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Common Name: Tumeric

Genus Species: Curcuma longa

Family: Zingiberaceae

Origin: Southern Asia

Cultivation: India (especially the south central states), southern and eastern China, Taiwan, Philippines, Java, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru

Description: The root of Curcuma longa is ground up to provide the yellow dye and flavor known as haldi in India and turmeric in the West. It is cultivated in several countries in south-eastern Asia, and is widely used as an appetite stimulant and digestive in various sauces, and as a rice colorant and a standard curry constituent, or as an inexpensive substitute for saffron. The spice has become more popular recently as a source of the yellow turmerone, curcumin: this is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticholesterolemic properties. Herbalists advise that it be used to prevent heart disease and cancer, and to treat HIV infection and arthritis. In Chinese medicine, it is used to control hemorrhage, and to treat various diseases such as asthma and coryza. Curcumin is often added to food products as a colorant and to prevent their spoilage by oxidation.

Information courteousy of UCLA Biomedical Library

Recipes that Use Turmeric: