Scientific Name: Curcuma longa

Bahasa Indonesian: Kunyit

Batak: Hunik

Basic Information: Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. The plant is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, that requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive.The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing. Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma. Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) tall. Highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes are found.

Health Benefits:

  1. Eases arthritis symptoms – Turmeric tea’s strong anti-inflammatory properties can help ease inflammation and swelling in people with arthritis. One study found that an active compound in turmeric, called curcumin, was effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
  2. Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease – Turmeric’s antioxidants prevent damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s.
  3. Helps prevent cancer – Turmeric tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, could contribute to cancer prevention. The National Cancer Institute has recognized curcumin as an effective anticarcinogen, or substance that helps prevent cancer.
  4. Boosts the immune system – The medicinal properties in turmeric may be able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders.
  5. Lowers cholesterol – Lowering LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol can help reduce your risk of developing some serious conditions, including heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that turmeric is effective at doing just that.

Fun facts:

  • People in the Middle Ages called turmeric “Indian saffron” because it was often used as a less expensive alternative to saffron.
  • Turmeric paste is a home remedy for sunburn and it is also an ingredient in many commercial sunscreens.
  • Turmeric has a very similar appearance to ginger. If you find yourself in a confusing position some day, simply break open a piece of turmeric or ginger. If the inside has a brilliant orange-yellow hue, it is turmeric. Ginger has a brownish color.