Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

advanced search »
Common name:


Synonym name:

long rooted curcuma

Hebrew name:


Scientific name:

Curcuma longa


Zingiberaceae - זנגבליים

Arabic name:


perennial plant
2-3 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Grows in the tropics, especially in India
Turmeric is a perennial herb from the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It Grows in tropical areas, mainly in India.  The plant has tall, upright stems, large leaves and impressive inflorescence that look like long spike. The tubers of the plant are used as a spice and also as a herbal medicine.
Turmeric is used in the folk medicine to treat: hepatitis, abdominal pain, digestive disorders, diarrhea and headaches. It is important to note that curcumin is anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat internal inflammations such as colitis.
For treating ulcerative colitis and intestinal disorders.
 Boil a teaspoon of turmeric powder in water (quantity of glass), add honey or sugar, and wait for 5-10 minutes and drink. Some herbalists advise to mix it with a spoonful of oak bark and a teaspoon of oval plantain seeds.
Turmeric powder (or in its Arab name – curcum) is used to flavor butter, cheese, pickles, mustard, meat, sauces and rice. In the food industry, Cane-root extracts are used for soups, meat products and pickles. The Coloring substance in the tubers is called "curcumin", and it is an important component of the spice curry that gives its color and flavor.
Turmeric is already mentioned in ancient Assyrian registry, from 600 BC, as an ingredient to color clothes. In medieval Europe turmeric was called Indian saffron. In Indonesia it is custom to spread turmeric on the bride and groom arms at their marriage ceremony. Women in India believe that turmeric prevents hair growth and they spread it on their body.
Turmeric is very popular in the Israeli kitchens and it is widely accepted in the folk medicine of Israel ethnic groups. The Jews of Yemen use it to treat hepatitis, abdominal pain digestive disorders and headaches. The Jews of India use turmeric powder to make a kind of porridge, for diarrhea. Jews of Morocco eat turmeric with honey as a treatment for Hepatitis. Jews of Persia mix it in Iraq and use it as a cream for feet massage. Jews of Babylon recommends eating foods seasoned with turmeric, for those who suffer from depression.