Haridra / Turmeric / Haldi – Curcuma longa, is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant that reaches up to 1 m tall. Highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found. The rhizomes are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Plants are gathered each year for their rhizomes, some for propagation in the following season and some for consumption. The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing. Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma.
Turmeric is commonly used for conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis. It is also used for hay fever, depression, high cholesterol, a type of liver disease, and itching. Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation. It is used as an antioxidant and possesses various beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiseptic, blood cleansing etc. It is widely prescribed Ayurvedic drug and is used in various diseases.
- Hay fever.
- High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia).
- Buildup of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD).
- Facilitates the healing of wounds and promotes the regeneration of affected skin.
- Stomach ulcers.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia).
- Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis).
Cautions: Turmeric is likely safe when taken by mouth for up to 12 months.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Turmeric is safe when taken by mouth in food amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding. However, turmeric is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting the pregnancy at risk. Avoid use of turmeric in medicinal amounts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Gallbladder problems: Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Do not use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.
Diabetes: Curcumin might decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes. Use with caution in people with diabetes as it might make blood sugar too low.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Do not take turmeric if it worsens symptoms of GERD.