Everything you Need to Know About TURMERIC – A Chapter from Nature’s Creation Book


Family: Zingiberaceae

Plant of Veracity

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa

Planet: Mars, associated with Jupiter

Element: Fire

Known as Indian saffron, Turmeric has been used historically as a component of Indian Ayurvedic medicine since 1900 BCE to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is one of the most important herbs ever discovered.  Native to India and Southern Asia, few plants possess such a wide spectrum of qualities and medicinal uses as Turmeric.  Use of this brilliant, versatile herb for myriad ailments dates back thousands of years.  It is most renowned as an effective and powerful anti-inflammatory that compares to many of the popular pharmaceutical medicines and has proven successful in the treatment of some of the most debilitating ailments today including: arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, liver disease and kidney and urinary tract infections…to name but a few of its healing abilities.

Turmeric is a leafy plant similar in appearance to its relative, ginger. The healing properties of Turmeric lie in the golden fingerlike stalk, or rhizome. It has occupied the shelves of every Indian kitchen for the last 6000 years and is commonly found in Indian curries, giving the food its familiar golden orange colour. It is often substituted in cooking for the more costly saffron.  In the 13th century, Marco Polo praised the spice and marveled at its likeness to saffron. It has always been considered a sacred and auspicious herb in Indian culture and its value likely extends back to ancient indigenous peoples of India.

Nowadays, Turmeric is grown widely throughout the tropics. It was thought to be cultivated first as a dye and then became a valued condiment and medicinal herb. Research is ongoing to prove scientifically what the ancient people of India have known for centuries: that Turmeric is one of the most powerful plants on the planet.  It has been worshipped and revered for thousands of years and one of the most significant players in the prevention of serious disease still today. Turmeric has been studied for thousands of years in the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda,.

Dr. David Frawley, Ayurvedic doctor and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies notes, “If I had only a single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice turmeric.” Ayurvedic science is based on the principle of preventing diseases. Turmeric finds its place in almost all Ayurvedic preparations related to liver and skin disorders.  In Sanskrit and Hindi Turmeric has acquired many names such as, haridra, kanchani, and gauri.  These names date back to the Vedic culture and refer to the “one who is golden coloured” or “the golden Goddess” as Turmeric is known in India.

The Vedic culture existed in the Saraswati Valley from approximately 4500-1800BC. The Vedic people worshipped the solar system and Surya, the sun. Turmeric was very sacred in the Vedic culture, due to its golden yellow colour that represented the sun.  They believed it had special protective properties.  Many of these ancient practices and beliefs still survive today.  The Vedic people believed that Turmeric contained the energy of the Divine Mother, and helped to grant prosperity and cleanse the chakras (energy centers in the body).  Today, Hindus still consider Turmeric to have auspicious qualities and use it in many sacred ceremonies. It is commonly made into a paste and applied to the forehead (ajna chakra or third eye) during devotional ceremonies such as yajna (sacred fire ceremony for purification).  The yajna exemplifies the unity of God and humanity and Turmeric is often used to decorate the vedi (the alter for the fire). Turmeric is also associated with fertility and prosperity, and brings good luck if applied to a bride’s face and body, as part of the ritual purification before a wedding.

In India, Turmeric is considered the standard anti-inflammatory.  It also has a special action to help the entire Gastro-Intestinal system by increasing intestinal flora and generating healthy digestion.  It is added to the food, not just for flavour but also for medicinal purposes.  In Ayurveda, Turmeric is believed to balance the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha or biological energies in the body). The literal meaning of doshas is “that which contaminates is called dosha.” Therefore the doshas may be considered the disease-causing agents in the body. Imbalance of vata, pitta and kapha doshas cause disease in the body.  Ayurvedic doctors use Turmeric as a medicine in the form of fresh juice, tea, tinctures or powder.  It is often used topically as a cream, lotion or ointment.  The principle organs that Turmeric deals with are the skin, heart, liver and lungs. It has proven effective as an analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary. Carminatives also tend to increase absorption and nurture the intestinal flora.  Modern science is beginning to recognize and understand the amazing healing qualities of Turmeric and much research is currently being conducted.

