Turmeric is the golden spice of India. It belongs to the ginger family (zingiberaeceae) and is a rhizome, an underground stem. The Turmeric stem turns into orange-yellow shade. India is the leading producer of turmeric and it is the most common culinary spice in Indian cuisine, with a fragrant aroma and slightly bitter taste. Turmeric is an aromatic medicinal plant. Turmeric, is also cultivated in South Asian countries like China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It is reported that turmeric derived its name from the Latin word Terra Meritta which means sacred soil. It goes by several vernacular names such as Manjal in Tamil and Malayalam, Arishina in Kannada, Pasupu in Telugu, Haladi in Sanskrit and Haldi in Hindi and many other North Indian languages.
Curcumin has been shown to have miraculous properties. It has been demonstrated to help inhibit tumor growth and stimulate apoptosis. Turmeric is an important herb in most Ayurvedic scriptures of diabetes as it helps lower blood sugar, increase glucose metabolism and potentate insulin activity. It is an antacid, and in small doses, acts as a carminative, stomachic, appetizer and tonic. Turmeric also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for years to speed up wound healing and the aid in the natural healing process.