Turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, is native to Southeast Asia and is grown commercially in that region, primarily in India. Its underground stem is used as a culinary spice and traditional medicine.
Historically, turmeric was used in traditional Indian and Eastern Asian medical systems. In India, it was traditionally used for disorders of the skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system.
Today, turmeric is promoted as a dietary supplement for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression, and many others. Because the actions of turmeric and its components in people are complex and not well understood, no clear conclusions have been reached about whether these substances have benefits for health conditions.
Information courtesy of US Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health