Updated December 24th, 2023 at 14:46 IST

Why is turmeric called 'the golden spice'? Benefits, significance and culinary uses of haldi

Turmeric's designation as the 'golden spice' is all thanks to its bright yellow colour, culinary versatility, and potent health benefits.

Benefits of turmeric
Benefits of turmeric | Image:Unsplash

Turmeric is a very common component of our spice cabinet. From a colouring agent to a purifier to a soothing paste - turmeric has always been our trusted little homemade remedy. It is now being recognised worldwide for its health benefits. Often referred to as the "golden spice," it has earned this nickname not only for its golden-yellow hue but also for the many health benefits and the cultural significance it holds. Originating from the Curcuma longa plant, turmeric has been a staple in traditional medicine and culinary practices for centuries.

Rich golden colour

The primary reason behind turmeric's designation as the "golden spice" is its distinct and intense yellow colour. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is responsible for this brilliant hue. The golden pigment is not only visually appealing but also gives a warm and earthy flavour to dishes, making it a popular spice in various cuisines, including Indian.

Turmeric powder | Image: Unsplash

Traditional and cultural significance

Turmeric holds immense cultural significance in many parts of the world, particularly in South Asia. It is deeply embedded in religious rituals, traditional ceremonies, and even daily life. In Hindu ceremonies and weddings, turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom as part of a purification ritual symbolising auspiciousness and prosperity.

Medicinal properties

Turmeric has been valued for its medicinal properties for centuries. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These properties contribute to turmeric's widespread use in traditional medicine for treating various ailments and promoting overall well-being.

Haldi doodh | Image: Unsplash

Golden milk

One of the popular ways to enjoy the benefits of turmeric is through "golden milk", commonly called haldi doodh in hindi. This beverage combines turmeric with warm milk and other spices, creating a comforting and nourishing elixir. Golden milk has gained popularity for its potential health-promoting properties, and its golden hue reinforces the association with this revered spice.


Turmeric is also used as a healing agent on wounds. A raw turmeric paste is applied on light cuts, burns and scratches to heal them. It is very potent in reducing the swelling and redness around the cuts and scrapes as well, along with instantly cooling the area.


Published December 23rd, 2023 at 15:40 IST

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