Turmeric (Curcuma longa, also called tumeric or kunyit in some Asian countries) is a spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine. Its active ingredient is curcumin. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. Turmeric is also used to give a yellow color to some prepared mustards, canned chicken broth, and other foods (often as a much cheaper replacement for saffron). It makes a poor fabric dye as it is not very lightfast (the degree to which a dye resists fading due to light exposure). Turmeric, a representative of plant genus Curcuma, is a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is thought to have many healthful properties and many in India use it as a readily available antiseptic for cuts and burns. 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. It is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer's disease, cancer and liver disorders. Sangli, a town in the southern part of the Indian state of Maharashtra, is the largest and most important trading centre for turmeric in Asia or perhaps in the entire world.
urmeric is a main ingredient of curry powder. The rhizomes are cooked, dried and then ground to produce the strongly coloured, aromatic powder
As well as being a culinary spice, turmeric is a well known dye plant in South Asia. Its colour varies depending on how it is processed. If mixed with alkaline fluids it turns bright red, but when mixed with acid it produces yellow.
Turmeric is only known as a domesticated plant and not found in the wild. It originated from South and Southeast Asia, and may have been first used as a dye before it became a popular spice.
Turmeric has traditionally been used to counteract many conditions including the ageing process in Ayurvedic medicine.