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Abstract

Turmeric is an ancient spice derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Also known as 'Golden Spice of India' turmeric has been used in India for medicinal purposes for centuries. It has been used in traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. In addition to its use as a spice and pigment, turmeric and its constituents mainly curcumin and essential oils shows a wide spectrum of biological actions. These include its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anticoagulant, antifertility, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, anti-fibrotic, anti-venom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Modern interest on turmeric started in 1970's when researchers found that the herb may possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Safety evaluation studies indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a very high dose without any toxic effects. Thus, turmeric and its constituents have the potential for the development of modern medicine for the treatment of various diseases. INTRODUCTION: Turmeric has also been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, which integrates the medicinal properties of herbs with food. This extraordinary herb has found its way into the spotlight in the west and rest of globe, because of its wide range of medicinal benefits. Use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India. It is extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicine as home remedy for various diseases 1, 2 . Turmeric, derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, (family-Zingiberaceae) is a perennial plant having short stem with large oblong leaves, and bears ovate, pyriform or oblong rhizomes, which are often branched and brownish-yellow in colour.
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
Available online on www.ijpsr.com 1987
IJPSR (2012), Vol. 3, Issue 07 (Review Article)
Received on 21 March, 2012; received in revised form 12 June, 2012; accepted 28 June, 2012
TURMERIC: THE GOLDEN SPICE OF LIFE
Preeti Rathaur*, Waseem Raja, P.W. Ramteke and Suchit A. John
Department of Biological Sciences, Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences,
Allahabad- 211007, Uttar Pradesh, India
ABSTRACT
Turmeric is an ancient spice derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa,
which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Also known as
‘Golden Spice of India’ turmeric has been used in India for medicinal
purposes for centuries. It has been used in traditional medicine as a
household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia,
cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. In
addition to its use as a spice and pigment, turmeric and its constituents
mainly curcumin and essential oils shows a wide spectrum of biological
actions. These include its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic,
anti-mutagenic, anticoagulant, antifertility, anti-diabetic, antibacterial,
antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, anti-fibrotic, anti-venom, antiulcer,
hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Modern interest on turmeric
started in 1970's when researchers found that the herb may possess anti-
inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Safety evaluation studies indicate
that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a very high dose
without any toxic effects. Thus, turmeric and its constituents have the
potential for the development of modern medicine for the treatment of
various diseases.
INTRODUCTION: Turmeric has also been used for
centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, which integrates the
medicinal properties of herbs with food. This
extraordinary herb has found its way into the spotlight
in the west and rest of globe, because of its wide range
of medicinal benefits. Use of turmeric dates back
nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India. It is
extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha
medicine as home remedy for various diseases 1, 2.
Turmeric, derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma
longa, (family- Zingiberaceae) is a perennial plant
having short stem with large oblong leaves, and bears
ovate, pyriform or oblong rhizomes, which are often
branched and brownish-yellow in colour.
Turmeric a native of South-East Asia, is used as a food
additive (spice), preservative and colouring agent in
Asian countries including China, Bangladesh and South
East Asia. It is primarily cultivated in China, Taiwan, Sri
Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Nigeria,
Australia, West Indies, Peru, Jamaica and some other
Caribbean and Latin American countries.
Accounting for about 78 percent of world turmeric
production, India is the largest producer of turmeric 3.
It is also the biggest consumer and exporter of
turmeric. Turmeric is considered as auspicious and is a
part of religious rituals. In old Hindu medicine, it is
extensively used for the treatment of sprain and
swelling caused by injury.
Keywords:
Turmeric
Curcuma longa
sprain
Haridra’ or ‘Haldi,
Curcumin
Correspondence to Author:
Preeti Rathaur
Department of Biological Sciences, Sam
Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture,
Technology and Sciences, Allahabad- 211,
Uttar Pradesh, India
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
Available online on www.ijpsr.com 1988
In recent times, traditional India medicine uses
turmeric powder for the treatment of biliary disorders,
anorexia, coryza, cough, diabetes, wounds, hepatic
disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis etc 4.
Chemical Composition of Turmeric: Also known as
‘Haridra’ or ‘Haldi’, turmeric contains protein (6.3%),
fat (5.1%), minerals (3.5%), carbohydrates (69.4%) and
moisture (23.1%) The essential oil (5-8%) obtained by
steam distillation of rhizomes has α-phellanderene
(1%), sabiene (0.6%), cineol (1%), borneol (0.5%),
zingiberene (25%) and sesquiterpines (53%) 5.
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric. The
other two are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-
desmethoxycurcumin. Curcumin gives yellow colour to
turmeric and is now recognized as being responsible
for most of the therapeutic effects. It is estimated that
2-5% of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin was first
isolated from turmeric in 1815 and the structure was
delineated in 1910 as diferuloylmethane 6.
