Aromatic plants

Turmeric plant

Let’s learn about the turmeric plant

The turmeric plant is a botanical species included in the ‘zingiberaceae’ family and in the ‘turmeric’ genus. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that comes from Southeast Asia and mainly from the tropical regions of India, Malaysia and Thailand. In some variants, it can also be found in Africa but the first world producer of turmeric is currently India. It is no coincidence that the spice deriving from the plant is also known as the ‘saffron of the Indies’, precisely because it is very reminiscent of saffron. In nature we can find more than forty different types but ‘curcuma longa’ is the most cultivated variety in the world and is simply called by the name turmeric. Another widespread type of this plant is the ‘alismatifolia’, also native to the

Structure of the turmeric plant

The turmeric plant is a herb that can be grown for decorative purposes but can also be planted to obtain the precious spice. In any case it is good to know how to recognize this plant and learn all its secrets. In fact, it appears as a medium-sized shrub that can reach a meter in height. The main part of the plant consists of a large central oval-shaped yellow or orange rhizome. From this fleshy rhizome a series of other long rhizomes branch off from which the spice will be obtained once dried. All around the main rhizome grow large leaves even more than 30 cm which are lanceolate, shiny and of a light green. In summer, large pink, white or yellow spike-shaped flowers will blossom. In late summer, the leaves will wither and the rhizome will shrink.

Grow the turmeric plant

Growing the turmeric plant is quite simple and does not require much energy and money. In general, turmeric can be grown safely in the apartment but it can also be used as an outdoor plant by burying the rhizome in spring and returning it to pots in autumn. In any case, turmeric is a variety of tropical origin and therefore prefers temperatures above 15 ° even in winter. It will be better to place the plant in a bright location but not exposed to direct sunlight. In the cold months, turmeric should be sheltered from the cold and kept in a dry place. As for the soil, however, this must be neutral, rich in nutrients and well drained.

Turmeric plant: Uses and properties of turmeric

The spice of the same name is obtained from the turmeric plant, which today is one of the most used in Indian cuisine. From the grinding of the dried rhizomes we obtain the classic powder whose active ingredient is ‘curcumin’ which gives a spicy and slightly bitter taste. In addition to Indian cuisine, turmeric is also used in many Asian recipes such as Thai or Nepalese. This spice is also used as a food coloring for drinks, ice cream, yogurt, cereals, sauces and much more and is officially recognized by the European Union. It is then used as a dye for fabrics but it is not among the most resistant because it discolors in the sun. Rich in potassium and vitamin C, turmeric is recognized as having beneficial properties as it seems to promote digestion and blood circulation.

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