It is taken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which allegedly helps with stomach problems and other ailments. It is popular as a tea in Okinawa, Japan. Pakistanis also use it as an anti-inflammatory agent, and remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders. In Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan, turmeric is applied to a piece of burnt cloth, and placed over a wound to cleanse and stimulate recovery. Indians, in addition to its Ayurvedic properties, use turmeric in a wide variety of skin creams that are also exported to neighboring countries.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.
The rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Erode, a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the world’s largest producer and most important trading center of turmeric in Asia.
Turmeric grows wild in the forests of Southeast Asia. It has become the key ingredient for many Indian, Persian, Thai and Malay dishes, not only in curry, but also in masak lemak, rendang and many more.
Although most usage of Turmeric is in the form of powder from the roots, not merely for color but in case of Indian cuisine more for the medicinal value, in some regions (especially in Maharashtra) leaves of turmeric are used to wrap and cook food especially when on picnic in a field but really at homes as well. This usually takes place around where turmeric grown, since the leaves are used freshly picked. This imparts a distinct flavor but has medicinal value as well.