Most currently available preparation of curcumin
contains approximately 77% diferuloylmethane, 18%
desmethoxycurcumin and 5% bis-desmethoxy
curcumin. Curcumin is hydrophobic in nature and
frequently soluble in dismethylsulfoxide, acetone,
ethanol and oils. It has absorption maxima around
425nm. When exposed to acidic conditions, the colour
of turmeric/curcumin turns from yellow to deep red,
and the form in which it is used in various religious
ceremonies 7.
A World of Turmeric: Turmeric, a golden spice, had
been used by the people of the Indian subcontinent for
centuries with no known side effects, not only as a
component of food but also to treat a wide variety of
ailments. As far as documented evidence, it is used
daily in India for at least 6000 years as a medicine,
beauty aid, cooking spice, a dye and a lot more.
Turmeric was mentioned in the writings of Marco Polo
concerning his 1280 journey to China and India and it
was first introduced to Europe in the 13th century by
Arab traders. Vasco de Gama, a Portuguese sailor
during 15th century, after his visit to India, truly
introduced spices to the West 8. For at least 1000 years
Chinese Medicine has used Turmeric especially for the
Spleen, Stomach, and Liver Meridians.
They use it to stimulate and strengthen the blood, to
purify, to decrease blood pressure, to reduce
abdominal pain, anti-biotic, anti-viral and an analgesic.
Because of its colour and taste, turmeric was named
“Indian saffron” in Europe. Today, India is the primary
exporter of turmeric (known as haldi in India).
Although its ability to preserve food through its
antioxidant mechanism, to give colour to food and to
add taste to the food is well known, its health
promoting effects are less well recognized or
appreciated. It was once considered a cure for
jaundice, an appetite suppressant and a digestive 9. In
Indian and Chinese medicines, turmeric was used as
anti-inflammatory agents to treat gas, colic,
toothaches, chest pains, and menstrual difficulties.
This spice was also used to help with stomach and liver
problems, to heal wounds and lighten scars and as a
cosmetic.
Healing Properties Overview: Besides flavouring food,
turmeric, affectionately called as “Kitchen Queen”, has
been used in traditional medicine as a household
remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders,
anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders,
rheumatism and sinusitis etc. Turmeric has been
shown to have a wide spectrum of biological actions.
These include its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, ant
carcinogenic, ant mutagenic, anticoagulant, anti-
fertility, anti- diabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-
protozoal, antiviral, anti-fibrotic, antivenin, antiulcer,
hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities 10, 11, 12.
Its anticancer effect is mainly mediated through
induction of apoptosis. It’s anti-inflammatory,
anticancer and antioxidant roles may be clinically
exploited to control rheumatism, carcinogenesis and
oxidative stress-related pathogenesis. Therapeutic
uses include: AIDS/HIV, anaemia, cancer, diabetes,
digestion, food poisoning, gall stones etc. It reduces
fevers, diarrhoea, urinary disorders, insanity,
poisoning, cough and lactation problems in general 11.
Clinically, turmeric has already been used to reduce
post-operative inflammation. Safety evaluation studies
indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well
tolerated at a very high dose without any toxic effects.
Thus, turmeric has the potential for the development
of modern medicine for the treatment of various
diseases.
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
Available online on www.ijpsr.com 1989
Turmeric as First Aid: Researches has shown turmeric
as haemostatic, able to stop the bleeding of wound
and a vulnerary, a great healer of wounds due to being
both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial 12, 13.
Turmeric powder has healing effect on both aseptic
and septic wounds in rats and rabbits 14.
The Skin’s Beautician: Turmeric is a skin’s food: it
purifies and nourishes the blood and results in healthy
and glowing skin. Due to its anti-bacterial and anti-
septic properties it is excellent for skin diseases like
eczema, acne, skin cancers etc. and helps in preventing
premature ageing. Turmeric is used in the formulation
of cosmetics and sunscreens 15, 16.
Pain and Inflammation: Inflammation is generally
regarded as a source of many health challenges.
Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb; easing
conditions such as bursitis, arthritis, back pain etc and
plays an important role in inflammation 17. The anti-
inflammatory action of turmeric includes lowering
histamine levels and increasing the production of
natural cortisone by adrenal glands. It inhibits release
of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α and the gene
that makes inflammatory COX-2 enzymes.
Perhaps Turmeric’s most important anti-inflammatory
mechanism is its effects on the Prostaglandins (PGs), a
large family of potent lipids produced by the body. PG1
and PG3 calm the body while PG2 inflames the body.
Turmeric is a potent inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 5-
lipoxygenase and also 5-HETE production in
neutrophils. Reducing these enzymes means less
arachidonic acid metabolism, which means less PG2,
which means less pain and inflammation 18. In patients,
undergoing surgery, oral application of turmeric
reduces post-operative inflammation 19.
