Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is known for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties and in cooking as a coloring and flavoring. This plant is a cousin of ginger and is native to Asia. Both are considered superfoods. It has been used for many years, but over time the knowledge and importance of this plant has been lost. Turmeric Properties. In addition to being used in cooking as a seasoning, turmeric has many medicinal uses.