Turmeric is a spice gotten from a Turmeric rhizomatous herbaceous plant and is of the Curcuma species (ginger family), and is botanically called, Curcuma Longa, it’s native to South-Eastern Asia, although cultivated extensively in other countries and regions like Indian and Indonesia and is regarded the world over as the ‘Spice of Life’.
The majority of organic Turmeric found on the American market today is been produced in Kerala, a region in the South-western Indian.
Turmeric is a major spice ingredient in most Asian dishes and is widely used in almost all Indian dishes curry, turmeric been the main ingredient. It has a taste that is warm and bitter and is widely used by some people to flavor foods.
Turmeric is believed to have a chemical compound called Curcumin and is widely regarded as having lots of medicinal benefits.
Other Species Of The Curcuma related to Turmeric(Curcuma Longa).
Quickly, it’s important to clear this so as to avoid mix up. there are lots of other species related to turmeric but completely different from it although they all belong to the Curcuma species, about six common species of Curcuma is listed here.
- Curcuma amada(mango ginger).
- Curcuma aromatic(wild turmeric), also called Cochin turmeric, used mostly in China for cosmetics and perfumes.
- Curcuma Angustifolia – narrow-leaved.
- Curcuma zedoaria.
- Curcuma caesia.
- Curcuma Longa(Turmeric)
Turmeric is used widely and mostly when it has been turned into powdered form and that’s the form most people are familiar with, talking of turmeric they can only imagine it in powdered form, to do that, the rhizomes from the turmeric tree are cut, boiled and dried, and then pounded or grounded and then you have the powdered turmeric and ready for the various uses.
Varieties Of Turmeric.
It is reported that there are probably about 70 varieties of turmeric around the world, the most popular been the ones cultivated in Indian regions of Kerala know as Alleppey Finger, and Madras turmeric and they are the varieties most purchased by the Europeans and Americans.
Some of the varieties are mostly known by where they are cultivated.
- Alleppey Finger-Cultivated in Kerala, India.
- Eroda and Salem.
- Local Haldi.
- China scented.
- Red streaked.
The majority of turmeric found in the American and European markets are those from India, chief among them been Alleppey Finger Turmeric, Rajapuri, Madras, and Erode, and they are exported mostly processed either in dried, Fresh or powdered forms.
Uses Of Turmeric.
Turmeric is regarded by many as a golden spice of life because of the many benefits it holds, and it means a lot to different people and so its uses differ from region to regions and from person to person.
To some people, turmeric serves as a nice flavor or color in curry powders, butter as well as cheese. The yellowed-colored substance in turmeric called Curcumin is used by many to color cosmetics and even food.
Also, a lot of medicinal/health benefits are attributed to turmeric and so, some people use it for cosmetics purposes.
Turmeric rhizomes can be washed thoroughly and cut into smaller piece and dried and then stored for use on a later day, and fresh turmeric can be frozen and kept, it could be stored up to 2 months, according to Halfpint, who uses turmeric to prepare local dishes.
Look around in your local grocery store for some fresh turmeric or you could look around for some Asian stores and you might just get the freshest of turmeric you can think of.
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