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April 23, 2017
April 23, 2017


Turmeric Facts

The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition, other important volatile oils include turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberene

  1. Turmeric has at least 6,000 years of documented history of its use in Ayurvedic medicines and socio-religious practices
  2. The exact origin and history of turmeric in India however is still unidentified, but it is understood that it had originated in the precise parts of western and southern India
  3. Originating in India, Turmeric had reached China by 700 A.D., East Africa by 800 A.D. and West Africa by 1200 A.D., and also had begun to become popular all through the world
  4. It is also known that the Arab traders had carried with them turmeric to Europe in the 13th century
  5. Marco Polo, while on his several legendary voyages to India via the Silk Route, was so impressed by turmeric that he had mentioned it as a vegetable that possesses properties of saffron, but actually is not saffron
  6. By the 18th century, as it continued to become increasingly popular, Turmeric spread to Jamaica and other tropical locations. Today, it can also be found in Hawaii and Costa Rica
  7. Before it was commonly used as a spice for food, it was used to as a natural dye for skin and clothing and as medicine. Turmeric is often referred to as “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange colour
  8. Since its historical inception, turmeric has assayed an extremely crucial role in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies

Scientific Name: Curcuma longa

Other Names: Haldi (India), Curcuma, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin, Safran Bourbon, Indian Saffron, Pian Jiang Huang


  1. Turmeric is a product of Curcuma longa, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, which is native to tropical South Asia (including India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan etc.)
  2. The origin of the name is uncertain, possibly deriving from Middle English/early modern English as turmeryte or tarmaret. Speculation exists that it may be of Latin origin, terra merita (merited earth)
  3. India is by far the largest producer and exporter of turmeric

Health benefits:

  1. Turmeric helps to improve digestion, reduce gas and bloating
  2. It is a cholagogue, stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder
  3. The spice can be useful to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice
  4. Research indicates that turmeric restrains the growth of various types of cancer (skin cancer)
  5. Turmeric may helpful in preventing the blockage of arteries, platelet build up along the walls of an injured blood vessel, relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis
  6. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and antibiotic properties

Common uses in Indian cuisine:

  1. In India, turmeric is one of the principle ingredients of curry powder
  2. It is used to add colour and flavour to traditional curries, rice and chicken dishes
  3. Turmeric is a classic addition to chutneys, pickles, and relishes
  4. In India, turmeric plant leaf is used to prepare special sweet dishes, patoleo, by layering rice flour and coconut-jaggery mixture on the leaf, then closing and steaming it in a special copper steamer (in goa)
  5. Turmeric is always added at the beginning of the cooking process and sautéed with other aromatics such as onions, ginger and garlic. This allows the release of curcumin, which is fat soluble
  6. Another popular use for turmeric in cooking is golden milk. Considered an anti-inflammatory medicine, this drink is used to treat everything from colds to arthritis


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