Turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant, which reaches a stature of up to 1 meter. There are highly branched, yellow to orange, cylindrical, aromatic rhizomes . The leaves are alternate and arranged in two rows. They are divided into leaf sheath, petiole and leaf blade. From the leaf sheaths, a false stem is formed. The petiole is 50 to 115 cm long. The simple leaf blades are usually of a length of 76 to 115 cm and rarely up to 230 cm. They have a width of 38 to 45 cm and are oblong to elliptic narrowing at the tip. Terminally on the false stem there is a 12 to 20 cm long inflorescence stem containing many flowers. The bracts are light green and ovate with a length of 3 to 5 centimeters to oblong with a blunt upper end. At the top of the inflorescence stem bracts are present on which there are no flowers, these are, white to green and sometimes tinged reddish-purple and its upper end is tapered.
The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The best studied compound is curcumin, which constitutes 3.14% (on average) of powdered turmeric. In addition there are other important volatile oils such as turmerone, atlantone, andzingiberene. Some general constituents are sugars, proteins, and resins.
Reasons why turmeric should be commercialized
Turmeric contains curcumin (curcuminoid) that can potentially benefit our health. Health experts had discovered many benefits of this chemical component, for instance:
1. Promoting immune system
2. Help to maintain healthy digestive system
3. Supporting healthy bones, joints, and overall skeletal system
4. Help to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range
5. Promoting healthy blood and liver functions
6. Promotes radiant skin
7. Supports overall eye health
8. Assists neurological system's healthy response to stress
9. Promotes a healthy female reproductive system
10. Curcumin Provide Antioxidant Nutrients ,which can:
i. Neutralize free radicals
ii. Slow down the signs of normal aging
iii. Supporting memory function
iv. Promoting heart health
v. Supporting immune system
These curcuminoids deliver antioxidants that may be:
i. 3 times more powerful than grape seed or pine bark extract
ii. Strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical -- considered by many to be the most reactive of all oxidants
In Malaysia, turmeric is mostly used in cooking and was not exploited to the fullest. Thus, it is a good idea to commercialized turmeric owing to its long list of medicinal values. The main organs that turmeric treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Turmeric is also used for epilepsy and bleeding disorders, skin diseases, to purify the body-mind, and to help the lungs expel toxin. Turmeric has been known to treat and cure Anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds. It helps to regulate the female reproductive system and purifies the uterus and breast milk, and in men it purifies and builds semen. It reduces fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and lactation problems in general and also fight against allergies.
Turmeric also beneficial for its influence on the liver. It is a natural liver detoxifier. In spring more consumption of herbs and foods can strengthen the liver. Turmeric shares similar liver protectant compounds that milk thistle and artichoke leaves contain. It is said to shrink engorged hepatic ducts, so it can be useful to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice.
For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps, use of turmeric extract twice daily for two weeks prior to expected menstruation works a lot. Turmeric is an antispasmodic to smooth muscles so it reduces digestive and menstrual cramping. It should reduce the severity of pain, if not ease them completely. Certainly, diet and standard of living have a reflective influence on the menstrual cycle, but turmeric is a great addition.
Turmeric can help out your skin tone and color and prevent pigmentation of skin. So before investing in an expensive product try using organic ingredients available at your kitchen. Turmeric, Milk and Gram Flour is very helpful to get a glowing skin. Pregnant women can paste of turmeric and cream or turmeric and yoghurt on stomach and back. This will help the skin to become flexible and soft and there will be no stretch marks on skin after the birth of baby. Turmeric is an inexpensive beauty aid. It is used in the formulation of some sunscreens and it helps prevent pimples and marks. Apart from these, turmeric can be used to cure wrinkles, cracked feet, pigmentation and scars left by acne, to get rid of unwanted hair, etc.
Besides of the health benefits, turmeric should be commercialized because of several other factors, such as
i. Malaysia is a suitable site for turmeric plantation (climate)
ii. Easy to cultivate
iii. Short planting duration (210 days)
Malaysia can be a suitable cultivation site for turmeric plantation. It grows in a temperature between 20 °C and 30 °C, and requires a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive which is compatible with Malaysia’s climate. Furthermore, it took less than a year to harvest. Turmeric shoots appear in about two months from planting. The rhizomes can usually be harvested from seven to ten months after planting, when leaves and stems become dry.
To conclude, Malaysia should commercialized turmeric and spread the awareness of its benefit towards the community. Many developed countries had realized the benefits of this precious plant and manufactured many products such as supplements. In order to grab the opportunity, we should cultivate this plant widely and be one of the biggest exporters of turmeric.
-Cited from various sources-