Famous for its yellowy-orange powder which gives curries the world over their bright colour, turmeric is a plant native to Southeast Asia which is grown across nearly the whole of the Asian continent. Its thick underground root, or rhizome, is dried and ground to produce a powder which has been used in many ways for thousands of years. Turmeric is a sacred spice for Hindus who use it in religious ceremonies and it has a bitter, peppery, slightly hot flavour. Widely used as a fabric and food dye, it also has therapeutic properties. In Indian and Chinese traditional medicine, it is prescribed to treat digestive and inflammatory problems and studies carried out on the plant over the last few decades have revealed it contains powerful antioxidants.
In cosmetics, turmeric extract helps to preserve cell communication to help limit skin ageing.
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