Turmeric commonly used as a potent spice, it is a member of the ginger family and it is native to tropical South East Asia. At the University of Arizona, researchers led by endocrinologist Janet Funk injected a bacterial substance known to cause joint inflammation (which is what arthritis ultimately is) into the bellies of the rodents. If the researchers gave them turmeric first (also by injection into the abdomen), there was far less joint swelling produced. Further experiments by the group even showed how turmeric turns down inflammation, by blocking production of the protein that turns on the gene that tells tiny blood vessels to grow.