Blood, Liver, Heart and Respiratory System: Turmeric
is a potent blood purifier and helps to create new
blood. Turmeric also protects liver from toxins and
pathogens. It is known to destroy major hepatoxins,
like aflatoxin and to rebuild the liver. Turmeric
increases the secretion of bile promotes bilification
and may prevent cholehithiasis. Turmeric also removes
cholesterol from the liver and inhibits its assimilation.
Turmeric’s protective effect on the heart
(cardiovascular system) include lowering cholesterol
and triglyceride levels decreasing susceptibility of low
density lipoproteins (LDL) to lipid peroxidation and
inhibiting platelet aggregation. Turmeric protects
against heart diseases by lowering high blood
cholesterol level and by preventing blood clotting
which can lead to heart attack and stroke 20, 21.
Inhibition of platelets aggregation by C. longa
constituents is thought to be via potentiation of
prostacyclin synthesis and inhibition of thrombin
synthesis. Besides these, support of the respiratory
system is one of the main traditional uses of Turmeric.
As an anti-oxidant it protects the lungs from pollution
and toxins. It also helps the oxygen transfer from the
lungs to the blood.
The Awesome Anti-Oxidant: The antioxidant activity
of turmeric was reported 22 as early as 1975. It acts as
a scavenger of oxygen free radicals 23. It can protect
haemoglobin from oxidation 24. Water- and fat-soluble
extracts of turmeric and curcumin, its main active
constituent, exhibits strong antioxidant activity,
comparable to vitamins C, E and Beta-Carotene.
Oxidation by free radicals is linked with accelerated
aging and virtually every major chronic disease
including atherosclerosis, cancer, cardiovascular
diseases, cataracts, and rheumatoid arthritis. In vitro,
curcumin can significantly inhibit the generation of
reactive oxygen species (ROS) like superoxide anions,
H2O2 and nitrite radical generation by activated
macrophages 25.
An in vitro study measuring the effect of curcumin on
endothelial heme oxygenase-1, an inducible stress
protein, was conducted utilizing bovine aortic
endothelial cells 26. Incubation (18 hours) with
curcumin resulted in enhanced cellular resistance to
oxidative damage. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) also
play an important role in cell mediated cytotoxicity
(CMC) of the immune system. Numerous reports
indicate that turmeric could mediate both pro-oxidant
and antioxidant roles, making turmeric usage a
consumer choice for feeling and looking young;
preventing premature ageing; cancer and tumours
prevention, liver protection, removing oxidized
cholesterol thereby preventing heart attacks; reducing
pain and acute (injuries) and chronic inflammations
(arthritis) 27, 28.
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
Available online on www.ijpsr.com 1990
Turmeric for Stomach and Intestine: And pathogens
Constituents of Curcuma longa exert several protective
effects on the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) system. Sodium
curcuminate inhibited intestinal spasm and p-
tolymethylcarbinol, a turmeric component, increased
gastrin, secretin, bicarbonate, and pancreatic enzyme
secretion. Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit
ulcer formation caused by stress, alcohol,
indomethacin, pyloric ligation, and reserpine,
significantly increasing gastric wall mucus in rats
subjected to these gastrointestinal insults. Research
has also confirmed the digestive benefits of turmeric
29.
Turmeric acts as a cholagogue, stimulating bile
production, thus, increasing the bodies’ ability to
digest fats, improving digestion and eliminating toxins
from the liver. Turmeric powder has beneficial effect
on the stomach. It increases mucin secretion in rabbits
and may thus act as gastro-protectant against irritants.
Curcumin has some good effects on the intestine also.
Antispasmodic activity of sodium curcuminate was
observed in isolated guinea pig ileum 30.
Curcumin also enhances intestinal lipase, sucrase and
maltase activity 31. Turmeric is traditionally used for
weak stomachs, poor digestion, dyspepsia, to
normalize metabolism, to help digest protein, and to
increase the bio-availability of food and the ability of
the stomach to withstand digestive acids. Turmeric
reduces the intensity of cysteamine-induced duodenal
ulcers, increases the gastric wall mucus, and also
normalizes gastric juices 32.
Ears, Eyes, Nose and Mouth: Due to its astringent,
anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric
is excellent for the toothaches or tooth decay and is
used in preparations of toothpastes. It tones the gums
and destroys bacteria whose acidic wastes cause
cavities. One of the main causes of eye disease,
especially cataracts, is the oxidation of lens in your
eyes. Turmeric taken internally decreases the oxidation
of the lens by causing a significant induction of
glutathione-S-transferase isozyme rGST8-8 in the lens
epithelium 33. Turmeric also works efficiently for
stopping nosebleeds, helps to clear the sinuses, restore
a more acute sense of smell, and helps to purify the
mind and brain.
Data are also available showing that turmeric powder
is used in Indian and Chinese medicines for treating
cough, sputum, sinusitis, dyspnoea, toothaches, ear
and eye pains etc 34.
