Turmeric is a golden spice derived from the rhizome (root) of the Curcuma longa plant. It has a long history of use dating back more than 4,000 years. Turmeric is prized not only as a culinary spice (to give color and taste to food) but also as a component of the traditional health systems of India and China. In recent years, turmeric has become one of the most thoroughly researched plants in history. At last count, its properties and components were the subject of nearly 10,000 peer-reviewed articles in the NIH (National Institutes of Health) PubMed database.