Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae which is native to tropical South Asia. It needs temperatures between 20 and 30 deg. C. and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

It is also often misspelled (or pronounced) as tumeric. It sometimes also known as kunyit or haldi in some Asian countries[1].

Its rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and has a mustardy smell.

Sangli, a town in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra, is the largest and most important trading centre for turmeric in Asia or perhaps in the entire world.[2]

Turmeric has found application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, biscuits, popcorn-color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatins, etc. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders.

Turmeric (coded as E100 when used as a food additive) is used to protect food products from sunlight. The oleoresin is used for oil-containing products. The curcumin/polysorbate solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used for water containing products. Over-coloring, such as in pickles, relishes and mustard, is sometimes used to compensate for fading.

In combination with annatto (E160b), turmeric has been used to color cheeses, yogurt, dry mixes, salad dressings, winter butter and margarine. Turmeric is also used to give a yellow color to some prepared mustards, canned chicken broths and other foods (often as a much cheaper replacement for saffron).

Some images of Turmeric (Curcuma longa)


What kind of potential turmeric benefits are there?

Turmeric alone has many anti viral, anti fungal properties. It is widely used to cleanse the air. In India turmeric is used as an offering in the temple. The main purpose is to cleanse the air because of its anti fungal properties. Apart from this the herbal blend which consists turmeric and sandal is used for beauty purposes.For any medicinal blend the spices should be pure and fresh.So i used to buy it from it from reliable suppliers like Horton spice Mills.


Re: curcumin, turmeric’s yellow pigment

Check this out:

“…curcumin helps the body destroy mutated cancer cells, so that they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. In one human study, sixteen chronic smokers were given 1.5 grams of turmeric daily, while six nonsmokers served as a control group. At the end of the thirty-day trial, the smokers who had received turmeric had a significant drop in the level of cancer-causing compounds as measured in their urine. Their levels were almost the same as those of the nonsmokers.” – excerpt from page 569 & page 570 of ‘The Condensed Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods,’ written by Michael Murray N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno N.D. with Lara Pizzorno M.A., L.M.T.