Antifertility activity and Female Reproductive System:
Petroleum ether and aqueous extracts of turmeric
rhizomes show 100% antifertility effect in rats when
fed orally 35. Implantation is completely inhibited by
these extracts 36. Curcumin inhibits 5a-reductase,
which converts testosterone to 5a-dihydrotesto-
sterone, thereby inhibiting the growth of flank organs
in hamster 37.
Curcumin also inhibits human sperm motility and has
the potential for the development of a novel
intravaginal contraceptive 38. Turmeric regulates
menses, decreases intensity and pain of periods,
decreases amenorrhea and decreases uterine tumors.
Turmeric is a mild and supportive uterine stimulant.
Antimicrobial activity of Turmeric: Turmeric extract
and the essential oil of Curcuma longa inhibit the
growth of a variety of bacteria, parasites, and
pathogenic fungi. The aqueous extract of turmeric
rhizomes has antibacterial effects 39. Both curcumin
and the oil fraction suppress growth of several bacteria
like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Lactobacillus,
etc.40. Ether and chloroform extracts and oil of C. longa
have antifungal effects 41. Crude ethanol extract also
possesses antifungal activity 41.
Turmeric oil is also active against Aspergillus flavus, A.
parasiticus, Fusarium moniliforme. The ethanol extract
of the rhizomes has anti-Entamoeba histolytica
activity. Curcumin has anti-Leishmania activity in vitro
42. Several synthetic derivatives of curcumin have anti-
L. amazonensis effect 43. Anti-Plasmodium falciparum
and anti-L. major effects of curcumin have also been
reported 42. Turmeric has been shown to have antiviral
activity 10, 44. It acts as an efficient inhibitor of Epstein-
Barr virus (EBV) key activator Bam H fragment z left
frame 1 (BZLF1) protein transcription in Raji DR-LUC
cells 44.
EBV inducers such as 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-
acetate, sodium butyrate and transforming growth
factor-beta increase the level of BZLF1 m-RNA at 1248
h after treatment in these cells, which is effectively
blocked by curcumin 45.
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
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Most importantly, curcumin also shows anti-HIV
(human immunodeficiency virus) activity by inhibiting
the HIV-1 integrase needed for viral replication 46. It
also inhibits UV light induced HIV gene expression 47.
Thus curcumin and its analogues may have the
potential for novel drug development against HIV.
Turmeric for Nervous disorders, Detox and Immunity:
Curcumin, active constituent of turmeric, can bind with
heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, thereby
reducing the toxicity of these heavy metals. This
property of curcumin explains its protective action to
the brain. Curcumin acts as an inhibitor for
cyclooxygenase, 5-lipoxygenase and glutathione S-
transferase. Curcumin and manganese complex of
curcumin offer protective action against vascular
dementia by exerting antioxidant activity 48.
Turmeric is one of the 10 best herbs used to treat
poisoning and to purify blood. It detoxifies the body
and mind, helping the body to cure itself. One sure sign
of this is that it increases the level of the enzyme
glutathione S-transferase (GST), which is essential to
detoxification. In addition it helps beautify the skin and
improve the complexion, promoting circulation and
nutrition to the surface of the body. It vitalizes the
body's own natural healing energy through its action of
strengthening digestion and circulation, and aiding in
the regulation of all bodily systems.
Turmeric with its potent anti-microbial and anti-
oxidant activities interferes with the ability of microbes
and viruses to replicate them and it increases body’s
Immune system’s ability to fight the infection and
ultimately helps in enhancing the immunity of body.
Curcumin can also help the body fight off cancer
should some cells escape apoptosis. When researchers
looked at the lining of the intestine after ingestion of
curcumin, they found that CD4+ T-helper and B type
immune cells were greater in number 49.
In addition to this localized immune stimulation,
curcumin also enhances immunity in general.
Researchers in India have documented increased
antibodies and more immune action in mice given
regular turmeric dosages.
Turmeric for Diabetes: Turmeric is an important herb
in most Ayurvedic treatments of diabetes as it lowers
blood sugar, increases glucose metabolism and
potentate’s insulin activity more than three-fold. Part
of the action might be due to its chromium content.
Curcumin prevents galactose-induced cataract
formation at very low doses 50. Both turmeric and
curcumin decrease blood sugar level in alloxan-induced
diabetes in rat 51. Curcumin also decreases advanced
glycation end products induced complications in
diabetes mellitus 52.
Turmeric vs. Cancer: Turmeric/ curcumin act as a
potent anti-carcinogenic compound and were recently
nominated by the National Cancer Institute for study.
Induction of apoptosis plays an important role in its
anti-carcinogenic properties. Curcumin induces
apoptosis, inhibits cell cycle progression and finally
prevents cancerous cell growth. The mechanism
responsible for apoptosis (programmed cell death)
involves inhibition of cell signaling pathway genes like
Akt, NF-kB, AP 1 and DNA damage.
