Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric of commerce is the dried rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa. Turmeric is an erect perennial herb, grown as an annual crop. The above ground morphology of the plant is mainly represented by an erect pseudo stem bearing leaves and inflorescence. There may be 2–3 pseudo stems (tillers) per plant.
English : Turmeric
French : curcuma, saffron des Indes,
German : Gelbwurz
Italian : curcuma
Spanish : curcuma,
Arabic : kharkoum
Sinhalese : kaha
Turmeric dried pieces, Turmeric Powder
It takes about 10 months to remain in the field and starts showing withering signs from the 8th month which indicates that the crop is ready for digging. Harvested turmeric is usually sun-dried for longer storage.
Dried turmeric is prepared from mature rhizomes. Harvested turmeric is washed well to remove the adhering soil; roots removed, the fingers and mothers are separated. Mother and finger rhizomes are boiled separately for about few minutes and sun dried on clean drying floor to bring down the moisture content to 10%.
Uses & Functional properties
Turmeric is used in curry powder and used in mustard paste and curry powder as both colour and aroma are important in these products in addition to that its use in medicine, religious functions and as biopesticide.
Turmeric is a mild digestive, being aromatic, a stimulant and a carminative. Turmeric water is an Asian cosmetic applied to impart a golden glow to the complexion. Turmeric is used extensively in the East and Middle East as a condiment and culinary dye. Indians, in addition to its Ayurvedic properties, use turmeric in a wide variety of skin creams that are also exported to neighboring countries.