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A relative of the ginger plant, this spice adds the yellow color to curry powder, and is frequently found in mustards and relishes such as piccalilli. Turmeric is a rhizome that varies in color from dark orange to light brown, but when dried and ground into powder it is always bright yellow. Turmeric is used as a dye, and most recognizable by the yellow robes of Buddhist monks. Turmeric is also used in Ayurvedic medicine as a diuretic, blood purifier, and intestinal stimulant. It is also a quick antiseptic. Chefs use it to stop bleeding when minor cuts and burns occur.
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