Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a plant belonging to Zingiberaceae family, the same as ginger.
It is mainly cultivated for its use in cooking and traditional folk medicine. Ita rhizome, uniquely yellow-colored, is also used as a natural food coloring agent. Some people also use it to dye fabric, but it doesn’t seem to be long-lasting, in that case.
Turmeric has been used in cooking since about 5000 years ago. In some countries, such as India or Pakistan, it is amongst the most popular ingredient to flavor meat or soups. The best-known recipes with Turmeric are chicken curry, and chicken apple couscous.
Besides the spice, from Turmeric plant an essential oil is also extracted, having benefical effects on liver and lipid metabolism.Turmeric is also used as a remedy for stomach and, for its supposed antimicrobial properties, to heal sores.
Turmeric is usually commercialized in powder. You should store in an airtight container, in a dry and fresh place, to keep the aroma intact. Even better, do not use a transparent container, as light could damage its texture.
Fun fact: Turmeric is also used, in small quantities, for cosmetics. It actually seems to be great against wrinkles and to purify the skin.