Turmeric is grown throughout Southern India, where the plant is native to the warm and humid tropical environment. The plant reaches about 3 ft in height, has long green leaves about 2 ft in length and sprouts white to reddish-purple flowers. The prized part of the plant are its aromatic tuberous rhizomes and are yellow to orange in color with light brown, orange skin. Since the plant does well in hot, tropical environments and left to dry, it grows during the late spring and early summer and is harvested between the months of January and April.
After the plant’s leaves turn yellow and start to dry they are ready to be harvested. The tubers are carefully gathered by hand and some are kept to plant for the next season while the others are sent to be cleaned and cured. The curing process is relatively simple and involves boiling the turmeric until soft so the insides are less starchy and then drying in the sun. When the turmeric is dry, it is peeled, ground, extracted 50:1 with ethyl acetate and concentrated. The result is a vibrant orange, 95% curcuminoid extract that is then dried, milled and sifted.
Turmeric extract can be added as a supplement to smoothies and juices for a healthy dose of curcumins. Use for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties. It has also been known to calm and benefit the digestive system.