Herb Profile: Turmeric Plant | Curcuma Longa

Call the turmeric plant, also known as Curcuma longa, a jack-of-all-trades—it’s one of the most versatile of all herbal healers.

| April/May 2011

Genus: Curcuma longa
• Also known as the golden spice or Indian saffron
• Zones 7 to 10

Many Indian brides anoint their skin with a sacred golden spice known as turmeric (Curcuma longa) the night before their wedding to capture a natural glow. This treasured spice is the herbaceous turmeric plant, well-known for its vibrant color and abundant healing powers.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger root, or Zingiberaceae, family, thrives in hot, moist climates such as China, South Africa and India, and grows 3 to 5 feet high. It’s a perennial plant with orange-red blossoms resembling lilies.

Although its flowers are stunning, its rhizome, or underground stem, is what attracts the most attention. When dried and ground, its rhizome yields a sharp yellow powder known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent properties. It is also used in an array of Indian dishes, curry being the most popular. It is not as pungent as ginger but emits a sweet aromatic note.

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Curcuma longa
12/15/2015 7:00:21 PM

Thanks for the information great article :) i have to start using turmeric more in my food. but my family doesn't like the taste! i wonder if there is a way to hide it

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