Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting to the "root" of the matter : US "discovers" turmeric

I could not help but chuckle reading this article in Time magazine: Can Turmeric Relieve Pain? One Doctor's Opinion

I realized that this article with an anecdotal evidence of one individual would do more for popularizing this wonder root in the US than the avid testimony of billions of Indians who have been partaking turmeric as food and medicine for thousands of years.
  • Minor cut or burn , apply turmeric paste (in fact yellow color of turmeric was so closely associated with burn treatment in India that Burnol when launched in India as a burn treatment cream had a bright yellow color).
  • Worms in the belly or body ache/inflamation and pain: add turmeric powder to milk and drink it before you go to bed.
  • Worried about your skin condition or want to keep your skin in glowing condition : apply turmeric and sandalwood paste. Most marriage traditions require both the bride and groom to be anointed with turmeric.
The list is endless....... Ayurveda- the ancient Indian medical system waxes eloquent about the benefits of turmeric. This is only some of the stuff I heard growing up as a kid. And the urging from my mother to make sure that anything with turmeric in it does not fall on my white school shirt for those yellow stains were almost impossible to make disappear.

And in any case for good measure, add it to whatever you cook. That sure came in handy as it now appears that Indian have low rates of Alzheimer's/Senile Dementia, attributable arguably to prevalence of turmeric in the diet .

And the chuckle turns into a guffaw when I see people rushing to specialty stores to buy small bottles of turmeric powder for tens of dollars when they can buy a few pounds of the stuff for the same amount at the local Indian ethnic store (every US town has one. If you don't know where it is, ask your Indian friends, they will love to direct you to it) . And Guys, don't end up pushing the prices up because it may be a fad for you it's food for many like me!

Looks like after yoga it is now the turn of turmeric to be "discovered" by the West!!

Since I originally wrote this post came across this another interesting validation of the benefits of "curcumin"- the key active ingredient in turmeric : "Turmeric cuts postmenopausal breast cancer risk"


Anonymous said...

Deepak - Your heading and the statement - "Looks like after yoga it is now the turn of turmeric to be "discovered" by the West"

There was a case/issue raised by the WTO & WHO by India who claimed that US had patented the medicinal properties and its usage. US lost the case because India proved by way of vedic scripts dating back to 4000 Yrs (approx) claiming that it belongs to India.

My suggestion - kindly change the heading, no offence meant here to anybody reading this post. I'm only ensuring that we are safeguarding what our ancestors have discovered and we are reaping the benefits of such discoveries.

Btw, this case was also published in the Times of India newspapers a few months ago.

Deepak Seth said...

My point exactly, and that is why "discovered" is in quotes.And that is why I "chuckled"

Please also note the following statements: "billions of Indians who have been partaking turmeric as food and medicine for thousands of years."

"Ayurveda- the ancient Indian medical system waxes eloquent about the benefits of turmeric."

The point I have made is that turmeric is an integral part of Indian diet and medicinal tradition since ages. It is only now that the West has "discovered" it.

Anil K. Vij said...

Very holistically speaking -

India indeed overflows with richness of -
Ancient wisdom ,
Knowledge ,
Right down to Gita , Upanishads ,Nirvana , salvation

I suppose we need to have a committment to appreciate - preserve -document - apply - showcase it to the world - & be freely avaialable - to ALL - for the benefit of the mankind.

This should be the single objective & guiding force.

The best part is there is no Ownership - it is quite like Free ware / Open Software.

Deepak , We are students / practitioners of Globalisation.

& Here IPR , etc. are the Norms.

We do not mind others claiming appreciation for "Discovering " our Wisdom ,Knowledge,Systems [ Ayurvedic,etc.].

But why should We / or anyone in the world else for pay for using these Wisdom ,Knowledge,Systems, etc.

Deepak - you have been guiding the Corporates , Governments on these matters.

So what do we do in this sort of scenario ?

Or let it drift - as God wills it !

Anonymous said...

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