Turmeric is one of the very useful and famous Ayurvedic herbs. It is used in many forms and through many routes of administration, such as – nasal, oral, over the skin etc.
Botanical name – Curcuma longa Linn. (Curcuma domestica val)
Family- Scitamineae (Zingiberaceae) – Ardraka Kula
Hindi Name- Haldi, Hardi
Telugu Name- Pasupu, Pasupu Kommulu
English Name- Turmeric
Tamil Name- Manjal
Kannada Name- Arishina
Punjabi Name – Haldi, Haldar, Halaj
Bengali name – Halud
Gujarati name – Haladar
Marathi name – Halad
Arabian name – Kumkum
Farsi name – Zardchob
Malayalam name: Manjal
Haridra – Harim Varna Drati Shodhayati cha – which imrpoves skin complexin and cleanses skin.
Kanchani – has colour of gold, Brings about golden colour to the skin, improves skin glow
Nisha – which is as beautiful as star full night
Yoshitpriya – liked by women
Varavarnini – which imparts great colour to the skin.
Hattavilasini – increases the value of the market / shop that sell turmeric,
Krimighni – relieves worm and microbial infection
Peeta, Gauri – has yellow colour.
Lekhaneeya Gana – group of herbs having scraping property.
Kushtaghna – group of herbs that relieve skin diseases.
Kandughna – group of herbs that relieve itching sensation
Krimighna – group of herbs that relieve worm / microbial infection,
Shiro-virechana – Group of herbs that are useful to remove Dosha (toxins) from head.
Haridradi, Mustadi, Slesmashamana (group of herbs that balance Kapha)
Vagbhata- Haridradi, Mustadi
Haridra is only one but we come across the description of two Haridras in the texts viz,. Haridra (turmeric – Curcuma longa) and Daruharidra (tree turmeric). In many Ayurvedic medicines, Turmeric and tree turmeric are used together.
Sodhala has opined that both these are antidotes for many poisons.
Bhavamisra described Haridra (turmeric – Curcuma longa), Amragandhi Haridra (Curcuma amada) Karpura Haridra, Vana haridra (Curcuma aromatica) and Daru Haridra (Berberis aristata).
Distribution- Cultivated throughout India .
Major chemical constituent
Curcumene, Curcumenone, Curcone, Curdione, Cineole, Curzerenone, epiprocurcumenol, eugenol, Camphene, Camphor, Bornel, Procurcumadiol,Procurcumenol, Curcumins, unkonan A, B, & D, B- sitosterol etc,
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Medicinal Properties of turmeric –
Rasa (taste) – Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent)
Guna (qualities) – Rooksha (dryness), Laghu (lightness)
Vipaka- Katu – undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya- Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – because of its hotness, it balances Vata and Kapha. Because of its dryness, pungent and bitter taste, it balances Kapha. Due to bitterness, it balances Pitta. Hence it balances all the three Doshas.
Part used- Rhizome
Dosage- fresh juice 10-20 ml, powder 1-3 grams
Therapeutic uses of turmeric as per Ayurveda
Haridra Pramehaharaanam – Of all the herbs useful in diabetes, turmeric is the most beneficial. It is very beneficial in all urinary tract infections.
Vishanut – useful in toxic conditions
Mehanut – useful in diabetes and urinary tract infections
Kanduhara – relieves itching sensation due to allergy
Ksuhtahara – used in wide variety of skin diseases
Vranahara – useful for quick wound healing
Dehavarna vidhayini – improves skin complexion
Vishodhini – natural detoxifier
Krumihara – relieves intestinal worms and infected wounds
Pinasa nashini – useful in running nose, Upper respiratory tract infection
Aruchinashini – useful in anorexia
Useful antidote for insect bites on external application. It has anti toxic effect even on oral administration.
Panduhara – useful in anemia, initial stages of liver disorders
Apachihara – useful in wounds, sinuses
Twakdoshajit – detoxifies blood and skin
Vishothajit – natural anti inflammatory
Vatasranut – useful in gout.
Its external application relieves inflammation, swelling, pain, improves skin complexion, cleanses and heals wounds.
Its fumes are inhaled to relieve hiccups, asthma and poisonous conditions.
Pitta Rechaka – It expels increased Pitta out of the body by means of purgation.
Turmeric relieves constipation.
It is used for external application in facial hair removal.
Turmeric for cancer prevention – A recent study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention found that a dose-dependent administration of curcumin effectively activated degeneration of liver cancer cells.
How to consume turmeric daily?
Turmeric can be one of the spices that you use in your daily diet. Or whatever you are eating, just put a pinch of turmeric powder over it and enjoy its benefits.
Pitta dominant people may sometimes experience increased body heat with turmeric use. They can add a pinch of turmeric to a cup of milk and have it. Coldness of milk with balance out the excess hotness.
Turmeric side effects –
Excess use of turmeric, especially during summer can cause increase in hotness.
Ayurvedic medicines with turmeric as ingredient –
Haridra Khanda – very useful in allergic rhinitis and allergic skin conditions, also used to improve skin complexion.
Khadiradi Vati – used in the treatment of bad breath, mouth ulcers.
Nisa Kathakadi Kashayam – used in diabetes management
Nishamalaki Churna – Used in treating pre-diabetes.
Question: Turmeric if used in curries or if taken raw will be of same effect? i.e does cooking reduces the healing effect of turmeric?
Answer: Turmeric is used in many Ayurvedic medicines, wherein it is fried in ghee, boiled with water to make Kashayam etc. Hence, I do not think there will be reduction in qualities, if it is cooked in mild – moderate heat.
Turmeric in Vedas:
Turmeric was used for long period of time upto one year, to improve memory and concentration.
Turmeric can be used as part of food and also can be applied allover the body.