Turmeric inhibits the Topoisomerase enzyme, which is
required for the replication of cancer and parasite
cells. It strongly inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis and
increases mitochondrial membrane permeability; a
very significant property in the apoptosis of
proliferating cells. It can also prevent proliferation by
cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase in a variety of
malignant tumors.
G2/M arrest renders cells more susceptible to the
cytotoxic effects of radiation, suggesting that curcumin
may find significance as a radio sensitizer 53. The ability
to inhibit COX-2 gene overexpression, which is
implicated in the carcinogenesis of many different
tumors, has suggested a plausible role of curcumin to
protect children against leukaemia. Curcumin was
shown to induce apoptosis among leukaemia B
lymphoma cells and inhibits the multiplication of
leukaemia cells in laboratory studies 54.
Earlier research conducted at the University of Texas,
M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre has shown that
curcumin an active compound of turmeric can also
inhibit Cytochrome P450, a phase I metabolizing iso-
enzyme which is required for toxic chemicals such as
heterocyclic amines to induce DNA adduct formation
leading to carcinogenesis 55 and on the other hand to
activate phase II metabolizing enzymes generally
regarded as favourable detoxifiers, implies its strong
Rathaur et al., IJPSR, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994 ISSN: 0975-8232
Available online on www.ijpsr.com 1992
promise as a possible safe and nontoxic chemo
preventive and/or treatment agent for colon, skin,
stomach, liver, lung, duodenum, soft palate and
breasts cancers 56. Furthermore, curcumin can
enhance cancer cells’ sensitivity to certain drugs
commonly used to combat cancer and can potentially
improve the effectiveness of radiation treatment.
For example, IFN-Gamma chemotherapy was found to
be effective against non-small cell lung cancer, which
was relatively insensitive in the absence of curcumin.
Another study reported that curcumin could protect
animals from the tumour-producing effects of deadly
gamma radiation and it protects against damaging
ultraviolet light, which is known to play a role in the
development of skin cancer. Ayurveda especially
recommends turmeric for cancers of the female
reproductive system, namely breast and uterine
cancer.
Even if one was going the allopathic route to treat their
cancer, they can still use turmeric to increase the
effectiveness and decrease some of the side effects of
cancer treatments. The efficacy of turmeric to
decrease cell viability, cell cycle arrest and induction of
apoptosis is encouraging to the development of a
natural drug with known Nuke-B inhibitory activity57.
In short, turmeric is an example of a natural dietary
agent capable of acting at multi levels in cellular
pathway for the prevention or treatment of diseases
with multifactorial etiologies such as colon, skin,
stomach, liver, lung duodenum, soft palate and breast
cancer 58.
CONCLUSION: It is a wonder that a natural yellow
pigment, turmeric, which has been consuming in India
since the second millennium BC in both medicine and
food has become one of the most cited natural
molecule in terms of its capacity to deliver a multitude
of health guarding effects as studied and established
by modern scientific community around the globe. For
the last few decades, extensive work has been done to
establish the biological activities and pharmacological
actions of turmeric and its extracts. It has been used in
ayurvedic medicine since ancient times, with various
biological applications. Various studies are in progress
for using turmeric in drug-development. Although the
crude extract has numerous medicinal applications,
clinical applications can be made only after extensive
research on its bioactivity, mechanism of action,
pharmacotherapeutics and toxicity studies.
However, as turmeric and its compounds show a wide
spectrum of biological activities, it would be easier to
develop new drugs from turmeric after extensive
studies on its mechanism of action and
pharmacological effects. Recent years have seen an
increased enthusiasm in treating various diseases with
natural products.
Turmeric/Curcumin is a non-toxic, highly promising
natural antioxidant, spice having a wide spectrum of
biological functions. It is expected that turmeric and its
constituents specially curcumin and essential oils may
find application as a novel drug in the near future to
control various diseases, including inflammatory
disorders, carcinogenesis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes,
oxidative stress-induced pathogenesis and a lot more.
All of these studies should further add to the
usefulness of turmeric and its constituents specially
curcumin and essential oil. Overall, due to its usage,
biological safety, combined with its cost and efficacy,
and thousands of years of experimentation justify
calling turmeric “The Golden Spice of Life”.
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How to cite this article: Rathaur P., Raja W., Ramteke P.W.,
John S.A.: Turmeric: The Golden Spice of Life. Int J Pharm Sci
Res, 2012; Vol. 3(7): 1987-1994
... The Atharvaveda of India along with other Sanskrit pieces of the literature revealed the use of turmeric in ancient India due to its nutritional value . At 700 AD turmeric reached China (Krup et al., 2013) and Marco Polo mentioned, turmeric as Indian saffron (Bhowmik et al., 2009) during his visit to India and China in 1280 (Rathaur et al., 2012). Evidence of turmeric was found in East Africa and West Africa at around 800 AD and 1200 AD respectively, whereas turmeric was introduced in Arabian countries in the 10 th century . ...
