Turmeric is versatile and has so many nicknames. In Hawaii it’s called ‘Olena, in India it’s called Haldi, in China it’s Jiang Huang. It has made landings and permanent residence around the world and has made a huge name for itself! “Why”, you ask? Well, here’s the story…
The story’s protagonist is curcumin!
Turmeric or Curcuma longa is 60-90 cm tall, with tufted leaves and a short stem. The most valued part is the stem or rhizome which is dried and powdered for further use. It has compounds called curcuminoids. The most important type of curcuminoids is curcumin. Curcumin is a goldmine for positive health benefits because of the following reasons:
1. It is anti-inflammatory which makes it the perfect partner for treatment of conditions such as arthritis, swelling and muscle sprains. It has even been shown to have benefits in regards to cancer. Muscle sprains and joint pains have become a common even amongst the young adults all over the world. A healthy lifestyle is need of the hour all over the world.
Did you know, in a study, it was found that curcumin can block NF-kB, a molecule associated with many types of cancer such as melanoma?
2. Market is filled with skin products inspired by turmeric. Face masks, skin brightening creams, cleaning oil, anti-aging serums, and so much more. Why on earth does everybody want it in their skin products, including Kourtney Kardashian?
Our protagonist is a strong antioxidant too. Antioxidants control free radicals inside the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause serious damage to the DNA, proteins, and fatty tissues. Accumulation may result in the development of serious chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even damage your skin. Organic skin care products are becoming popular because people don’t want chemicals such as allergens, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals on their skin. Turmeric has become one of the emerging front runner amongst organic skin care ingredients in many products such as face masks, body creams, anti-ageing serums.
3. It has the potential to fight degenerative processes by helping in increasing BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a growth hormone located inside our brain.
Now you know why the whole world is going gaga over it. Beyond its medicinal and health benefits, what attracts people is also its rich, ancient history. Did you know turmeric was used even 3000 years ago by Indian people?
Ayurveda or knowledge of life is an alternative medicine system that originated in India about 3,000 years ago and has profoundly talked about turmeric. Turmeric has been associated with creating synergies between the bodily systems. It was used to relieve physical ailments such as disorders of digestion, respiratory issues, skin skin conditions, joint pains. It was consumed with milk (ahem ahem, turmeric latte anyone?). Beyond the thousand years old history, it continues to be an integral part of Indian cuisines and religious ceremonies.
Is this only an Indian herb then? No, as we told you in the beginning, it has many nicknames. It’s presence is seen throughout South Asia and even in Western countries like the USA. It reached America via Polynesian explorers. They brought the golden spice to Hawaii and was celebrated for it’s spiritual power or mana. Hawaii also incorporated it in their traditional medical practice La’au lapa’au and treated ailments such as sinusitis. Since then it has become an integral part of American history too.
Now the big question- which turmeric is the best?
Well…we’d say both Indian and American.
Indian turmeric is grown in over 18 states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and is one of the largest producers and exporters in the world.
The rise of India’s organic farming culture is the reason why the world increasingly trusts their products. To showcase the ever-growing sustainable culture of farming, we have brilliant examples of organizations like The Slow Farm, a Bangalore based small farm focused on using sustainable organic techniques for over thirteen years. Similarly, Navdanya helps farmers by maintaining the biodiversity of the eco-system and connecting them directly to the interested customers. Their farm produce is a result of a seed-bank that is preserving indigenous qualities and are adamant about conserving culture and providing high standard produce.
We can confidently say that India rocks and so does their golden spice. Organic farming industry has evolved beautifully in the past few decades in the USA. It is one of the fastest growing agricultural sector.
The United States of America is also taking more steps towards organic farming and has managed to produce the finest qualities of turmeric in the world. Hawaii has become the hotspot of freshly produced ‘Olena. From turmeric coffee to bagels, the demand is being fulfilled by the local American farmers by providing high quality, organic produce.
So…Final verdict: India or the USA?
It is rumoured that the USA has high concentration of curcumin and low heavy metals as opposed to Indian but the verdict is still out. It really depends on the farm and processing is really improving from a technical standpoint. Pure turmeric powder has about 3.4% by weight curcumin concentration, Indian or American. To get long term benefits, it needs to be consumed regularly. As a consumer, look out for where the condiment has been procured from, whether its lab tested or not.
At Ozia, we constantly strive to give our customers the best quality products. To maintain the highest standards, we procure our core ingredient for turmeric candy from the farms of Indian State- Karnataka. We use the highest quality CERTIFIED ORGANIC TURMERIC that is on the cutting edge of turmeric development. Our formula uses TurmiPure Gold which is 24x MORE bioavailable than standard turmeric products (that use 95% curcuminoids) and 22x MORE bioavailable than standard turmeric products with black pepper.
Hopefully, now you can make a choice between Haldi or ‘Olena? Anyways, both are sides of the same coin and farm origin and testing are critical in making your choice.
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