History Turmeric, derived from the ginger family, has been used in medicine in India and China for more than 2,000 years. Because of its bright yellow color, the spice is associated with fertility and prosperity. Fun Facts Turmeric was first harvested in India about 2,500 years ago. It is a common ingredient in many sunscreens today. Skin Treatments When applied to the skin, the natural spice heals acne, evens out wrinkles, and limits stretch marks. It also relieves chapped lips and gives the skin a healthy glow. How it Works Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow color, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory qualities similar to hydrocortisone and Motrin. Other Medical Benefits Recent studies indicate that turmeric may help in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and certain types of cancers. The spice is also used to treat digestive problems, liver conditions and irritable bowel syndrome. How to Use it Turmeric can be ingested as a supplement or through cooking. Pure turmeric powder can be combined with other ingredients such as coconut oil to form a lotion that hydrates and improves skin tone.