Turmeric. Though a novelty in the West, many in the East are familiar with this yellow tinged herb. Turmeric has been used for centuries as a cooking spice, and is often seen in its powdered form in many an Indian kitchen. Despite it’s ubiquitous use, many are unaware that this golden powder comes from the root of a plant in the ginger family. Turmeric, like ginger, has numerous medicinal properties.