Turmeric has been in use in India for over 5000 years. It reached China in AD 700 and later East Africa and West Africa.
The Arab traders spread the plant in Europe in the thirteenth century. At the end of the thirteenth century, Marco Polo while on his several legendary voyages to India via the silk route, described Turmeric and compared it with saffron as follows:
“There is also vegetable that has all the properties of the true saffron, as well as the color, an yet is not really saffron. It is held in great estimation and being an ingredient in all their dishes, it bears, on that account, a high price.”