Curcumin is the powerful yellow pigment naturally present in the turmeric root that gives it its yellow colour and is responsible for many of its amazing benefits. However, curcumin is only one of around 200 natural bioactive compounds found in turmeric; its essential oils are also vital for its deep earthy and nourishing aroma too.
Interestingly, another name for turmeric, curcuma, is believed to have come from ‘kurkum’, which is the Persian-Arabic word for saffron. In medieval Europe turmeric was known as Indian Saffron, as it was often used as a more affordable substitute. Buddhist monks used to dye their robes a bright yellow using an infusion made from this plant’s roots.