Turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and India, it has become a common ingredient in cooking in those regions. It is a relative to ginger, in the rhizome family. It is most known for its color and distinct flavor, but it also has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine.
Turmeric is was often substituted as a cheap alternative to saffron, also it is not related to the spice. The root (rhizome) of the plant is harvested is and boiled and dried. The dried root is then ground into a fine powder. It has a mild peppery and bitter flavor. Its dark yellow color is often used as a dye in many foods.
It is believed to purify blood, aid in the digestion of protein, and helps metabolism, improving both excess and deficiencies. Turmeric benefits include a long list of treatments for fever, infections, stomach discomfort, arthritis, jaundice, dysentery, and liver problems. In China, doctors traditionally used turmeric to treat menstrual discomforts, congestion, and other common ailments. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics allow it to be used for carpel tunnel syndrome and join inflammation from arthritis. Prepared in tea it is often used to soothe cough, asthma, and sore throats.
Turmeric is used in many regions such as India, the Middle East, Morocco, Africa and South Eastern Asia, for cooking. It is most often used in curries, giving it the bright yellow color. Traditionally it is considered a cleansing herb for the entire body, it is believed to increase energy and promote prosperity. It is a natural antibiotic and strengthens digestion.
It has been used as anti-septic for cuts, bruises, and scrapes. It has also been used to improve skin tone and tan by preparing it into a paste and rubbing it on the skin. It is also has been used as an anti-aging agent.