Turmeric: Important Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice, commonly known for its potential health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a flowering plant from the same family as ginger. Similar to ginger, the turmeric root is used for cooking and in the supplement form. Turmeric root, a bright orange-yellow color, can be used in cooking in the raw form or can be dried and ground into a powder. Before it is made into a powder, it is boiled or steamed, gelatinized into a starch, dried, and made into the ground form. Turmeric is loaded with health benefits that come from curcumin, a phytochemical found in turmeric. 

Is Turmeric Good For You?

Yes, turmeric is very good for you! The bioactive compound called curcumin found in turmeric provides many health benefits. Some research has been done on the benefits and more research is still needed to give us more information on benefits.

7 Health Benefits Of Turmeric

1. Turmeric’s curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals.

2. The curcumin in turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory

  • Chronic inflammation has been found to lead to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The anti-inflammatory components of turmeric can help reduce the risk of these conditions.

3. The curcumin in turmeric may help with arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis

  • Some studies have found that it may be as effective as an anti-inflammatory drug. 

4. The curcumin in turmeric may be helpful in preventing or treating Type 2 Diabetes

5. The curcumin in turmeric may help with the treatment of depression 

  • One study shows that taking turmeric in conjunction with antidepressants may help with the symptoms of depression.

6. Curcumin found in turmeric may help reverse heart disease

  • The lining of the blood vessels (endothelium)  may have improved functioning with the use of turmeric. Properly functioning endothelium helps keep our heart healthy and when it isn't functioning properly, it can cause issues with the heart. 

7. Curcumin in turmeric has a potential role in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

History, Background, and General Facts for Turmeric

  • Humans using turmeric dates back 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India. It was first used as a dye and then in cooking and in medicine. 
  • India produces almost all of the world’s turmeric and consumes 80% of it. 
  • Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the world.
  • A city in South India called Erode, is the world’s largest producer of turmeric. It is known as “Yellow City” or “Turmeric City”.
  • Curcumin isn’t absorbed very well in the bloodstream, so it helps to consume black pepper alongside it. Black pepper’s active ingredient, piperine, helps the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.
  • The bright orange-yellow color is used as a natural colorant in foods. It is used in yellow mustard, baked products, cake mixes, ice cream, yogurt, orange juice, and sauces.
  • Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional medicine of India) has used turmeric to treat respiratory conditions, liver disorders, rheumatism, and diabetic wounds.
  • South Asian countries use turmeric as an antiseptic for wounds.
  • Turmeric is used in Pakistan and Afghanistan to clean wounds. They put turmeric on a piece of burnt cloth and then apply it to the wound to quicken the recovery.

What Are The Cuisines That Regularly Include Turmeric?

  • Indian: curry spice blends, turmeric tea
  • Nepali: turmeric soup
  • Indonesian: soups and stir fries
  • Middle Eastern: stews and spice blends

What Is The Best Way To Store Turmeric?

The best way to store ground turmeric is in a cool, dry place away from heat and sunlight, such as a pantry. Store fresh turmeric in the refrigerator.

What Are The Different Types Of Turmeric?

Turmeric, Curcuma longa, is the main species used for culinary purposes.

Toxicity and Side Effects Of Turmeric

If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you don’t take turmeric supplements or talk to your doctor about it. Turmeric supplements may make gallbladder problems worse. Turmeric supplements might slow blood clotting, which may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Turmeric might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery.

If you regularly take any medications, talk to your doctor before you start using turmeric supplements.

Nutritional Facts
1 tsp
Amount per serving
2 g
0.1 g
0.3 g
Saturated Fat
0.1 g
0.8 mg
0.7 g
0.1 g

Best Turmeric Recipes