- 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, to the Vedic culture in India, when turmeric was the principal spice and also of religious significance. Turmeric, the source of curcumin is extremely well tolerated, and has been used on a daily basis by many Asian cultures.
- In today's India, turmeric is still added to nearly every dish, be it meat or vegetables. Turmeric is part of all curry powders. Due to Indian influence, turmeric has also made its way to the cuisine of Ethiopia .
- In South East Asia, the fresh spice is much preferred to the dried. In Thailand, the fresh rhizome is grated and added to curry dishes; it is also part of the yellow curry paste.
- In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, turmeric has been prescribed for the treatment of colds, coughs, jaundice and upper respiratory disorders.
- Curcumin is currently being studied as an anti-inflammatory (Mukhopadhyay A, et al. 1982. Agents and Actions 12(4): 508-515), as a possible cancer inhibitor (Mukundan MA, et al. 1993. Carcinogenesis 14(3): 493-496), and as an inhibitor of several kinds of tumor cells (Feb Leners, 1994 Mar.14, 341(1):19-22), and for many other medical uses.
- Curcumin may be helpful as a common cold aid, an anti-viral, a stomach and intestinal soothner, and an anti-inflammatory agent.