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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a small plant that grows to a height of 2-5 ft and has a deciduous nature. Native to Asia, it has been used for centuries as a medicinal as well as a culinary herb. It has pink flowers and is known as an ethnomedical plant as it has been used in traditional folk medicine as a cure for several ailments. Curcuma longa is also used as a spice or herb, and is a common ingredient in curry powder.
This plant requires full sun for optimal growth, however it can also thrive in semi-shade. It needs regular watering. In can be grown in USDA Zones 8-11. In cold regions, it can be grown in a pot.
The health benefits of turmeric have been attributed to its active component, curcumin, found in the root. This ingredient has anti-inflammatory and disinfecting properties, and has been used traditionally to treat cuts and abrasions, as well as certain internal diseases. Curcumin is believed to be particularly beneficial when taken with black pepper, as piperine in black pepper boosts the effectiveness of curcumin.
Apart from its medicinal uses, turmeric is also used in food and textile dyeing, as an additive to foods like butter, mustard and cheese, as a natural ant deterrent, and as a seasoning in Asian dishes. It is found in its powdered form and is often mis-spelt as Tumeric.
Curcuma sp. or Turmeric is an ornamental plant native to Southeast Asia, Thailand. It can grow to a height of 2-5 feet and prefers to be placed in bright locations such as a semi-shady position. The plant produces beautiful flowers that come in shades of pink, blue, lavender, purple, red, crimson, vinous, yellow, and orange. It is also an ethnomedical plant, a spice or herb. Studies have shown that turmeric may be useful in the prevention and treatment of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease.
This plant produces an excellent cut flower last up to about 14 days.
When it comes to growing Curcuma sp., it is important to keep the soil moist and water the plant regularly. It can thrive in USDA zones 8-11. For those living in areas with colder temperatures, it is best to grow Curcuma sp. in pots and bring them indoors during the cold season. To increase the speed of growth, you can also fertilize the plant in the spring and summer with a 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month.
Overall, Curcuma sp. is an easy to care for plant and its beauty makes it a great addition to any garden. With a little bit of effort and care, you can have a healthy and blossoming Siam Tulip in your home or garden.
The rhizome is the portion of the plant used medicinally; it is usually boiled, cleaned, and dried, yielding a yellow powder. Dried Curcuma longa is the source of the spice turmeric, the ingredient that gives curry powder its characteristic yellow color. Turmeric is used extensively in foods for both its flavor and color. Turmeric has a long tradition of use in the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine.
Lemon grass, also known as Cymbopogon citratus, is a small plant native to India. It grows to be 2-5 ft tall and requires full sun and regular watering. It is hardy in USDA zones 9-11 and can be grown in containers. The leaves are bluish-green, 0.5-1 inch wide, and approximately 3 ft long, with gracefully drooping tips. They release strong citrus aroma when crushed and the plant rarely produces flowers. Lemon grass is valued for its flavor and health benefits, including its rich nutrient content, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and ability to produce fruit that can be eaten or juiced.
In gardens, lemon grass can be used as an ornamental plant, releasing a pleasant citrus aroma when brushed against to repel mosquitoes and other pests. It is also an excellent tonic for dogs. Lemon grass is widely used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, giving Tom Yum soup its famous taste, and has become popular in the United States, with most commercial crops grown in California and Florida.
In addition to its culinary uses, lemon grass is also used medicinally. The leaves are steam distilled to extract lemongrass oil, which is commonly used in perfumery and flavorings.
It is a perennial plant that may go dormant in the winter, depending on the climate. Also, it can be enjoyed as an annual in frosty areas or potted and brought inside during the winter. Lemon grass is a versatile plant that can be used in the kitchen to flavor teas, soups, and other dishes, as well as in the garden as an ornamental plant and natural pest repellent.
It is grown commercially in Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Indonesia and Java. Its graceful arching leaves and overall vertical form provide subtle opposition when planted near bushy or rounded shrubs and flowers. Citronella is clump-forming tropical grass, the clump increases in size as the plant matures. Plant it along a walkway or near the porch where its fragrance can be appreciated. The plant is the source of the commercial citronella oil, used in perfumery and as an insect repellent. Inexpensive soaps sold in Asian markets are scented with citronella oil. Citronella oil can be mixed with other vegetable oils and used in massage or rubbed on the skin for an insect repellent. The essential oils extracted from citronella grass are much used in aroma therapy as a stimulant when inhaled or rubbed on the skin, and an antiseptic that can be used to sterilize food preparation surfaces. It is reported that citronella oil repels cats. Inhaling the essential oils of citronella may increase heart rate in some people. Rhizome is used medicinally as a treatment for leukorrhea.
Citronella is clump-forming tropical grass, the clump increases in size as the plant matures. Plant it along a walkway or near the porch where its fragrance can be appreciated. The plant is the source of the commercial citronella oil, used in perfumery and as an insect repellent.
Similar to Cymbopogon nardus.