herbs »Curcuma longa
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Curcuma longa

Latin Name: Curcuma longa
English Name: Turmeric
Sanskrit / Indian Names: Haridra, Nisha, Rajani

Curcuma longa is a perennial herb, with tufted leaves and a short and thick rhizome that constitutes the turmeric of commerce.
It's principal constituent is Curcumin, which is a diferuloyl methane. In Indian systems of medicine, turmeric is used to some extent as a stomachic, tonic and blood purifier. It is also prescribed as an antiperiodic alterative. Externally, it is applied to indolent ulcers. A decoction of the rhizome is said to relieve the pain of purulent ophthalmia.

Oil of turmeric, distilled from the dried rhizomes, has feeble antiseptic properties. It is an antacid, and, in small doses, acts as a carminative, stomachic, appetizer and tonic. In large doses, however, it appears to act as an antispasmodic inhibiting excessive peristaltic movements of the intestines. Turmeric also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.