Some of you have probably used Curcuma in your floral arrangements. Did you know that this exotic flowering plant also has medicinal and herbal uses? Also known as the Thai Tulip, Curcuma is native to Thailand and Burma. The have upright colorful bracts, usually pink, purple or white that resembles a lotus flower.
Despite the fact that it is called a ‘tulip,’ Curcuma actually belongs to the zingiberaceae family (ginger). The root of the plant is ground up to produce turmeric spice, which is considered a superfood with beneficial health properties. Turmeric has also been used as an alternative natural pain reliever. The active ingredient, curcumin, helps to treat arthritic pain, lower cholesterol, and relieve headaches. Although there is still not enough evidence, research has proven that curcumin has antioxidant properties that helps combat the production of inflammatory cells that play a major role in cancer development.
Curcuma is a very reliable and resilient plant for the garden or as a cut flower. The stems are sturdy and can last over two weeks, which is ideal for floral designs. Curcuma varieties are seasonal, available from April until October.