Turmeric Extract is used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics. Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric is beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation. Turmeric is commonly used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain.