One of the most common ingredients in the making of Indian cuisine is turmeric. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, and it was first used as a dye.

One of nature's most powerful healers, the active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.

Here are 20 reasons why you should add turmeric to your diet:

1. It acts as a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and is  useful in disinfecting external cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer or stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Tests indicate it has prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to self-destruct.

5. Evidence suggests it reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. It detoxifies the liver naturally.

7. Is believed to help prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory. It has shown to work as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs (but without the side effects).

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries as a treatment for depression.

14. Its anti-inflammatory properties, make it a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel while reducing its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.