|Botanical name: Curcuma longa L.
Family name: Zingiberaceae
Commercial part: Rhizome
Turmeric is the rhizome of an herbaceous perennial plant with a short stem and tufted leaf. The rhizome is boiled, dried, cleaned and polished to become the spice.
Though native to India, turmeric is today cultivated in several countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Africa, South Pacific Islands, Malagasy, Caribbean Islands, Pakistan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Korea and China. In India it is commercially grown in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Orissa.
The other Indian states that grow turmeric are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Assam, Bihar, Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Turmeric is widely used for flavouring and as a colouring agent for food items. It is an essential in curry powders. The turmeric oleoresin is used in brine pickling.
The stomachic, carminative and tonic properties give turmeric high medicinal value. It is a good blood purifier and an antiseptic.
Turmeric is used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and as a textile dye.