Turmeric is a perennial plant from the Ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Turmeric derives its name from the Latin word terra merita, referring to the pigment produced from the plant. A naturally occurring chemical found in turmeric root, curcumin is popular for its many health benefits.
Turmeric originates from India and is also grown throughout the world, especially in tropical areas. About 30 commercially grown varieties are produced in India which are commonly sold as fingers or powders. For optimal growth, the plant requires between 20°C and 30°C and annual rainfall to thrive.
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India. Traditionally it has been used in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes. In India, it is valued for its use in cooking, medicine, and is a part of religious rituals. More recently, it is gaining popularity in European and Western cultures due to the growing trend towards healthier diets.
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