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Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is a major part of Siddha medicine. It was first used as a dye, and then later for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is considered auspicious and holy in India and has been used in various Hindu ceremonies for millennia. It remains popular in India for wedding and religious ceremonies.
In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric has been used as an attempted treatment for a variety of internal disorders, such as indigestion, throat infections, common colds, or liver ailments, as well as topically to cleanse wounds or treat skin sores. The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcuminoids, which include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. The best-studied compound is curcumin, which constitutes 3.14% (on average) of powdered turmeric. However, there are big variations in curcumin content in the different lines of the species Curcuma longa (1–3189 mg/100g). In addition, other important volatile oils include turmerone, atlantone, and zingiberene. Some general constituents are sugars, proteins, and resins.