In a restaurant along the Chao Praya river, in Bangkok, the waiter comes to our table with a steaming bowl of fiery yellow chicken curry. Mentioned in the Hindu Vedas, turmeric has played a significant role in Indian religious ceremonies and traditional medicine. Called “Indian saffron”, it is cultivated in India, Southeast Asia, China, Jamaica and South America. Sold as a bright orange yellow fresh rhizome, or as a lemon yellow to yellowish orange ground form, it has a musky, earthy aroma and gingery peppery notes. An essential coloring of curry powders, laksas and mustard-based condiments, it is also added to chicken soups, stews, egg salads, spreads and relishes. Today it is being researched to treat high cholesterol, liver disease and digestive ailments.