Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa
Family Name: Zingiberaceae
Common Name: Turmeric (Besides, it is also known as Haldi or Haridra)
Part used: Rhizome or Underground Tuber
Specific Gravity: 0.916 to 0.936
Optical Rotation: -24 to -27
Refractive Index: 1.502 to 1.513
Blends Well With: All carrier oils and butters, ginger oil, patchouli oil
Uses: Turmeric oil has an antiseptic, anti carcinogenic, diuretic effect. This oil is mixed with honey and pepper and used in medicine rubs to cure common cough.
Countries where it's found
India is said to be the largest producer of Turmeric besides Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The turmeric is major produced in South Asian countries which provide appropriate weather and soil conditions for the Turmeric plant to grow. Small rhizomes are planted in the soil and turmeric is hence grown.
History of the Plant
The main usable part of the Turmeric plant is the root of the plant. The root or the tuber, of the plant when extracted from the soil resembles that of the Ginger plant. However the turmeric is first dried then powdered and then consumed. The turmeric is also known as the 'Indian Saffron'. It has a bright, impressive yellow colour. Turmeric is mainly used in most of the Indian food preparations, whether it is vegetarian or non - vegetarian. The Turmeric has a distinguished spicy, earthy warm-woody fragrance. The major constituents of Turmeric oil are phellandrene 4.39, limonene 2.29, zingiberene 1.21, ar-curcumene 1.43, ar-turmerome 21.81, a-turmerone 25.33, β-turmerone 16.74, 1, 8 cineole 1.64.
The tuber is first extracted from the soil and thoroughly cleaned. Once cleaned, the skin of the Turmeric tuber is peeled off and then the tubers are dried properly. The dried form of the turmeric is consumed in various forms after processing. The dried up tubers are then ground to powdered form to be used in food preparation, it is also used as a natural dye for the colour yellow.the oil content is extracted by steam distilling the turmeric roots.
Commonly know Benefits
Turmeric is used in culinary preparations, Medicinal and other purposes too. Turmeric when used in powdered form can provide a specific taste and a rich yellow colour. In India from North to South Turmeric is used in almost all the food preparations. Curries, rice, chutneys, vegetables, meat dishes; every dish has a hint of turmeric in it. Turmeric is considered holy and is also used in various auspicious occasions by applying it to an Idol's or people's forehead. It also forms an integral part of Indian weddings where a special ceremony is organized, where turmeric is applied to the Bride and Groom. Turmeric is truly a versatile plant. For chemical purpose it is used as an indicator and can identify a base. Turmeric turns red when it comes in contact with a base.
Turmeric is used for its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic (Capable of inducing mutation), anti-carcinogenic (causing cancer), diuretic (Any substance that tends to increase the flow of urine, which causes the body to get rid of excess water), anti-spasmodic (involuntary jerky muscular contraction). Turmeric when mixed with honey and pepper is used to cure common cough. When applied with sandalwood it can be applied to face and body for getting a glowing skin.
Precaution: Turmeric roots has irritating properties and is toxic in nature. It is also know to induce nausea when consumed in pure form. Hence it is always advisable that turmeric to be diluted before consumption.
Some More Intresting Facts
Turmeric is also classified as “Indian Saffron" as it has impressive yellow color and it is regarded as the best in the world. As per the graphical record, India exclusively raises crop of turmeric as well uses 80% of it. Presently, in India turmeric being part of all Indian Curry Powders it is used in all varieties of food weather its vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
Turmeric roots resemble of ginger root except that after stripped it is in shinning yellow color. It is normally available and use in powder form. Instead of saffron, due to its color rather than flavor which is apery and warm Turmeric is used. It is also used for curries and rice, chutneys and other vegetable dishes. It is strictly recommended to keep it in airtight container and at cool dry place.