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Turmeric

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  • Botanical: Curcuma longa
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
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Turmeric

Botanical

Curcuma longa

Family

Zingiberaceae

Known as

Turmeric, Curcuma longa, Indian saffron, Kurkuma, Gelber Ingwer, Gelbwurz, Gilbwurz

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Parts Used

roots

Aroma

fresh, spicy, woody

Medicinal

acne, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, bowel cleansing, blood cleansing, cancer, cholesterol lowering, cramps stomach, dry skin, eczema, gastrointestinal, liver weakness, immunity, respiratory, rheumatism, stomach cramps, tapeworms

Heart & Circulation

arteriosclerosis, blood cleansing

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, knee pain, muscle pain, rheumatism

Stomach & Intestinal

bladder weakness, cancer, cancer prevention, cholesterol lowering, digestion, gastric inflammation

Skin & Hair

dry skin, eczema

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, antitoxic, anti inflammatory, stimulant

Note

base

Extraction

steam distillation

Description

A perennial plant with roots or tubers oblong, palmate, and deep orange inside; root-leaves about 2 feet long, lanceolate, long, petioled, tapering at each end, smooth, of a uniform green; petioles sheathing spike, erect, central, oblong, green; flowers dull yellow, three or five together surrounded by bracteolae. It is propagated by cuttings from the root, which when dry is in curved cylindrical or oblong tubers 2 or 3 inches in length, and an inch in diameter, pointed or tapering at one end, yellowish externally, with transverse, parallel rings internally deep orange or reddish brown, marked with shining points, dense, solid, short, granular fracture, forming a lemon yellow powder. It has a peculiar fragrant odour and a bitterish, slightly acrid taste, like ginger, exciting warmth in the mouth and colouring the saliva yellow.

Properties & Uses

Dyspepsia, abdominal pain, hemorrhage, diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver and gallbladder complaints, headaches, bronchitis, colds, respiratory infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, amenorrhea, and cancer
Topically

Analgesia, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, inflammation of the oral mucosa, and infected wounds

Cautions

Hypersensitivity, bile duct obstruction, gastric ulcer

Avoid prior to surgery: may cause bleeding

Distribution

India (especially Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu), Southeast Asia

Constituents

An acrid, volatile oil, brown colouring matter, gum, starch, chloride of calcium, woody fibre and a yellowish colouring matter named curcumin; this is obtained by digesting tumeric in boiling alcohol, filtering and evaporating the solution to dryness, the residue being digested in ether, filtered and evaporated.