Turmeric is one of the oldest spices in the world, having been used since ancient times, especially in Asian civilizations. The Vedic culture in India utilized turmeric to a great extent, where it was employed not just for culinary purposes, but also had religious and medical significance too. It is used both as a condiment and as a dye, thanks to its bright yellow colour. Turmeric as a spice is derived from the underground stem of the plant known as Curcuma longa. Mostly, it can be found in ground form.
Today, the plant is extensively cultivated in countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Java, West Indies, Peru as well as Australia. Turmeric is widely used in
Middle Eastern as well as Indian cuisine, where it is used both as a food colourant and a flavouring agent. It is a key ingredient in dishes such as dal, curries, as well as to make blended curry powders a sit provides a distinct, yellow colour. In Morocco, it is used to spice vegetables and meat, particularly lamb.
Additionally, turmeric has medicinal properties, which is why it used in the production of various ointments, oils and poultice which are meant for relieving stomach ache and flatulence. It also has blood-purifying and anti-septic properties.