... Evidence of turmeric was found in East Africa and West Africa at around 800 AD and 1200 AD respectively, whereas turmeric was introduced in Arabian countries in the 10 th century . Although Arabian traders introduced turmeric in England around the 13 th century, after the voyage of a Portuguese sailor, Vasco da Gama in the 15 th century, turmeric was truly introduced to the west (Rathaur et al., 2012). ...
... The raw material contains curcuminoids-about 2% (including curcumin, monodemethoxycurcumin, and didemetoxycurcumin), ferulic acid, and 3-5% essential oil (bisabolene, guaian, zingiberen, xantorizal, curcumen, and turmerone). Curcumin-curcumin is a ferulic acid dimer with a yellow colour and high biological activity [10]. Turmeric is used as a spice due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties [11][12][13]. ...
... The degree of acidification of the duck meat burgers without the addition of turmeric (group I) was higher compared to the burgers with turmeric powder (group II and IV). Turmeric contains ascorbic acid and may affect the acidity level of products due to its presence [10][11][12][13]16,17]. This may explain the lower pH of the duck burgers with turmeric paste and turmeric at the first evaluation date ( Table 2). ...
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The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of turmeric supplementation on selected quality features, oxidative stability, and the safety of duck meat burgers. Four burger variants, namely I–control, no additive, II–with turmeric powder, III–with turmeric extract, and IV–with turmeric paste, were tested. The pH, WHC, colour parameters on the CIE L*a*b* scale, finished products’ shear force, TBARS index, and the total number of microorganisms were determined while performing sensory evaluations. Tests were carried out after 24 h, 6, 12, and 18 days of refrigerated storage (4 ± 2 °C). The addition of turmeric powder and paste significantly limited lipid oxidation processes in vacuum-packed duck meat burgers over an 18-day period. Although lipid oxidation processes accelerated after 6 days in all burger variants, burgers with powdered turmeric powder showed the lowest TBARS index values and limited total microorganism increases. Turmeric paste and powder additions resulted in decreased pH, increased water retention, and lighter colouration in refrigerated products. These additives were deemed acceptable during sensory evaluation. The most desirable aroma and taste, including juiciness, were in burgers with turmeric paste addition, while burgers with powdered additions were rated higher for their desired aroma and intensity of taste.
... It has been utilized as an ayurvedic medicine for centuries in Asia. This native spice of the South -East Asian region, has been typically used as a colorant, a flavouring additive and a preservative (Rathaur et al., 2012). The dried powder of C. longa rhizome have shown anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer activities (Negi et al., 1999;Guerra et al., 2020). ...
... Turmeric acts as an antiinflammatory agent by lowering the histamine level, while increasing production of cortisone in adrenal glands. Also releasing of proinflammatory cytokine TNF -α and the gene which generate inflammatory COX -2 enzymes is greatly inhibited by turmeric (Rathaur et al., 2012). ...
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Most of the medicinal plants utilized in traditional medicine are spices. Majority of those spices are widely used for aroma, flavour and colour in cuisine though they behave as appetizers, digestives, preventives and aphrodisiacs. Their antimicrobial properties are in a broad spectrum that provides a considerable immunity development within the human body. This review summarizes the beneficial characteristics of major active constituents in turmeric and ginger and their presumed pharmacological potential to safeguard human health.Keywords: Turmeric, Ginger, Curcumin, Human health, Active Ingredients, Nanotechnology
... Clinical significance in dentistry: It has been found that tinted pit and fissure sealant is useful for applying to tooth surfaces for the prevention or reduction of dental caries. This sealant can be produced from a composition comprising a polymerizable resin system containing acrylic monomer and at least one colorant selected from the group consisting of Annatto extract, turmeric extract, and â-Apo-8-Carotenal [30]. Turmeric is used for the treatment of Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) [30]. ...
... This sealant can be produced from a composition comprising a polymerizable resin system containing acrylic monomer and at least one colorant selected from the group consisting of Annatto extract, turmeric extract, and â-Apo-8-Carotenal [30]. Turmeric is used for the treatment of Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (RAS) [30]. Curcumin 1% can be used as subgingival irrigant and 2% whole turmeric gel is used for local drug delivery system as an adjunct to scaling and root planning [31]. ...
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There has been a change in thinking of the people across the world with a growing tendency towards-GO NATURAL‖ especially in the field of health sciences. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of health-care and longevity and should be considered as an alternative by integrating it with the modern dentistry. The present review aims to discuss various Ayurvedic plants and their significance in dentistry. Along with the PUBMED, MEDLINE, Medknow indexed journals, peer-reviewed and non-indexed journals were also reviewed using aloe vera, turmeric, honey, licorice, triphala and oral health as the keywords. The incorporation of Ayurveda into modern oral health-care practices will make dentistry much safer, affordable and more accessible for the lower socioeconomic groups in society.
