Turmeric, a shrub related to ginger, is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Africa. Known for its warm, bitter taste and golden color, turmeric is commonly used in fabric dyes and foods such as curry powders, mustards, and cheeses.
In traditional Chinese medicine turmeric has been used to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, and regulate menstruation. Turmeric has also been applied directly to the skin for eczema and wound healing. Today, turmeric is used for conditions such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, and gallstones. It is also used to reduce inflammation, as well as to prevent and treat cancer.