Turmeric is obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant which belongs to the ginger family. It has a tough brown skin outside and a bright orange flesh inside. Ground Turmeric comes from the orange flesh of this root. It is first boiled or steamed, then dried, and ground to make a fine powder which can vary from deep yellow-orange to bright yellow colour. Turmeric has been used since 600 BC in food and as a dye. It has also been used medicinally all over Asia to treat various ailments. At present, India is the world's largest producer of Turmeric. Ground turmeric is an essential ingredient in curry powder and is added to many curry preparations in India and in Asia. It is available all throughout the year.
When buying ground turmeric, opt for sealed packaging than buying in loose as it may be adulterated. It should have a rich yellow colour and be free from moisture or mould growth.
Ground turmeric in excess may cause irritation to the digestive system. It tends to make blood thin, hence should be consumed in small amounts by those taking blood-thinning medication. It may stimulate contractions in pregnant women hence should not be consumed in large doses during pregnancy.(2)
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