Organic Whole Turmeric
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizome, or rootstalk, of a perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is indigenous to southwest India. Like ginger, turmeric has a thick round rhizome with short blunt fingers. It thrives in a hot moist tropical climate with a considerable amount of annual rainfall and well-drained soil. Plants are harvested about ten months after planting when the stems begin to fade. The rhizomes are carefully dug and then cured and prepared for the market by being boiled, cleaned and dried in hot ovens. Cured turmeric is graded and sorted into fingers, rounds and splits, the best quality being fingers. The turmeric is then steam sterilized and packed for shipping.
Turmeric is commonly used as a spice, for its pungent flavor, and to impart color in south Asian dishes. The coloring matter is known as curcumin and has been used a vegetable dye to give a rich color to silks, cotton and foods. In Asia turmeric is also used medicinally as a carminative and a cure for liver problems. It is used externally to heal skin sores.