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Indian names: Haridra, Gauri, Kunyit, You Jin, Haldi, Kurkum
English names: Turmeric, Indian saffron
Description: Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The plant reaches up to 1 m tall; highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found.
It is native in southeast India, and needs temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive (tropical climate).
Phytoconstituents: The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The best-studied compound is curcumin, which constitutes 3.14 % (on average) of powdered turmeric. In addition, other important volatile oils include turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberene. Some general constituents are sugars, proteins, and resins. Curcumin 95 %, a potent antioxidant is believed to be the most bioactive and soothing portion of the herb turmeric.

Therapeutic uses in Ayurveda: Turmeric is used extensively in foods for both its flavor and color. Turmeric has a long tradition of use in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The rhizome (root) of turmeric has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain. Turmeric has long been used as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive disorders, osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer and liver problems and for the treatment of skin diseases and wound healing. It is believed to strengthen the overall energy of the body, relieve gas, dispel worms, regulate menstruation, dissolve gallstones, and relieve arthritis. The active components of turmeric alleviate the destructive activity of parasites or roundworms. Curcumin 95 % has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, cholesterol-lowering antibacterial and anti-fungal effects.


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