Turmeric is the main spice in curry, known for its distinctive orange/umber colour. It is derived from the root stalk of a tropical plant that is part of the ginger family. Used as both a spice and a medicinal herb, turmeric is renowned for its health properties, with thousands of studies citing its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential.
In Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been employed to treat conditions as wide-ranging as heartburn, stomach bloating, allergic inflammations, diarrhoea and depression. This is why you’ll find turmeric supplements in health shops throughout the world; it can also be found in Chinese and Indian supermarkets.
Most of the credit goes to curcumin, one of three curcuminoids in turmeric along with bisdemethoxycurcumin and demethoxycurcumin. Curcumin is fat soluble, and though its effects are similar to other powerful polyphenols it’s rather poorly absorbed by the body.