It’s All Yellow: Decoding Today’s Turmeric Boom
Turmeric is an integral part of the Indian kitchen, but lately, it has also found massive popularity in the West. From skincare essentials to cookies and even fashion, we decode today’s turmeric boom
Remember the haldi doodh that you hated as a child, but was so helpful? Now it has become a turmeric latte abroad. Turmeric, the spice that comes from the turmeric plant, is no longer only found in Indian kitchens or is no longer just a home remedy for misbehaving skin. For its properties such as memory improvement, lightening your mood, fighting arthritis, detoxifying your liver, turmeric is being looked at in a totally different light now. While the West has also been obsessing over it for the past few years, we circle back to how we, in our country, are embracing the magic of turmeric in newer ways.
Beauty brands like Kama Ayurveda, Neemli, and Mamaearth have used turmeric for different product ranges. “Belonging to the Ginger family of Curcuma Longa and colloquially referred to as the golden spice, Kama Ayurveda products use Curcumin for its many beauty benefits. It is antioxidant-rich, fighting free radical damage. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal to treat acne. Its antiseptic properties heal minor cuts, wounds, and skin irritations, in addition to addressing blemishes and pigmentation, for a brighter, even-toned and glowing skin,” says a spokesperson from Kama Ayurveda.
Millennials today are also understanding the benefits of using turmeric in skincare, and Ghazal Alagh, Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth says, “Consumers are becoming conscious of the products they use, and are looking for simpler solutions to their skin and hair concerns. The last few years has seen a paradigm shift in consumer purchase demands for natural and organic products. In fact, the growth in demand for natural and toxin-free personal care products is at an all-time high.”
Neemli is another brand that offers an exclusive product called Turmeric Root and Olive Squalane Elixir, which is quite popular amongst their consumers. Bhaskara Seth, Founder of Neemli explained it’s a proprietary blend of different carrier and essential oils, with the hero ingredient being turmeric for anti-bacterial and brightening qualities, and olive squalane for its moisturising. And is there a high demand for turmeric-based products in the US and South African market? Seth added, “Yes, it’s one of our bestsellers in both the markets. People seem to associate turmeric with India, and Neemli with India on the basis of having turmeric as a hero ingredient in our products.”
You may have heard of turmeric in many recipes, but cookies aren’t one of them. However, Nourish Organics, known for its chia turmeric cookies, is all about providing its customers with healthy products. Seema Jindal Jajodia, founder of Nourish Organics tells us, “I am a big believer in Turmeric being anti-inflammatory, so I came up with a cookie that has ginger, turmeric, and healthy omega chia seeds. It is delicious, and makes me feel like I have supported my body and system in healing itself.” Talking about the growing obsession for turmeric in the West, Jajodia added, “The West is of course becoming more aware now. Therefore it seems like a trend.”
VAHDAM India, a homegrown label of teas and superfoods, has also experimented with turmeric, and offers its customers several turmeric-infused products. Mr Bala Sarda, Founder, VAHDAM India, tells us that the demand for their Turmeric Spiced Tea has increased during the pandemic. “The pandemic has led to a fundamental shift in consumer’s behaviour towards high quality, natural, and organic wellness products. Boosting immunity has become more critical than it has ever been in the past. The pandemic has made everyone rediscover and re-appreciate the timeless wisdom of the Indian way of life, which has increased the demand for turmeric tea as well.”
MasterChef India’s Ajay Chopra feels that while Indian kitchens have always had turmeric, it is only now that they are understanding its benefits more widely, adding that Gujarat is one of the many places in India that uses turmeric extensively in their food.
We asked Chopra to create a new recipe with turmeric, and he reveals how turmeric root has found a new place in his kitchen, and that he will make a delicious soup out of it.
While researching about the new age adaptations of good old turmeric, I also stumbled upon a clothing brand that uses turmeric to treat the fabric. Ayurganic is a one-of-a-kind collection produced by Lecoanet Hemant that hand treats the products using century-old Ayurvedic recipes and Ayurvastra. Hemant Sagar, co-founder of Ayurganic, tells us, “Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. According to Ayurvastra, the healing benefits of medicinal herbs enter the skin through the pores. Considering our skin is the largest organ in our body, what we put on it is absorbed and that’s how turmeric adds medicinal value to the cloth.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has also made people use turmeric more extensively. Neha Ranglani, an integrative nutritionist and health coach, gives a few tips on how one can use turmeric to be fit. “We should definitely dissolve it in steam water for inhalation. You can also infuse turmeric with your water. This way, your turmeric intake will increase, and yield benefits like never before,” she says, warning against excessive use that could lead to side effects.
Ranglani concludes, “The market is seeing a revolution with extensive and innovative uses of this spice. I am delighted to see how more and more people are admiring this beautiful ingredient, and are making a sound and mindful use of the same.”
Well, it looks like turmeric, despite being here for almost ever, has finally arrived again. Time to try that haldi ka doodh again.