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Cultivated throughout India and other parts of Asia, turmeric is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. Today, it’s mostly found in spice or supplement form and commonly used to liven up curries, stir-fries, soups, and even smoothies. Here are a few more reasons why turmeric deserves a spot on your spice rack.

Turmeric can help improve your memory.

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry reported that a March 2018 study of people aged 51 to 84 found that those who took a curcumin supplement of 90 milligrams twice daily for 18 months saw an improvement in their memory compared to those who took a placebo. The study was small and more research will be needed to confirm these results, but some scientists believe that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin may protect the brain from memory-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric could prevent heart disease.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in curcumin may help protect against certain heart conditions, including diabetic cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and more, according to a 2017 review in the journal Pharmacological Research.

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