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Tooting the Turmeric trumpet!!

Everyone is tooting the Turmeric trumpet these days (isn’t that a good alliteration?!) At Amino Mantra, every ingredient we incorporate in our products is solely for improving the overall health, especially gut health. For us, Turmeric is one of those everyday heroes that quietly battles bad guys & saves the day.

With the latest trends and marketing noise around the Turmeric or specifically the active compound – Curcumin, it’s easy to overlook the fact that humans have been using this humble spice for 4000 years throughout South-east Asia in their food and herbal medicines. Let’s blow the fluff off our frothy Turmeric chai latte and refresh our knowledge about Terra Merita, Latin for Meritorious Earth – referring to the mineral yellow colour of the ground Turmeric (good to learn something new, right!)

Turmeric spread from ancient India to China in 700AD, then to Africa around 1200AD and as far as Jamaica in 1800s. Intrepid traveller – Marco Polo, was boggled by the similarity between the properties of saffron and Turmeric – how the colour extract was identical. It must have been his party-trick for while before others cottoned on to the difference.  

Turmeric known as Curcuma longa, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belongs to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, which is native to tropical South Asia. India is the biggest producer of high-quality Turmeric and consumes 80% of it. Turmeric rhizomes are grown & matured underground before being harvested and processed for consumption. Traditionally, Turmeric rhizomes were processed by boiling them in pot of water which was then covered with leaves and cow-dung i.e.cow-poop! Ammonia in the cow-dung reacted with Turmeric to give its deep yellow colour. With globalization and exports, this method was discontinued as it was unhygienic and secretly because the guys cooking the Turmeric could not bear the stink of cow-poop.

Since ancient times, Turmeric has been used for strengthening the overall energy of the body, relieving gas, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gallstones, relieving arthritis, an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises, as an antibacterial agent, as an anti-inflammatory agent, as a remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, to purify blood and remedy skin conditions.

Turmeric in its standard form contains 5-6% of Curcumin along with moisture, fibre and volatile oils. Nutritional analysis showed that 100gms of whole Turmeric contains 390 kcal, 10 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.2 g calcium, 0.26 g phosphorous, 10 mg sodium, 2500 mg potassium, 47.5 mg iron, 0.9 mg thiamine, 0.19 mg riboflavin, 4.8 mg niacin, 50 mg ascorbic acid, 69.9 g total carbohydrates, 21 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugars, and 8 g protein. Turmeric is also a good source of the ω-3 fatty acid and α-linolenic acid.

In modern clinical use, Curcumin extract from Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, anticoagulant, antifertility, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, antifibrotic, antivenom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Curcumin has been used in clinical trials to alleviate post-operative inflammation.

At Amino Mantra, we prize Turmeric for its effect on gastro-intestinal system. Active compounds in Turmeric make it an ideal digestive stimulant. Turmeric encourages mucus secretions in intestines which then acts as a gastro-protectant against irritants and helps ease digestion. Turmeric lessens intestinal spasms which help in alleviating stomach discomfort. Regular intake of Turmeric reduces flatulence and bloating for people on plant-based diet who mostly rely on beans & lentils for nutrition. Turmeric has healing effect on gastric & duodenal ulcers caused due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori).

Regular usage of Turmeric helps increase positive enzymatic activity in pancreas and liver and improves bile excretion through gallbladder, which increases body’s ability to digest fats. It has been clinically proven that Turmeric aides in preventing diabetes-induced oxidative stress.

Modern nootropics are delving deeper into the benefits of Curcumin compounds and volatile Turmeric oils. Good thing about Turmeric & Curcumin is that our body can tolerate them in very high doses without toxic side-effects. There are many fascinating possibilities yet to be discovered for the uses of Turmeric and its extracts.

However, at Amino Mantra, our approach is consuming wholefoods rather than chemically derived extracts or compounds. Key thing to remember is “Whole is always greater than sum of its parts”. Our body recognizes food in its whole form easily which is why our products are based on wholefood plant-based principles. If you are plant-based every day or some days, you can trust that our products will nourish your body, bring a smile to your soul and leave a lighter footprint on our planet.

You can view our Fijian Turmeric and Cumin Plant Patties here.

P.S. – If you are not “Netflix & Chill” type, you can read more about benefits of Turmeric here:

- Turmeric and Curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications Ishita Chattopadhyay1 , Kaushik Biswas1 , Uday Bandyopadhyay2 and Ranajit K. Banerjee1,* 1Department of Physiology, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Kolkata 700 032, India 2Deptartment of Biochemistry, Central Drug Research Institute, Chhattar Manzil Palace, Lucknow 226 001, India.

- Prasad S, Aggarwal BB. Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 13.