Turmeric is one of the basic curry spices and adds a sweet and warm undertone to any product, as well as a beautiful bright yellow colour. Curcumin, the compound responsible for this colour, is antibacterial and an antioxidant, as well as a soothing ally to the skin.
Ground turmeric (or turmeric powder) is made from the dried, milled, underground rhizomes of Curcuma longa, which belongs to the ginger plant family.
This ancient South Asian spice was used as a cheaper substitute for saffron in Persia, where holy garments were coloured with it. The use of turmeric in food and religious rites is thought to have started 4000 years ago in India. In Hinduism and Buddhism, it is traditionally seen as a symbol of fertility, purity and prosperity. Today, brides still apply a paste containing turmeric as a face mask to achieve a subtle glow.