Long Turmeric, Domestic Turmeric, Cultured Turmeric, or Turmeric, yellow ginger (lat. Cúrcuma lónga) is a perennial herbaceous plant, a species of the Curcuma genus of the Ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
Turmeric rhizome (yellow root) is used as a spice (able to replace ginger), dye and medicinal plant.
The birthplace of turmeric, probably India, is not found anywhere else in the wild.
Turmeric is long – a perennial herb up to 90 cm high with alternating two-row simple oval leaves.
Tuberous, almost rounded rhizome up to 4 cm in diameter, yellowish-gray, with ring scars from leaves, gives the aerial part of the plant from the apical bud. Numerous thin roots extend from the tuberoid rhizome, some of them at the end swell into small nodules, these nodules are not yellow.
The aerial part consists of several oblong on long (up to 1 m) vaginal petioles of basal leaves.
The peduncle (about 30 cm) is densely planted with green, lighter stipules at the top, in the sinuses of which flowers develop in the middle part of the peduncle.
The flowers are tubular with a three-lobed, slightly irregular limb, yellow, a broad yellow lip.
The plant contains starch, a very aromatic essential oil (1.5-5%) and the dye curcumin (0.6%), as well as δ-fellandren, zingibern (2.5%), borneol, sabinen, β-curcumin.
The roots of the plant are used in Indian folk medicine, as an anti-inflammatory, wound healing, analgesic, can also be used for vascular and skin diseases.
The main active ingredient is curcumin polyphenol, one of the representatives of the curcuminoid group.
The taste and smell of turmeric is weakly spicy, pleasant, and in large quantities – sharp, burning. It is part of various national spicy mixtures. Turmeric serves as a good substitute for saffron in the coloring of dishes, but much cheaper.
As a medicinal raw material, rhizome of turmeric (lat. Rhizoma Curcumae) is used. Rhizome powder is used as a spice, improves digestion. The addition of turmeric rhizome powder to food contributes to the production of bile and gastric juice, is a means of increasing appetite.
In folk medicine, turmeric was used for diseases of the liver and gall bladder, kidneys.