Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, that requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Turmeric plants grow to 90 cm high with large, deep green leaves. The blooms are green and white edged with vibrant pink and yellow. Highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found.
The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing.
South Asia (India).
When the leaves and stem start to turn brown and dry, from December to January).
For cocking, turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many Asian dishes, imparting a mustard-like, earthy aroma and pungent, slightly bitter flavor to foods. Most turmeric is used in the form of rhizome powder to impart a golden yellow color in many product. It is a principal ingredient in curry powders. Although typically used in its dried, powdered form, turmeric also is used fresh, like ginger.
Although long used in Ayurvedic and herbal medicine for arthritis and joint pain, to reduce chronic inflammations, to improve skin health, natural blood thinner, for chronic diseases, to enhance brain function and for liver detoxification.