Turmeric is native to Asia and India. It is used from antiquity as condiments, a dye and
as an aromatic stimulant in several medicines. Turmeric is a very important spice in India, which produces nearly the whole world's crop and uses 80% of it. Turmeric usage dates back nearly 4000 years. and in today's India, turmeric is still added to nearly every dish, be it meat or vegetables.
Turmeric is a very unique and versatile natural plant product combining the properties of (a) a spice or flavourant, (b) a colourant of brilliant yellow dye, (3) a cosmetic and (4) a drug.
Traditionally turmeric is being used in Indian System of medicine. It has several medicinal properties like stomachic, carminative, tonic, blood purifier, vermicide and antiseptic. The active constituent of turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. Because it is a strong antioxidant, it protects against free radical damage. Curcumin has also been shown to have a marked anti-inflammatory effect. It accomplishes this by reducing histamine levels and possibly by increasing production of natural cortisone by the adrenal glands. Curcumin also protects the liver from a number of toxic compounds. It has also been shown to reduce platelets from clumping together, which improves circulation and helps protect against atherosclerosis. There are numerous studies showing cancer-preventing effect of curcumin; which may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity in the body. Anticancer properties of turmeric are recently reported.