Turmeric, a plant in the ginger family, is both a potent spice and a nutritional supplement. The power of turmeric comes from potent compounds called curcuminoids. These are powerful antioxidants to protect the body from cell- and DNA-damaging free radicals. Turmeric has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine (4500 years!) and is studied for its activity in supporting multiple parts of the body - joint, heart, brain, immune/inflammation. Some cultures of South India wear turmeric as an amulet to ward off evil spirits. The success of this has not been validated by scientific study.