By Isabella @TheWandCarver
For health benefits I pair a half-teaspoonful of Turmeric powder and a dash of black pepper with Ginger root tea. Perhaps one reason they work so well together is that Turmeric is a member of the Ginger family. Turmeric [Curcuma longa] is a flowering plant and of course, both Turmeric and Ginger are used for cooking, particularly in the Middle Eastern countries, but Turmeric is also quite magickal. It has been long used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as haridra. Oh, yes! It can be used as a dye, as well. In fact, it was originally used as a dye, then found to be a flavoursome food additive, and then was found to be quite medicinal as well. Always be certain the Turmeric you buy is orange/yellow, not orange/red. Orange/red could mean impurities were added such as heavy metals, etc.
During the Vedic period in India, Turmeric was known as the ‘’golden spice’’ or the ‘‘spice of life’’ as it was associated with the sun. Significance was attributed to the bright yellow and saffron spice as the sun and sun Gods were a focal point of worship and ritual at the time. The main indigenous uses of Turmeric were rites and rituals intended to produce fertility and spiritual purification.
Turmeric has been used in many cultures for increasing fertility in both humans and animals. Some swear by wearing Turmeric in a charm for good health and protection. For protective purposes in a ritual circle, Turmeric is sometimes sprinkled within its boundaries. In Hawaii, Turmeric is mixed with salt and water, then sprinkled in the area wanting purification such as a sick room or even a ritual circle.
Because Turmeric implies a symbol of purity, fertility and prosperity among the Hindus. It is used in rites and rituals. Turmeric powder along with sandal powder is used in preparing Kalabha to be poured on the presiding deities in temples.
The dried Turmeric roots in Betel leaves called Kumkum are given to the women during the ceremonies as they are considered as a fertility enhancer and bring good luck. Married Hindu women apply this on their forehead longitudinally along the hair partition path to indicate the marital status or smear Turmeric paste on either side of the cheek. Turmeric paste is applied to the skin of the bride and groom before marriage in some parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where it is believed to make the skin glow and keep harmful bacteria away from the body.
In southern India, the dried rhizome is often worn in an amulet as protection against evil and to bring about healing or good luck.
Chakra: Solar Plexus
Powers: Fertility, Health, Purification, Protection
Deity: Kaali, Naaga, Vishnu, Durga, Lord Krishna, Ganesh, Kali [Hindu]
Other Names: Olena [Hawaiian]
Unfortunately, my go-to for all things herbal and spice, Nicholas Culpeper, has no words of wisdom for Turmeric. Then again, he mainly wrote of what he knew from all over England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. There is a good chance he had never tried the spice as it was either not being imported to Great Britain at the time or, if it was, he simply had not the chance to use it. So, a lot of what you read now will be from my own use Turmeric and the findings I have.
In Ayurveda, the Hindu medicinal system, Turmeric is utilised extensively for its healing and health producing qualities. Spiritually it is used to balance the energies of the body while medicinally it is well known as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, digestive, antioxidant and diuretic agent. It is taken internally in the form of juice, tea and powder or applied topically in the form of lotions, ointments and pastes. Milk boiled with Turmeric and sugar is used in India as a cold remedy and the juice of the Turmeric root is often applied to help heal wounds.
My personal recipe to help keep my immune system up, as I had written about in my last blog, From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Ginger Root:
1-ounce grated Ginger root , steep covered for ten minutes. I put my Ginger root in a tea diffuser/basket, but you can also just toss it into the hot water if you don’t mind Ginger bits floating round in your drink. When ten minutes are up, lift out tea basket and add the following:
½ teaspoon powdered Turmeric
A dash or pinch of black Pepper
Stir very well and keep your spoon for you will need to stir it constantly as all of the Turmeric fails to dissolve in the water but if you stir again after each sip you won’t end up with a quarter teaspoon of Turmeric in the bottom of your cup. It may sound like a bit of work, but the health benefits are very much worth it.
So far, so good is all I know… its added health benefit is that because both the Ginger root and the Turmeric are both so very anti-inflammatory, my arthritis pain is all but a dream now. Hand on heart, drinking two cups of this concoction a day is doing more for my pain than when I was having to take heavy prescription painkillers.
Turmeric is also said to be effective for ailments of the liver, such as jaundice. Clinical trials have shown it to successfully reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown it is also effective against H. pylori the cause of gastric ulcers. It has also been found effective in some cancers. Curcumin, the workhorse in Turmeric, can reduce LDL – or bad cholesterol – which will then prevent blood clotting, while removing arterial plaque build-up.
Turmeric contains phytochemicals and nutrients with several beneficial effects such as protecting body organs from damage, reducing cholesterol levels, improving blood-vessel health, controlling inflammation, combating infection, and more. So, what isn’t there to love about Turmeric?
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings upon all whom this way wander. Please stay safe x
The Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham