Turmeric is a rhizome, like ginger, that is native to South Asia and used commonly in curries. It’s famous for its yellow color, which stains almost everything it comes in contact with—even your skin.

Asian cultures have been using the spice for centuries. In India, turmeric has been used in Ayurveda medical practices as a “blood purifier.” Traditionally, it is ingested to treat indigestion, gas, liver and urinary tract diseases. It is also used as a salve for skin diseases and inhaled to alleviate the symptoms of the common cold.

Recently, curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric and other spices, has been the subject of research testing its effect on cancer, cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease among others. A cancer research center in Ireland found that curcumin began to kill cancer cells in 24 hours. Curcumin has also been tested, with some success, as an anti-inflammatory. Most of the research is still preliminary, but it might yield some interesting results.
Check with your healthcare provider!

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