Monday, November 29, 2010

Use of Turmeric Leaf in Traditional Home made Cakes in Odisha, India

Turmeric plantImage Turmeric plant To-day, and every year in this date, special cakes are prepared using the turmeric leaves as a wrapping during the steaming process. It is the occasion what is called in Odia, Prathamastami; observed with an intention to worship God for longer quality life of elder child of the parents.
This is the only occasion where turmeric leaf is used in preparing the cakes from a paste of rice, black gram; the core of which contains a mixture of coconut, molasses and cheese.
Probably the ancient people of Odisha knew the medicinal values of turmeric and used the leaves in the steaming process of cakes, so that some active agents from turmeric leaves will inadvertently percolate into the cakes that may be beneficial for the health of the child.
In Odisha turmeric is in use as a household remedy since long.
· The raw turmeric paste is used as an anti-helminthic and for gut health.
· Its paste is use as skin beautifier in cosmetics and for healthy skin, especially as a curative for scabies.
· Sometimes, the paste is kept over furuncles to relieve pain and heal it.
Now several papers prove the medicinal property of turmeric due to the presence of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a relatively non-toxic polyphenol; an active ingredient found in it. It has been seen to benefit the patients of breast cancer, patients with gastrointestinal disorders and colon cancer; prostate cancer and in many other diseases.
Our ancestors were more conversant with the medicinal herbs and had much better understanding of the medicinal values of plants than what we know to-day.
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