8 Uses of Turmeric and its Benefits

Published on June 18, 2022

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

Turmeric is so versatile and easy to use that it could be considered the little black dress of herbs, or perhaps the Swiss Army knife. This golden-hued rhizome (root) is used in cuisines worldwide to impart color and a pleasantly warm taste to foods such as curries and rice and even mustard, butter, and cheese. Turmeric is a commons herb in Hinduism and has been used for ceremonial purposes across Micronesia.

Turmeric has a bright future. Beyond its culinary, scientific, and traditional uses, this plant has long been recognized for its ability to support the body in a variety of ways.*

No matter the analogy you choose to describe it, know that this vibrant root can be used in plenty of situations and prepared in many ways. Turmeric has been a staple in Chinese and Indian folk medicine for centuries, and in recent years it has moved beyond the kitchen in the West, too.

Modern science has identified active components in Turmeric called curcumins, which provide yellow pigments as well as antioxidant support.* These compounds can help to promote healthy inflammatory function and help maintain overall health and vitality.REF#1962 Studies are showing that when an extract of Turmeric and Black Pepper are combined, the bioavailability of the curcumins can increase.REF#1961

Although it is better known in its powdered form (turmeric powder), turmeric extracts and turmeric in its root form can still be found in many grocery stores today. However, turmeric was a staple in Eastern cuisine long before it hit the grocery store aisles in the West. Turmeric has a long history that stretches back many centuries.

Where Does Turmeric Come From?

Turmeric originally hails from Southeast Asia, specifically southern India and Indonesia. To this day, it is still widely cultivated within the area. The use of turmeric root dates back roughly 4000 years. 

In ancient times, turmeric was well-known and widely used as a healing and cosmetic agent. It also carried religious significance in Hindu culture. 

In Hinduism, turmeric, or haldi, carries symbolic significance because of its vibrant colors and healing properties. It is still used today in religious arts and celebrations such as wedding rituals, religious observances, etc.

Over time, turmeric’s popularity spread to places like China, East, and West Africa, and eventually the Western world. 

How is Turmeric Used in Cuisine?

Turmeric’s curry flavor is the foundation for many Indian dishes and recipes, from salad dressings to ice cream. High doses of turmeric (mainly in the form of curry powder) are still consumed today. In fact, the average turmeric consumption in Asian countries is astounding, ranging from around 200 to 1000 mg/day. This spice is known for its flavor and use as a coloring agent. 

Golden milk, also known as turmeric tea or haldi doodh in Hindi, is also a popular drink and has been part of Indian culture for many centuries. This drink is typically created by mixing turmeric with milk and other spices, such as ginger, black pepper, and cinnamon.

What are the Benefits of Turmeric?

Historically, turmeric was widely used in traditional Indian and Eastern Asian medicine to address skincare concerns, joint health, digestive problems, and more. Today, there is a lot of research going into the potential health benefits of turmeric. Most of these studies have focused on turmeric’s active compound, curcumin.REF#1954

The antioxidant properties of curcumin are well-established. For example, studies have linked its culinary uses to health benefits, finding significant antioxidant properties in turmeric when it’s consumed in high amounts via curry.REF#1955

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable benefits of this golden spice. 

Antioxidants for Immune Support

One of the effects of curcumin is antioxidant support. Curcumin also has the ability to support the body’s natural production of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from free radicals that can cause cellular damage and oxidative stress.REF#1956 REF#1957

This has big implications for the immune system as well. Curcumins have been shown to support the production of proteins that help regulate immune cell function.REF#1963

Want to Support Heart Health?

One marked benefit of turmeric is its support of heart health. This is closely linked to its soothing antioxidant properties that can support heart health by calming irritation.REF#1958

This can support heart health markers like cholesterol (lipid) level, blood pressure, and circulation.REF#1958 Research has linked Turmeric to helping maintain normal levels of blood triglycerides, as well as promotion of healthy arterial flow.* These protective effects have been backed by clinical trials and evidence-based research.

Do Your Joints Need a Little TLC?

Curcumin helps promote healthy joint function by supporting a healthy inflammatory response.REF#1964 Turmeric can also help to support joint mobility and flexibility by easing stiffness and encouraging blood flow to the affected areas.REF#1959 Due to its rich antioxidants, turmeric can also help support overall joint health and function.*

Try our Pumpkin Chia Pudding, made with TurmericBoost Restore, as a tasty snack or quick breakfast. Plus, pumpkin is a good source of potassium, a mineral that plays a role in skeletal and smooth muscle contractions. REF#1964

Want to Give Your Liver Some Love?

Turmeric is to herbs what the liver is to the body: a workhorse that multi-tasks. Turmeric provides antioxidant support for the liver and helps support normal bile production.REF#1967 If you have yet to notice the pattern, all the wonderful benefits of turmeric stem from its antioxidant properties, which can help ward off the effects of oxidative stress.REF#1966

Oxidative stress is a contributing factor in liver damage. Luckily, a systematic review found that curcumin has many protective and therapeutic effects on liver disease.REF#1960

Like to Break a Sweat?

The antioxidant action in Turmeric can help support the body after a workout.* Sip on this Brightened Up Mango Turmeric Smoothie with TurmericBoost® Uplift, and add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, if desired. 

The pineapple in this tasty drink contains an enzyme called bromelain that has been used to support the muscles after exercise.* This component, like Turmeric’s curcumins, supports a healthy inflammatory response.REF#1968

In Search of Natural Support for Healthy Digestion?

Turmeric has been used as a digestive aid for thousands of years, as it can help soothe the digestive system. Turmeric can assist in the digestion of dietary fats by supporting the gallbladder and has traditionally been used to stimulate digestion.REF#1964

Once again, it is the active compound curcumin that holds the power. It has been shown to support digestion and the production of digestive enzymes, soothing symptoms like bloating, gas, and indigestion.REF#1964

Experience Occasional Pain?

Turmeric has been used to support a healthy response to occasional pain and promote healthy inflammatory function.REF#1969

Looking for Simple Daily Support for the Whole Body?

TurmericBoost dietary powders are a simple, tasty way to integrate Turmeric into your diet. (In case you were wondering, they taste like delicious, real vanilla chai, with just a hint of warmth from Turmeric.) Shake Turmeric Boost® Restore with water or stir it into your favorite milk for a quick, easy and delicious “boost” any time of day.


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