The turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), original species of the Asian Southeast, is considered a precious spice. With the prohibition of the use of synthetic pigments in the main countries of North America and Europe, it has natural alternatives have been sought. The turmeric, besides its main use as condiment, has anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and dye (curcumin) substances that can be used in the cosmetic, textile, medicinal and food areas. Until the present moment, few studies were accomplished with the turmeric in Brazil, fact this that determines low yield. However, recent research results show the possibility of obtaining of yields similar to the one of its origin country, although larger studies are necessary for stand definition, fertilizer and other cultural practices. The objectives of the present work are, to present the versatility of market of the turmeric, to characterize the species as the characteristics botanies, nutricionais and chemistries, as well as to gather and to discuss technical information for improvement of the yield and quality of the rhizomes.
turmeric; natural dye; Curcuma longa