Because it colors the cloth (Ranjana) – it is called as Rajani.
It is useful in allergic skin disorders.
Turmeric ointment for hemorrhoids:
Turmeric powder is mixed with latex of Arka (Calotropis procera). A paste is prepared. This is applied over the pile mass. Due to astringent and alkaline (Kshara) properties, it reduces pain, itching and size of the pile mass. (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 14th chapter).
Does applying turmeric after epilation retards the facial hair growth?
Yes, after epilation or hair removal treatment, it is good to apply turmeric powder over face and leave it for at least 10 – 15 minutes before washing off. Apart from delaying facial hair re-growth, it also heals the skin lesions that may be caused during epilation.
To some extent, it is useful in retarding further facial hair growth, or at least delaying the same.
In ancient times, women used to apply turmeric over face for the same purpose.
Turmeric for diabetes:
Haridra prameha haraanaam | A. Hr.
There are many herbs (drugs) which cure Diabetes, but nothing in comparison to Turmeric. This reference clearly suggests Haridra as the drug of choice in effectively tackling Diabetes Mellitus and Urinary tract disorders. In the treatment of Diabetes, Haridra is excellent option both as a preventive and curative agent.
Read related: How Turmeric Helps in Diabetes Treatment: 7 Ways
Anti-atherosclerotic property of Haridra:
Haridra due to its tikta-katu rasa, ushna veerya, katu vipaka and laghu, ruksha guna’s removes blocks in the blood vessels making the circulation of blood and nutrients easy.
Atherosclerosis is primarily formed due to accumulations in blood vessels and the accumulations are nothing but vitiated kapha-meda. We have already learnt the Kapha-Meda alleviating property of Haridra. The circulating glucose is also broken down by Haridra and Haridra further facilitates the absorption of free glucose by cells due to its channel-cleansing property (Srotoshodhana).
Rakta or blood tissue is one of the contaminated tissues in Prameha as explained in the Ayurvedic texts. Involvement of Rakta in Prameha points out towards the extra-ordinary knowledge of Acharyas (ancient Ayurveda teachers) regarding the presence of Kapha elements (glucose) in the blood.
Metabolic correction and anti-oxidant property by Haridra:
Since Haridra rectifies the Agni (metabolic fire) by the virtue of its Ushna veerya, Katu-Tikta rasa, Laghu-Ruksha Gunas and Katu Vipaka, Haridra cleanses and detoxifies Rasa (Digestive juice and circulatory nutrition) and thus enables free circulation of nutrients to every cell of the body thus restoring the normal body functions.
Haridra by removing the blocks created in the channels and cells created by contaminated Pitta and Kapha and enabling free movements of Vata also enables the anatomical and physiological recovery of the Kapha varga dhatus viz Mamsa, Lasika, Ambu, Majja, Vasa and Shukra. The Dhatu’s are nourished and replenished.
Tissue and organic destruction, debility, loss of immunity and complications in Prameha occurs due to oxidation process (oxidative-stress) and Haridra helps in re-establishing health and recovery from Diabetes due to its anti-oxidant property. The control of 3 Doshas by turmeric can be considered as the anti-oxidant effect of Haridra.
Immune-modulation action of Haldi:
Haridra helps in immune-modulation by correcting metabolism, enabling free circulation of nutrients and oxygen to every cell and due to its anti-oxidation property. The essence of all the tissues i.e. ojus regains its strength due to proper nutrition and replenishment of all the tissues thus establishing immunity.
Detox effect of Haridra:
Haridra relieves the blocks in the cells and re-establishes their normal functioning. Once the blocks in the cells are removed free movement of nutrients into the cells and the elimination of toxins out of the cell takes place smoothly.
Regulation of Liver Functions and correction of Anaemia by Haridra:
By the virtue of tikta-katu rasa, ushna veerya, katu vipaka and laghu, ruksha guna’s Haldi removes blocks in the Liver and restores the haematopoietic functions.
Anaemia is thus relieved improvising the quality and quantity of blood. Liver regularises the fat metabolism and detoxifies the nutrients passing through it.
Rectification of Liver functions leads to destruction of free circulating fats which are responsible for manifestation of Prameha.
Role of turmeric in prevention of T2DM and combating Pre-Diabetes – Modern perspective
Turmeric is known to Ayurveda world as an effective herb used to prevent and cure Diabetes Mellitus effectively since ages.
Haldi has been in traditional Ayurveda practice and has been successfully implemented in preventive and curative aspects of many diseases, mainly Diabetes (Prameha, Madhumeha).
Many formulations related to Diabetes cure in Ayurveda have Turmeric as an essential ingredient. Haldi is an auspicious drug in Indian tradition and is used to worship Gods and Goddesses.
It has a sacred dimension. It has been used as a cosmetic and an important Kitchen spice in India. It has also been a part of Home remedies to combat cold, cough, seasonal disorders, infections, wounds, skin diseases etc
Modern studies have shown Haldi (Turmeric, Curcumin) to be highly effective in curing Diabetes. Turmeric is shown to be highly effective in pre-diabetes. When its extracts are given regularly in pre-diabetes, Turmeric is seen to prevent its progression towards T2DM. This Turmeric or Curcumin can be effectively used in preventing Diabetes by administering it in the pre-diabetes population.
Turmeric with black pepper:
Hello Dr. There are some people saying that turmeric will not be absorbed by body unless black pepper is added. Can you please clarify this ?
Dr JV Hebbar:
It is not true as per Ayurveda.
In a few combinations of turmeric, we see black pepper as well, like Haridrakhanda, Panchanimba Churna etc. But not all combinations necessarily contain turmeric and black pepper together. For example – Nishamalaki churna – turmeric + Amla.