Turmeric plant: The most important questions and answers

Kurkuma Pflanze: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

You may already know turmeric from cooking, but did you know that it also has health-promoting properties? The curcumin found in the root of the turmeric plant contains digestive, anti-inflammatory and potential anti-cancer effects.

To what extent can turmeric help you with health problems and how harmful are the leaves of the plant to your pets? We hope that this article will answer all your important questions about "turmeric plant" and we hope you enjoy reading it!

the essentials in brief

  • Turmeric is also known as yellow ginger, saffron root(el), turmeric(el) and belongs to the ginger family.
  • The dye curcumin contained in the plant is said to have digestive, anti-inflammatory and potential anti-cancer effects.
  • Turmeric is commercially available either as fresh root or as powder, capsule and extract.

Turmeric Plant: What You Should Know

In order to provide you with comprehensive information about all the facts worth knowing about the turmeric plant and to bring you closer to the current state of science, we have summarized all the important questions about the topic "turmeric plant" in the following sections and have tried to answer them as precisely as possible .

What is a turmeric plant and what healing properties does it have?

Turmeric is also known by the names yellow ginger, saffron root(el), turmeric(el) and belongs to the ginger family. Its Latin name is Curcuma longa, which is why it is also spelled "Curcuma". Turmeric originally comes from South Asia and is mainly grown in the tropics.

Its rootstock, which is also known as the rhizome, is not only a spice that can transform your food into an intense yellow hue, but also has health-promoting effects.

gas and bloating

The most well-known health-promoting effect of turmeric root is that it has a digestive effect. (2) Rootstock contains certain ingredients that stimulate the liver to produce more bile acid. (10) This binds fats from food and makes them digestible. Complaints such as flatulence and a feeling of fullness can thus be alleviated.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Various studies have shown that the plant component curcumin can be anti-inflammatory to a certain extent. A study examining the effect of curcumin on the chronic inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis showed that this plant active ingredient had a positive effect on the disease. (9) Curcumin was taken in the study as a supplement to standard therapy. (3.5)

Potential anti-cancer effects

There are still some contradictions in research regarding this effect, which is why the anti-cancer effect of turmeric has not yet been fully proven. Since the current findings have mostly been tested in the laboratory and there are still no clinical studies, the need for research is far from being covered. (2,3,4)

When and for whom is it useful to take turmeric?

The turmeric root contains up to 5 percent essential oils and 3 percent curcumin, which is responsible for the intense yellow color when the root is processed. Below we have listed the most important ingredients of turmeric:

  • curcumin
  • demethoxycurcumin
  • bisdemethoxycurcumin
  • proteins
  • Sugar
  • resins

Especially in the winter months, it is important to have a healthy and well-functioning immune system. The plant pigment curcumin contained in the root is said to have antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant effects in addition to the aforementioned effects. (6,7,8"> In addition, the turmeric root contains about 25 milligrams of vitamin C, as well as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and sulfur. For this reason, the intake of turmeric is particularly useful in the typical cold season.

Which parts of the plant are processed by the turmeric plant?

The healing effects of the turmeric plant can be found in the so-called rootstock. In addition, only the root of the plant is processed as a spice for the kitchen. The leaves and flowers of the plant are not poisonous, but it should be said that they have neither a health-promoting effect nor should they be extremely tasty.

For medical processing, the turmeric root is first dried and then ground. Turmeric is commercially available as a powder, capsules or extract. In the kitchen, turmeric is often used as a spice for delicious curries or for the production of golden milk. The dried root has a mild, spicy taste.

How Much Turmeric Should I Consume Per Day?

The dosage of turmeric depends on whether you decide to buy turmeric in powder form, as an extract or as a capsule. In the following, we have selected the appropriate dosage recommendation for each dosage form (these are general recommendations, always follow the recommendations on the package insert for your product with regard to dosage):

  • Powder: According to the monograph of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the daily recommended dose of turmeric powder is up to 3 grams. (1)
  • Extract: With turmeric extract, it is sufficient if you take half a teaspoon to a full teaspoon of the extract every day. The extract is 40 times more concentrated than powdered turmeric.
  • Capsules: The recommended daily dose is one capsule per day. However, since curcumin is not water-soluble, it is recommended to take the capsule with a fatty meal in order to be able to absorb the corresponding nutrients.
Turmeric tubers

The dye curcumin contained in the plant is said to have digestive, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects (Image source: FOODISM360 / Unsplash).

