Curcuma longa

Syn. Curcuma domestica, Curcuma purpurascens






Spice and medicinal plant



Curcuma, safran des Indes, souchet des Indes, safran de Saint Domingue, tumeric, couruma long, gengibrillo, gengibre amarillo, jengibre amarillo, gengibre cimarrón, safrán, yuquilla, dragón, tumérico, massala, tjitjima, indian saffron, mandja, safran kouli, safran péyi, safran Boubou, safran de Malabar…








Tropical Asia




Curcuma Longa is a small perennial herb native to India bearing many rhizomes on its root system which are the source of its culinary spice known as Turmeric and its medicinal extract called Curcumin.






Culture and care


The soil must be well drained, rich in organic matter and slightly acidic. Pot growing is possible but don’t put it behind a window in the middle of summer.

It grows very well in full sun, but prefers the half shade.

Planting distance: 90 x 30cm or 40 x 30cm

Plant the rhizome at a depth equal to 2 times its diameter, sheltered from the wind.


In the tropical environment, it is better to plant at the beginning of the rainy season.

In temperate environments, it is preferable to plant during the dormant period, in late winter, early spring.


In the open ground, remove them in the winter to allow them to winter dry and in the cold, in pot, reduce as much water as possible. The rhizome has a hardiness of -15°C, but does not support moisture at these temperatures.


In spring, add organic matter on the surface and weed twice during the growing season, the base of the plant must always be covered with soil so that rhizomes are not discovered.


The waterings must be more copious in the middle of summer, in fact this plant feels very well when it is hot and humid.


The harvest is done 8-9 months after planting in temperate medium and 5-6 months in tropical medium, when the leaves begin to wilt.


Fresh yield: 15-20 t/ha

Dry yield: 3-4 t/ha

Relation frais/sec: 5/1


Rhizomes can be attacked by telluric fungi (Pytium graminicolum), leaves by Cercospora zingiberii and stems by Dichocrosis punctiferalis.


Flowering  from May to June.




The propagation is made by rhizomes.


Medicinal use 


Liver ailments, boils, cholesterol  (Source : TRAMIL)


Parts used




Directions for use



Decoction of rhizomes for boils : 30g/L, drink 3-4 mugs per day (Source : TRAMIL). 

For liver ailments, Chop small 20g of rhizome and add them to 1L of boiled water, let stand for 12H, filter and drink in several takes during the next 12H. (Source : TRAMIL)






Ornemental use



Cultivated for decoration, in hedges or in an isolated plant.


Alimentary use



Dried Curcuma longa is the source of the spice turmeric, the ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color (coloring matter)


Other uses



Turmeric is also a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Current research has focused on turmeric's antioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, in addition to its use in cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders.


Curcumin 95% inhibits cancer at initiation, promotion and progression stages of tumor development. 

It is used as coloring matter in pharmacy, confectionery, cosmetic and food industries.





Curcuma derives to « kurkum » in arabic. Longa is for the long rizomes. Its name comes from the alimentary colorant like genuine safran comes from the flower of Crocus sativus.





Curcuma is a sacred spice linked to fertility in India. During the marriage ceremony the bridegroom passes a string impregnated with turmeric around the neck oh is bride.




Powerfull antioxidant