The curcuma plant , also known as yuquilla, saffron root and stick, is a plant of Asian origin that belongs to the family of the Zingiberáceas. Its botanical name is Cúrcuma longa L. and it grows in arid areas and with some rainfall to develop its rhizomes, which are destined for culinary employment. For Asian countries, turmeric is a common herb, and in some places it has been transformed into a field weed.
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Botanical description of the curcuma plant
Turmeric is a perennial plant that can measure between 60 cm and 150 cm. It has widened rhizomes or underground stems with various buds and they grow horizontally. From these stems or rhizomes arise roots and herbaceous shoots.
This plant is rich in starch and is usually consumed in the kitchen. When you see them you will surely remember ginger, since it has a similar shape, and its characteristic color is yellow-orange inside. The surface of turmeric can be brownish, grayish or yellowish. The leaves have long petioles and are born from the outer rhizome. These can measure between 20 and 70 cm long by 8-20 cm wide, although some species may have leaves up to 120 cm.
The flowers originate alone at the end of the main stems and in the form of basal spikes up to 20 cm long. These have green bracts with reddish spots attached laterally. The flowers of the curcuma plant are hermaphroditic, zigomorphic and bracteadas, while its white or yellow calyx with three sepals and a crown composed of three petals has a tubular shape.
How is turmeric composed?
- Vitamin C
- Beta carotene
- Caffeic acid, cinnamic acid and caprylic acid
Turmeric cultivation by seeds
Plant turmeric seeds in seedbeds at 21 ° C in autumn in a greenhouse, or in a place where temperatures do not drop more than 15 ° C. You can also divide the root while turmeric is numb in winter. In case you want to grow it through rhizomes, the most common is that you plant them in winter.
The curcuma plant is original of subtropical and tropical climates, with minimum temperatures around 15 ° C and, also, requires moist soils, properly drained and without any type of waterlogging. This plant grows properly in sunny places and with partial shade. Keep in mind that turmeric does not tolerate frost .
Properties of turmeric
This plant has many health benefits and, among them, its ability to reduce stomach acidity stands out. Turmeric can help you if you have consumed many spicy or fried spices, because it acts as a stomach tonic and stimulates the secretions of pancreatic and gastric juice, making digestion improve.
It is also a good remedy to expel intestinal gas and relieve colic, due to its high content of eugenol. This spice is ideal for those who suffer from flatulence, stomach atony and acid dyspepsia. On the other hand, it eliminates bile stones, relieves arthritis, acts as an antidepressant, increases defenses, treats bronchitis, regulates menstrual cycles, eliminates microbes and protects the liver and heart.
It is advised to boil a liter of water with 20g of turmeric powder and then let stand for 12 hours. Filter with a cloth and drink several times a day.