Description: Turmeric grows wild in the forests of South and Southeast Asia. It is one of the key ingredients in many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. India and Pakistan are significant producers of turmeric. It is a root of the ginger family. Indian traditional medicine, called Ayurveda, has recommended turmeric be added in food for its potential medicinal value.
Commonly used in: Turmeric is used as a spicy stimulant as well as for colouring and taste. It is mostly used in savory dishes and also in some sweet dishes. Where turmeric is grown locally the leaves are used to wrap and cook food. Although typically used in its dried, powdered form, turmeric is also used fresh, like ginger.
Health benefit: It is commonly used in India as a home remedy. Turmeric milk is warm milk mixed with some turmeric powder given when someone is suffering from fever. A fresh juice is commonly used in many skin conditions, including eczema, chicken pox, shingles, allergies, scabies as well as to heal sores. In China, it is used for treatment of various infections and as an antiseptic. In the Ayurvedic system it was used as a medicine for a range of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders.