Botanical Name: Curcuma longa
Components: A tropical perennial, turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Like ginger, the spice comes from the underground rhizome of the plant.
Overview: Considered one of the most powerful herbs, turmeric’s benefits trump that of many pharmaceutical medications. Most of turmeric’s healing powers have been attributed to curcumin, a group of antioxidant compounds found in the rhizome. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing characteristics. Studies have shown that curcumin can prevent the growth of cancerous cells, reduce inflammation in the joints, boost serotonin levels in the brain, and lower the risk for heart disease.
Uses: May be used in teas, tinctures, and poultices. The dried powder is most commonly used as a culinary spice. * Consuming turmeric with black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin by up to 2000%.