What are the side effects of turmeric?

Turmeric is not well tolerated by some people, especially in higher doses. They show symptoms such as stomach pain, a dry mouth, flatulence or allergic skin reactions. It also warns that people with liver or gallbladder disease should avoid taking turmeric.

Can I grow or cultivate a turmeric plant myself?

Since the turmeric plant is mainly grown in the tropics and is therefore used to tropical climates, you should only grow the plant from spring to autumn. The plant prefers a bright and semi-shady location with a little sunlight.

In order to grow and propagate a turmeric plant correctly, we have selected a small guide with all the important tips for you:

  1. Drying: Make sure that the turmeric root is well dried before planting.
  2. Planting: The most suitable soil is high-quality herb and seed soil. For planting, a hole about five centimeters deep is dug into which the rootstock is then placed.
  3. Watering : Then you cover the hole with soil and water it lightly.

How can I properly care for a turmeric plant?

In order to properly care for your home-grown turmeric plant, we have summarized some tips for you below:

Care Tip
casting amount The plant should be watered regularly, but you should definitely avoid waterlogging. When the plant is in bloom, water it lightly and only spray the outer leaves with water.
wintering Since the plant is not hardy, you should dig up the roots in the fall and let them overwinter indoors at room temperature. Either you store the tubers in a dark and dry place or you dry them and use them in the kitchen as a tasty spice.
fertilization From spring to autumn, the plant should be fertilized every four weeks with a liquid fertilizer so that it can develop optimally.

Is Turmeric Harmful to Pets?

In addition to the edible roots, the turmeric plant has colorful flowers and leaves, as described in the previous section. These are not poisonous to humans or animals. In theory, the consumption of the flowers and leaves of the plant is therefore possible without further ado.

If your cat or dog ever nibbles on your turmeric plant, don't worry, the turmeric plant is non-toxic!

turmeric plant

The turmeric plant not only has health-promoting effects and can also be used as a spice, but also looks good on the outside (Image source: Mouse23 / Pixabay).


As you now know, turmeric is not only a spice that can give your curry an intense yellow color, but also has health-promoting effects. Especially in winter, turmeric is a popular cold remedy due to its numerous vitamins and nutrients.

Since the entire plant is theoretically edible in addition to the root, you don't have to worry about your pets if they swallow a leaf or a piece of a flower. To bring the superfood home, turmeric is not only available as a fresh root, powder, capsule or extract, but you can also easily cultivate your turmeric plant in your own garden.


  1. WHO, 2000. Evaluation of Certain Food Additives: 51st Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, WHO Technical Report Series 891. Geneva.
  2. Adiwidjaja J, McLachlan AJ, Boddy AV. Curcumin as a clinically-promising anti-cancer agent: pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. Expert Opinion Drug Metab Toxicol. 2017;13(9):953-972. doi:10.1080/17425255.2017.1360279
  3. Deguchi A. Curcumin targets in inflammation and cancer. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2015;15(2):88-96. doi:10.2174/1871530315666150316120458
  4. Willenbacher E, Khan SZ, Mujica SCA, et al. Curcumin: New Insights into an Ancient Ingredient against Cancer [published correction appears in Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Aug 10;21(16):]. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(8):1808. Published 2019 Apr 12. doi:10.3390/ijms20081808
  5. Samadian F, Dalili N, Poor-Reza Gholi F, et al. Evaluation of curcumin's effect on inflammation in hemodialysis patients. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2017;22:19-23. doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.09.006
  6. Moghadamtousi SZ, Kadir HA, Hassandarvish P, Tajik H, Abubakar S, Zandi K. A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:186864. doi:10.1155/2014/186864
  7. Izui S, Sekine S, Maeda K, et al. Antibacterial Activity of Curcumin Against Periodontopathic Bacteria. J Periodontol. 2016;87(1):83-90. doi:10.1902/jop.2015.150260
  8. Zheng QT, Yang ZH, Yu LY, et al. Synthesis and antioxidant activity of curcumin analogues. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2017;19(5):489-503. doi:10.1080/10286020.2016.1235562
  9. Wang Y, Tang Q, Duan P, Yang L. Curcumin as a therapeutic agent for blocking NF-κB activation in ulcerative colitis. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2018;40(6):476-482. doi:10.1080/08923973.2018.1469145
  10. Rasyid A, Lelo A. The effect of curcumin and placebo on human gall-bladder function: an ultrasound study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999;13(2):245-249. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2036.1999.00464.x
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