What is Curcuma Longa?Curcuma Longa (also known as Turmeric, Curcuma domestica, Curcuma Longa L., Zingiberaceae, Indian saffron) is a polyphenolic compound (4).
Curcuma Longa is a herbaceous and perennial plant with yellow weeds, large leafs and rhizomes. It grows in tropical regions of Asia, particularly in Pakistan, India, China and Bangladesh. The main rhizomes of the plant under the soil have the shape of an egg or pear. Its side rhizomes are in the shape of a finger. Surface of the rhizomes are yellowish, while inner face is yellow. It has a somewhat bitter taste.
Curcuma Longa is a plant of the ginger family, and its most important active ingredient is curcumin. The other two curcuminoids, that Curcuma Longa contains, are desmetilcurcumin and bis-desmetilcurcumin. Curcuma Longa is comprised of polyphenols and has a yellow color. Two tautomeric forms of curcumin are ketone and enol. Solid phase and solution balance the shape of enol. Curcimin can be used to quantize boron. It reacts with boric asid, and rosocyanine – a red colored material – is formed as a result of this reaction.
Curcumin is also used as food colorant. Its food additive number is E100.
The plant is available in the market in the form of fingers (rhizome) and in powdered form. It contains tens of ingredients, but its active ingredient is curcumin. About 1:30- 1:100 of powdered curcuma Longa is curcumin. 1 top-full dessertspoon curcuma Longa equals to 3 grams; it contains 30-90 mg curcumin on average.
It is indicated that curcuma Longa in the amount of 200 mg/a day (approximately 2-4 dessertspoonful) is anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic. There are no known side effects.
Curcuma Longa is also used as colorant when dyeing silks and thin leathers and when applying henna.
Curcuma Longa Turmeric
The rhizomes of the plant contains 5% colorant. This colorant, which is called curcuminoid and is a blend of diaril heptanes derivatives, mostly includes a compound that is called curcumin and has a structure like diphenylmethane.
Volatile oil in the rhizomes of the plant mostly contains sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpene ketones and monoterpenes. 25% of volatile oil is comprised of a compound called zingiberene having a structure of sesquiterpene.
The plant takes 45 – 55 % starch.