone, Camphor, Curcumenone, Curcone, Curdione, Procurcumadiol, Procurcumenol, Curcumins, Sitosterol, etc. In the isolated form, Curcumin has low bioavailability due to the fact that it is highly stable in acidic solutions and is poorly soluble in water. Normally, foods are digested in gastric acids within the stomach but Curcumin stays stable throughout the process. The chemical properties found in turmeric give turmeric the potential to heal many different types of diseases.

Benefits of External and Internal use of turmeric:

  1.  Diabetes—There are many herbs which manage Diabetes, but nothing in comparison to Turmeric. It is the drug of choice which is effective in tackling Diabetes Mellitus and Urinary tract disorders. It is an excellent option both as a preventive and curative agent.
  2. Anti-Cancer Agent—In Ayurveda, Turmeric has been used for cancer treatment since ages. It has now been proved that a dose-dependent administration of curcumin effectively activated degeneration of liver cancer cells.
  3. Pitta- Rechaka—It expels increased Pitta out of the body by means of purgation.
  4. Hemorrhoids— Paste of Turmeric powder mixed with the latex of arka (Calotropis procera) is prepared. This is to be applied over the pile mass. Due to alkaline and astringent properties of turmeric, it reduces itching, pain and size of pile mass. (Charak Samhita Chikitsa Sthana, 14th Chapter).
  5. After epilation or hair removal treatment, it is good to apply turmeric powder over face and leave it for 10-15 minutes. Apart from delaying facial hair re-growth, it heals skin lesions that may be caused during epilation.
  6. Turmeric is useful in the detoxification of blood and skin.
  7. It is an antidote for insect bites for external application. It has anti-toxic effect on oral administration.
  8. Turmeric is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. It has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, injuries.
  9. It is useful in in the initial stage of liver disorders and in anaemia.
  10. It relieves itching sensation due to allergy.
  11. It is useful in improving skin complexion.
  12. It is quite useful in running nose and upper respiratory tract infection.
  13. The classical way to apply turmeric externally is in the form of “Ubtan” which is prepared by a blend of turmeric, chick-pea flour, sesame or almond oil and honey. This helps in clearing skin blemishes and increases the natural glow and radiance of the skin.
  14. Curcumin has the potential to  block some of the harmful side effects of cigarette smoke and prevents dangerous chemical formation after eating processed food. It is also helpful in treating food poisoning.
  15. 5 grams of turmeric taken with whey in morning and evening for a month to activate and rebuild liver.
  16. In women, turmeric helps in regulating menstrual cycle and decreases pain associated with menstruation and also useful in uterine tumors.
  17. It is a mild and supportive uterine stimulant and assists in balancing hormones as well.
  18. If turmeric is taken in last two weeks of pregnancy with milk, it helps to expedite a normal birth. Because of its analgesic property, it is used during childbirth to reduce pain.
  19. It is a powerful anti- oxidant, therefore it protects lungs from pollution and toxins. It also helps in transferring oxygen from the lungs to blood.
  20. Turmeric also helps in treating and preventing neurological disorders like—Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
  21.  Fumes of turmeric are inhaled to relieve hiccups, asthma and other poisonous conditions.
Author's Bio: 

DR. Vikram Chauhan, MD - AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit our website: http://www.planetayurveda.com & See the Real Testimonials from our Patients : https://www.youtube.com/user/planetayurvedatv