Turmeric is a very common spice in Indian households and is packed with a lot of health benefits. No wonder, everyone around the world is finding more and more ways to add it to their diets.
The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance.
In Southeast Asia, turmeric is used not only as a principal spice but also as a component in religious ceremonies. Because of its brilliant yellow color, turmeric is also known as “Indian saffron.”
What’s interesting about turmeric is that it’s not only delicious to taste but also there are literally thousands of ways to use, and consume it.
Here are 4 facts about Turmeric we’re sure you’ve never heard of before:
1. India produces nearly all of the world’s turmeric crop and consumes 80% of it. With its inherent qualities and high content of the important bioactive compound curcumin, Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the world.
2. Erode, a city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu is the world’s largest producer of and the most important trading center for turmeric.
3. In 1280, Marco Polo described this spice, marveling at a vegetable that exhibited qualities so similar to that of saffron.
4. According to Sanskrit medical treatises and Ayurvedic and Unani systems, turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia.
5. Today, turmeric is widely cultivated in the tropics and goes by different names in different cultures and countries. In North India, turmeric is commonly called “Haldi,” a word derived from the Sanskrit word Haridra, and in the south, it is called “Manjal,” a word that is frequently used in ancient Tamil literature.
The name turmeric derives from the Latin word terra merita (meritorious earth), referring to the color of ground turmeric, which resembles a mineral pigment.
6. There are as many as 133 species of Curcuma that have been identified worldwide. Turmeric is a product of Curcuma longa, a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, which is native to tropical South Asia.
Which fact about Turmeric did you find the most fascinating?
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