Turmeric has been used in India for more than 5000 years now. Initially, it was cultivated as a dye as its’ vivid yellow color works brilliantly as a coloring agent. Then its highly developed uses came to know and people started using it for cosmetic and beautification purposes and eventually as a medicine. Later it became popular as a spice. Originating in India turmeric had reached China by 700 A.D, East Africa by 800 A.D and West Africa by 1200 A.D. Then it had begun to become popular all through the world. It is known that the Arab traders had carried turmeric with them to Europe in the 13th century.
Turmeric is available in the market as in a whole dried form or in a powdered form. It is also used as an ingredient in the preparation of curry mixtures. Oils and oleoresins are extracted from turmeric which is mainly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in the food industry.
Turmeric is mainly used as a flavoring and coloring agent in the food industry. It is also used as a coloring in textiles and preparation of specific paints. In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine turmeric is a common ingredient. In India turmeric is largely used as a disinfectant in the day to day life and in religious ceremonies.
Turmeric is grown in wet and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka as a mono-crop and an intercrop under coconut. Major growing districts are Kurunegala, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy Matale and Ampara districts.