A member of the ginger family, turmeric is a perennial plant that is cultivated throughout tropical Asia, India, and China. The dried primary bulb and secondary lateral rhizomes are collected, cleaned, boiled, and dried for use in medicinal and food preparations. The major active principle is curcumin. The spice has a long tradition in Asian medicine to treat problems ranging from flatulence to hemorrhage. Use to treat ringworm, as a poultice, for pain, and in the management of jaundice and hepatitis has been documented.