Health Benefits of Turmeric
The greatest diversity of Curcuma species by number alone is in India, at around 40 to 45 species. Thailand has a comparable 30 to 40 species. Other countries in tropical Asia also have numerous wild species of Curcuma. Recent studies have also shown that the taxonomy of C. longa is problematic, with only the specimens from South India being identifiable as C. longa. The phylogeny, relationships, intraspecific and interspecific variation, and even identity of other species and cultivars in other parts of the world still need to be established and validated. Various species currently utilized and sold as “turmeric” in other parts of Asia have been shown to belong to several physically similar taxa, with overlapping local names.
urmeric has been used in Asia for centuries and is a major part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, and the animistic rituals of Austronesian peoples. It was first used as a dye, and then later for its supposed properties in folk medicine.
From India, it spread to Southeast Asia along with Hinduism and Buddhism, as the yellow dye is used to color the robes of monks and priests. Turmeric has also been found in Tahiti, Hawaii and Easter Island before European contact.There is linguistic and circumstantial evidence of the spread and use of turmeric by the Austronesian peoples into Oceania and Madagascar. The populations in Polynesia and Micronesia, in particular, never came into contact with India, but use turmeric widely for both food and dye. Thus independent domestication events are also likely.
Turmeric was found in Farmana, dating to between 2600 and 2200 BCE, and in a merchant’s tomb in Megiddo, Israel, dating from the second millennium BCE. It was noted as a dye plant in the Assyrians‘ Cuneiform medical texts from Ashurbanipal’s library at Nineveh from 7th century BCE. In Medieval Europe, turmeric was called “Indian saffron.”
Type 2 Diabetes
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Turmeric and curcumin have been studied in numerous clinical trials for various human diseases and conditions, with no high-quality evidence of any anti-disease effect or health benefit. There is no scientific evidence that curcumin reduces inflammation, as of 2020. There is weak evidence that turmeric extracts may be beneficial for relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, as well as for reducing pain and muscle damage following physical exercise.There is good evidence that turmeric is an allergen.