... Its rhizomes are the ancient colorful spice source and have a bitter and pungent taste and a pepper-like aroma. Turmeric is also known as the "Golden Spice of India" [5] or "Kitchen Queen" [6]. For example, it has been used in curries in India; in Japan and Korea it is popularly served as a herbal tea; and it is used as a preservative and a coloring agent in mustard sauce, cheese, butter, and chips in the Western world [7]. ...
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Curcuma (turmeric) species are important culinary and medicinal plants, and the essential oils of Curcuma rhizomes have demonstrated promising pharmacological properties. The essential oils (EOs) of Curcuma species possess a wide variety of pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancerous, antiproliferative, hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic, antirheumatic, hypotensive, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral, antithrombotic, antityrosinase, and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) inhibitory activities, among others have been attributed to the essential components of Curcuma species. Curcuma oils are also known to enhance immune function, promote blood circulation, accelerate toxin elimination, and stimulate digestion. C. longa (turmeric) and C. zedoaria (zedoary) are the most extensively studied species of Curcuma due to their high commercial value. There is some interest in expanding the cultivation of Curcuma species to regions in North America where the climate is favorable. The purpose of this work was to examine the rhizome essential oil compositions of four species of Curcuma (C. aromatica, C. caesia, C. longa, C. zanthorrhiza) that were obtained from Vietnam and cultivated in North Alabama. The rhizome essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatographic techniques. The essential oils of C. aromatica were dominated by curzerenone (14.7–18.6%), germacrone (10.7–14.7%), 1,8-cineole (5.2–11.7%), and an unidentified component (8.7–11.0%). The major components in C. longa rhizome oil were ar-turmerone (8.3–36.1%), α-turmerone (12.7–15.2%), β-turmerone (5.0–15.4%), α-zingiberene (4.6–13.9%), and β-sesquiphellandrene (4.6–10.0%). The essential oils of C. caesia and C. zanthorrhiza were rich in curzerenone, curdione, and germacrone. These adapted turmeric varieties in North Alabama have potential use for medical purposes and medicinal plant oil market demands in the U.S.
... Turmeric is widely consumed as spices and used in food industry as colouring agent, coating and as a preservative 3 . It has been used for treatment of various diseases such as diabetes, wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis, abdominal pains, menstrual disorders, jaundice, inflammations and cancer 4,5 . In Nigeria, turmeric is locally called Gangamau in Hausa, Atale pupa in Yoruba Table 1 shows the phytochemical composition of aqueous rhizome extract of turmeric. ...
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Background: Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is widely consumed as a spice and used for treatment of various diseases and conditions including diabetes, cancer, hypercholesterolemia, wounds, jaundice, and inflammation. Aim: This study aims at evaluating the phytochemicals, nutritional and anti-nutritional composition of aqueous rhizome extract of Curcuma longa. Materials and Methods: Experimental analyses for proximate, vitamins, minerals and anti-nutrients composition were performed using standard analytical methods in triplicate and the data were expressed as mean values. Results: The phytochemicals screening of the turmeric extract revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, volatile oil, steroids, glycosides, cardiac glycosides and phenols. The turmeric extract contains significant amount of carbohydrate (56.69%), protein (15.31%), moisture (8.00%), ash (7.00%), lipid (3.50%) and crude fiber (9.50%). The level of vitamin A, C and E in the turmeric extract is 61.1 mg/100g, 24.3 mg/100g and 10.5 mg/100g, respectively. The minerals composition of turmeric extract is potassium (9.97 mg/100g), iron (9.10 mg/100g), calcium (7.66 mg/100g), zinc (4.51 mg/100g), cupper (4.21 mg/100g), manganese (3.30 mg/100g), magnesium (2.29 mg/100g), phosphorus (1.47 mg/100g), selenium (1.19 mg/100g), sodium (1.14 mg/100g), lead (0.03 mg/100g), nickel (0.11 mg/100g) and cadmium (0.02 mg/100g). The anti-nutrients content of turmeric extract is phytate (0.51 mg/100g), oxalate (0.28 mg/100g), cyanide (0.07 mg/100g), saponins (0.98 mg/100g), tannins (0.87 mg/100g) and nitrate (0.12 mg/100g). Conclusion: The aqueous rhizome extract of turmeric contains significant amount of nutrients and several phytoconstituents responsible for its nutritional benefits and medicinal importance.
... These effects are associated with the presence of bioactive compounds known as curcuminoids. It is stated that these health benefits are mainly linked to curcumin which is the main compounds of curcuminoids (Rathaur et al., 2012;Munekata et al., 2021). As a result, numerous studies have indicated that turmeric has many medicinal properties. ...
