For all the information out there about the potential health benefits of turmeric, few people actually know how turmeric is grown or where it comes from. We thought we’d share some interesting facts and insights about how turmeric is grown and how it goes from root to a fabulous, healthy product!

A quick overview of turmeric

Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant (also known by botanical name Curcuma longa) and is a member of the ginger family of herbs. It has a tuberous root and the leaves that extend upward from erect, thick stems rising from the root.  The turmeric root is actually a fleshy oblong tuber 2–3” in length, and close to 1” wide. It is tapered at each end, and its exterior can be yellow, tan, or even olive-green in color. The interior of the root is hard, firm, and either orange-brown or deeply rust-colored. The root is dense. Turmeric root has a fragrant aroma and a somewhat bitter, peppery taste similar to ginger.

Where is turmeric typically grown?

A good amount of today’s turmeric is grown in India, but it can and is grown in other places as well, such as southern Asia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Fiji, Hawaii and Queensland Australia. It grows best in warm, humid climates and thrives in temperatures above 60°F. It matures best in warm weather so harvesting is timed to cultivate during the warmer season. It’s usually harvested 9 to 10 months after it is planted. The lower leaves start turning yellow and the stems dry out, indicating the roots are ready to harvest.

When it’s time to harvest the turmeric rhizomes, harvesters cut off the tops of the plants with shears to make harvesting easier; it allows you to get to the underground rhizomes without having to dodge the large leaves. The rhizomes are then dug out of the ground.

How does turmeric become an extract?

It’s hard to believe that the scraggly root of turmeric becomes the beautiful and smooth turmeric extract that Future Pharm offers. There’s quite a process to get it to that point! It starts with fresh, whole root turmeric, distilled water and grain alcohol. Though some extracts are made from powdered turmeric, fresh turmeric root provide a purer, more potent product. When you use the root fresh, you gain a higher percentage of curcumin in your tincture. Some curcumin is lost to the drying and grinding process. Fresh turmeric has a short shelf life.

Can I grow my own turmeric?

Turmeric is a difficult plant to grow. It’s very susceptible to weather changes, takes a long time to grow, is difficult to harvest and has a short shelf life. This is why most people turn to turmeric supplements to enjoy the many health benefits! If you’re interested in adding turmeric to your daily health routine, please visit to learn about our USDA organic turmeric extract.