A gem among spices and now supplements, turmeric is climbing the ranks quickly. Derived from the root of a plant called Curcuma longa and belonging to the ginger family¹, turmeric is good for countless things.*
With its extraordinary golden yellow hue, turmeric is a standard spice in most households. However, many of us don’t know much else about turmeric, let alone what it’s good for. And truth be told, you can use turmeric for more than just chicken and rice recipes.
Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, predominantly grows in tropical regions, spanning continents such as Asia, Australia, and America.² It grows easily and doesn’t require a whole lot of work if you’d like to add turmeric to your own garden.²
Having wide green leaves, the turmeric plant can reach over 7 feet in height.² With an abundance of Curcuma longa species in the world, its spiky flower can have a variety of colors including pink, yellow, orange, and white.²
Let’s take a look at how turmeric rose to popularity and how its uses have changed and developed over the years.
Turmeric – A Little Bit of History
It’s quite impressive just how long turmeric has been used in traditional medicine - it dates back nearly 4,000 years.³ From uses in religious ceremonies to cooking to traditional Chinese medicine, turmeric has been and is still popular for many reasons.³
But how did it all start? Let’s take a look back at how turmeric was used in the past and how it has changed throughout time.
Traditional Uses of Turmeric
Besides having always been used as a culinary spice, turmeric has had many other purposes over the past centuries. One of which included being used as a dye for both clothing and the skin.
One of the most prominent traditional uses of turmeric is its purpose in religious ceremonies in parts of Southeast Asia. With its vibrant yellow color, it earned the nickname Indian Saffron.³
In fact, Hindu culture goes as far as considering turmeric symbolic of the sacred god Vishnu because of its vibrant color.⁴ The powder is used by brides during a wedding ritual and is associated with purity, fertility and good health in Hindu marriages.⁴
Turmeric is frequently compared to saffron due to their similarities, in color and flavor, and was even compared to such by Marco Polo in 1280³ – a famous explorer hailing from Venice.
But it has also played an essential role in Ayurveda in the past, which is the traditional Hindu medicine system. Turmeric has been mentioned in old Sanskrit medical scripture and can even be found mentioned in a 250 BC Ayurvedic Compendium.3
Slowly turmeric began to spread, reaching Asia by 700 AD, then Africa by 800 AD, and later on places as far away as Jamaica.³
How Turmeric is Used Today
Foremost, turmeric still is a prominent spice today and enriches many traditional and non-traditional cuisines alike. Its yellow-orange color adds a vibrant hue to any dish it’s added to and carries a unique earthy, mildly bitter and peppery flavor.
Its root is generally dried and ground into a powder that can easily be added to stews, curries, and soups. But you can also add turmeric to smoothies where you can pair it with fruity flavors, coconut, chia, or flaxseeds.
Turmeric tea is also very popular, specifically due to the curcumin that’s in it. Similar to ginger tea, it has a slightly pungent flavor when you brew it with water. Try a hot cup of turmeric tea to keep you warm on cold winter evenings – you’ll love it.
Due to its increasing popularity, turmeric is now also available as a supplement. There’s a big variety of supplements – you can either get turmeric on its own (the active ingredient is curcumin) or turmeric with added ginger, which makes for a great pairing.
If you’re looking for a turmeric supplement, make sure to look for one that includes black pepper as the active in black pepper, called piperine, helps facilitate the absorption.
Yep, there’s a lot that turmeric is good for, so it’s definitely worth exploring further. But let’s talk about turmeric tea. What’s that all about?
For all the tea lovers out there, turmeric might not be your classic peppermint or typical Earl Grey breakfast tea. But it doesn’t need to be – it’s nice to mix it up and play around with new flavors. And turmeric tea does not disappoint.
Instead of winding down on the couch with your classic chamomile, try a hot cup of turmeric tea instead.
What is Tumeric Good for?
We’ve already mentioned that turmeric is good for a variety of things, including numerous benefits for your health.* Here’s what we’re talking about:
You want to support your health and are looking for a supplement that can provide you with cellular defense from free radicals which can help to maintain cell integrity.* Did you know that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been linked to antioxidant-like properties?⁵*
Why are antioxidant-like activities important? Scavenging free radicals can support the health and integrity of your cells.*
But turmeric is good for your joints too, as it can support joint health and promotes a healthy inflammatory response.* And why is joint health important? Honestly, it significantly impacts your everyday activities – from getting groceries, to doing household chores, and heading to work, healthy joints are so important.
But even more so, healthy joints are essential if you like to exercise regularly, go for a jog by the lake, or hit the gym a couple of times a week. So, if you can support your joint health, why wouldn’t you?
Provides Cardiovascular Support*
Turmeric is even more versatile – it’s also good for heart health as it provides support for your cardiovascular system.*
But first things first – what does your cardiovascular system entail?
Your cardiovascular system, also referred to as your CV system, is comprised of your heart and blood vessels. Maintaining good cardiovascular health is therefore important, and turmeric can support it.*
Is There More?
As you can tell, turmeric has many benefits and is, in fact, good for various aspects of your health.* But is there more?
So, how does ginger play into this and what does it do? Ginger is traditionally used for healthy digestive support & gastrointestinal tract health and can therefore add an extra bonus to your supplement.*
Ready to Try Turmeric in Your Kitchen or Enjoy It as a Supplement?
Whether you’re eager to try turmeric as a spice for your next dinner, brew a turmeric tea in the afternoon, or prefer to swallow it in tablet format – it’s a truly fascinating herb that can be consumed in numerous ways.
Here are 2 options for turmeric supplements you can choose to integrate into your day:
Turmeric Curcumin Supplement – which incorporates black pepper extract for better absorption.
It’s made with:
- 1,350 mg organic turmeric powder
- 150 mg organic turmeric extract
- 15 mg of black pepper
Turmeric and Ginger Supplement – which also includes black pepper for enhanced absorption.
What’s in it:
- Contains 300 mg of organic ginger extract per serving, in addition to turmeric powder and turmeric extract
- 15 mg of black pepper extract
Both supplements are:
- USDA certified organic
- Gluten and Dairy-free
For suggested use for either of these supplements, it’s recommended to take 3 tablets daily with meals unless otherwise advised by your healthcare practitioner. Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper may not be suitable for everyone depending on current health status and black pepper can interfere with some medications, so it’s important to always consult with your health practitioner before starting any new supplement, so you can make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Whether you try turmeric curcumin or a turmeric + ginger supplement, know that your health is all about empowerment, educating yourself, and ensuring your healthcare team is up to date on your routine. Viva would love to help you continue on this positive path!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- 7 Health Benefits of Turmeric. Retrieved on September 1, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/turmeric-health-benefits/
- Curcuma. Retrieved on September 1, 2022. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/curcuma/
- Prasad S.,et al.. (2011). Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects 2nd Edition. Chapter 13.
- The Significance of Turmeric in Indian Culture. Retrieved September 8, 2022. https://newskarnataka.com/special/features/the-significance-of-turmeric-in-indian-culture/21072020
- Panahi Y., et al. (2016). J Diet Suppl. 13(2): 209-220.