The Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is an edible root of Curcuma Longa plant that has a leafy foliage of half a meter high. The leaf takes on different hues as the root is ready for extraction from a fresh green colour to a beautify golden yellow. The leaves too have a camphor like aroma and their deep lines running across resemble a miniature of a banana leaf.
The mother root is knotty, bulbous and uneven on the outer skin with baby roots like fine threads hanging from it as one extracts it from the womb of the earth. Cut through a raw root of turmeric and feel the gods creation of this auspicious yellowish orange colour with an aroma that tingles your senses – the “Golden Spice”.
What makes turmeric beneficial for the human body is the natural compound composition of the root. Curcumin being the core compound is known to have healing properties that can prevent diseases of the mind and body from Alzheimer, heart ailments, inflammation, bone strength, immunity, anti-oxidant and over all well-being.
Turmeric For Health: Scientific Research
Curcumin, a component of turmeric: From farm to pharmacy
From the Abstract
Recent studies have indicated that curcumin can target newly identified signaling pathways including those associated with microRNA, cancer stem cells, and autophagy. Extensive research from preclinical and clinical studies has delineated the molecular basis for the pharmaceutical uses of this polyphenol against cancer, pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, liver diseases, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and numerous other chronic diseases.
Multitargeting by Turmeric, the Golden Spice: From Kitchen to Clinic
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, September 2013
From the Abstract
Traditionally, this spice has been used in Ayurveda and folk medicine for the treatment of such ailments as gynecological problems, gastric problems, hepatic disorders, infectious diseases, and blood disorders. Modern science has provided the scientific basis for the use of turmeric against such disorders. Various chemical constituents have been isolated from this spice, including polyphenols, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenoids, sterols, and alkaloids. Curcumin, which constitutes 2-5% of turmeric, is perhaps the most-studied component. Although some of the activities of turmeric can be mimicked by curcumin, other activities are curcumin-independent. Cell-based studies have demonstrated the potential of turmeric as an antimicrobial, insecticidal, larvicidal, antimutagenic, radioprotector, and anticancer agent. Numerous animal studies have shown the potential of this spice against proinflammatory diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. At the molecular level, this spice has been shown to modulate numerous cell-signaling pathways. In clinical trials, turmeric has shown efficacy against numerous human ailments including lupus nephritis, cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, and fibrosis. Thus, a spice originally common in the kitchen is now exhibiting activities in the clinic.
Discovery of curcumin, a component of golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology, 2012, March
From the Abstract
First demonstrated to have antibacterial activity in 1949, curcumin has since been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, pro-apoptotic, chemopreventive, chemotherapeutic, antiproliferative, wound healing, antinociceptive, antiparasitic and antimalarial properties as well. Animal studies have suggested that curcumin may be active against a wide range of human diseases, including diabetes, obesity, neurological and psychiatric disorders and cancer, as well as chronic illnesses affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.