Research in the latter half of the 20th century has identified the compound curcumin as responsible for most of the biological activity of Turmeric.  Curcumin is one of three curcuminoids in Turmeric and responsible for the bright yellow colour.  The other two are demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin has known antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal actions.  Turmeric has hundreds of molecular constituents, each with a variety of biological activities. In one database it was noted that Turmeric contains over 326 known biological activities. At least 20 molecules have anti-biotic properties, 14 that are known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, 12 are anti-inflammatory and at least 10 different anti-oxidants. Rudolf Steiner once identified Turmeric as having a “magnetic nature”, meaning that it literally attracts illness out of the body and therefore eliminates toxins in a most comprehensive way.

As indicated in current statistics the molecule, NF-Kappa B is responsible for 98% of all diseases.  NF-Kappa B is a powerful protein that promotes abnormal inflammatory response in the body. Excess of this molecule can lead to cancer, arthritis, and a wide range of other diseases. Studies show that curcumin subdues NF-Kappa B, indicating that it may work to prevent many of the diseases inflicting the world today.  According to Dr. Bjarat Aggarwal, from the Jawaharial Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, “We have not found a single cancer on which curcumin does not work”.  Recent research also suggests that Turmeric may play a vital role in fighting HIV/AIDS, particularly HIV, Type 1.  In a recent study at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre, when scientists “fed” curcumin to HIV-infected cells in the laboratory, the virus stopped replicating. Turmeric also protects the liver from toxins and pathogens. It is known to both destroy toxins in the liver, and to rebuild the liver after a toxic attack.

Parts Used Medicinally

Dried rhizome


Taken as a tincture or pill-form to treat specific issues or powdered rhizome added to food.

NoteNo major side effects have been reported in the medical literature, however as with all medicines, Turmeric should not be taken long term unless directed by health professional. 

Insight (the lesson that Turmeric teaches)    

Astrologically, Turmeric is associated with the most beneficial of all planets, Jupiter.  The main significant function of Jupiter is that it initiates life on earth by stimulating the Sun. It is therefore, an integral part of many sacred Vedic rituals connected to the sun and fire ceremony. Jupiter, by nature is the most brilliant and all-embracing planet and is known as Guru, meaning “remover of darkness” in Sanskrit.  According to Hindu mythology, Jupiter is the planet of bravery, audacity, power, hard work, liveliness, knowledge and speech and signifies good luck and good fortune.  It is considered a dignified and positive planet and represents wisdom. It is a planet of freedom, tolerance and plenty.  Jupiter rules the blood circulation, liver, thighs and fat in the body. If Jupiter is strong, it supports the immune system. If it is weak, it raises problems like arthritis, jaundice, weak liver and pancreas and diseases associated with the respiratory system. 

Due to their close association with each other, Turmeric and Jupiter together have great power and work as a team to benefit overall health and vitality and support the body systems. Turmeric is the warrior herb…it is veracious in destroying the enemy within on all levels.  It is diligent in eliminating the demons that cause disease in the body and a world-class herb with amazing purifying qualities.  If Turmeric has manifested into your life today, it is letting you know that you have the full support of perhaps the most beneficial, miraculous healing herb available. 

Receiving the Turmeric card may be an indication that your digestive system needs balancing.  It is possible that too much fire is present in the intestinal tract and affecting the liver and other related organs.  On the other hand, it may also be a reminder that it is time to look towards bringing balance into the spiritual side of your life; a time to cleanse and purify the body, mind and emotions. One of the most powerful ways of purification and transformation is fire. In ancient and modern Yogic tradition the fire ceremony (or havan) is believed to be cleansing, not only for the body, mind and emotions of those present, but also the whole area around the fire pit and environment within several kilometres of the havan.  Fire is also known to raise awareness and accelerate spiritual growth. Turmeric is used in various ways in the havan ceremony.  Many yogis today practice what is called Agni Hotra.  It is a specific fire ritual performed daily with miraculous results. The ash from these fires is considered sacred and used in meditation, sprinkled on gardens, placed in temples.  Many traditional ashrams (yoga centres) today practice havan (see index for information).

To support you on all levels, use Turmeric in every day cooking to detoxify the liver, lower cholesterol, remove skin related problems, fight allergies and stimulate digestion.

“There is never any end
There are always new sounds to imagine
New feelings to get at
And always there is a need to keep purifying these needs and sounds
So that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state
So we can see more clearly what we are
In that way, we can give those who listen to the essence
The best of what we are”

˜John Coltrane˜