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... The initial phase involves the metabolism of CCl 4 by cytochrome P450 to the trichloromethyl radicals, which lead to membrane lipid peroxidation and finally to cell necrosis. The second phase of CCl 4 -induced hepatotoxicity involves the activation of Kupffer cells, which is accompanied by the production of proinflammatory mediators [10]. Turmeric therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-cancer and anti-microbial effects, hepatoprotective effects, reno-protective effects, thrombo inhibitory effects, cardio-protective effects, an anti-inflammatory effects on the rheumatoid arthritis, has been confirmed by modern and advanced researches. ...
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is extensively used as a spice, food preservative and colouring material in India, China and South East Asia. It has been used in traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. For the last few decades, extensive work has been done to establish the biological activities and pharmacological actions of turmeric and its extracts. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the main yellow bioactive component of turmeric has been shown to have a wide spectrum of biological actions. These include its antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, anticoagulant, antifertility, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antiviral, antifibrotic, antivenom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Its anticancer effect is mainly mediated through induction of apoptosis. Its antiinflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant roles may be clinically exploited to control rheumatism, carcinogenesis and oxidative stress-related pathogenesis. Clinically, curcumin has already been used to reduce post-operative inflammation. Safety evaluation studies indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a very high dose without any toxic effects. Thus, both turmeric and curcumin have the potential for the development of modern medicine for the treatment of various diseases.
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A large variety of natural products have been described as anti-HIV agents, and for a portion thereof the target of interaction has been identified. Cyanovirin-N, a 11-kDa protein from Cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) irreversibly inactivates HIV and also aborts cell-to-cell fusion and transmission of HIV, due to its high-affinity interaction with gp120. Various sulfated polysaccharides extracted from seaweeds (i.e., Nothogenia fastigiata, Aghardhiella tenera) inhibit the virus adsorption process. Ingenol derivatives may inhibit virus adsorption at least in part through down-regulation of CD4 molecules on the host cells. Inhibition of virus adsorption by flavanoids such as (−)epicatechin and its 3-O-gallate has been attributed to an irreversible interaction with gp120 (although these compounds are also known as reverse transcriptase inhibitors). For the triterpene glycyrrhizin (extracted from the licorice root Glycyrrhiza radix) the mode of anti-HIV action may at least in part be attributed to interference with virus-cell binding. The mannose-specific plant lectins from Galanthus, Hippeastrum, Narcissus, Epipac tis helleborine, and Listera ovata, and the N-acetylgl ucosamine-specific lectin from Urtica dioica would primarily be targeted at the virus-cell fusion process. Various other natural products seem to qualify as HIV-cell fusion inhibitors: the siamycins [siamycin I (BMY-29304), siamycin II (RP 71955, BMY 29303), and NP-06 (FR901724)] which are tricyclic 21-amino-acid peptides isolated from Streptomyces spp that differ from one another only at position 4 or 17 (valine or isoleucine in each case); the betulinic acid derivative RPR 103611, and the peptides tachyplesin and polyphemusin which are highly abundant in hemocyte debris of the horseshoe crabs Tachypleus tridentatus and Limulus polyphemus, i.e., the 18-amino-acid peptide T22 from which T134 has been derived. Both T22 and T134 have been shown to block T-tropic X4 HIV-1 strains through a specific antagonism with the HIV corecept or CXCR4. A number of natural products have been reported to interact with the reverse transcriptase, i.e., baicalin, avarol, avarone, psychotrine, phloroglucinol derivatives, and, in particular, calanolides (from the tropical rainforest tree, Calophyllum lanigerum) and inophyllums (from the Malaysian tree, Calophyllum inophyllum). The natural marine substance illimaquinone would be targeted at the RNase H function of the reverse transcriptase. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane, from turmeric, the roots/rhizomes of Curcuma spp), dicaffeoylquinic and dicaffeoylt artaric acids, L-chicoric acid, and a number of fungal metabolites (equisetin, phomasetin, oteromycin, and integric acid) have all been proposed as HIV-1 integrase inhibitors. Yet, we have recently shown that L-c hicoric acid owes its anti-HIV activity to a specific interaction with the viral envelope gp120 rather than integrase. A number of compounds would be able to inhibit HIV-1 gene expression at the transcription level: the flavonoid chrysin (through inhibition of casein kinase II, the antibacter ial peptides melittin (from bee venom) and cecropin, and EM2487, a novel substance produced by Streptomyces. α-Trichosanthin (from the root tubers of Trichosanthes kirilowii), MAP30 (from Momordi ca charantia), GAP31 (from Gelonium multiflorum), DAP30 and DAP32 (from Dianthus caryophyllus) would act as RIPs (ribosome-i nactivating proteins), suppressing the translation process. As glycosylation inhibitors, castanospermine and 1-deoxynojirimycin would interfere with the infectivity and secondary spread of HIV-1. And so would bellenamine [(R)-3,6-diamino-N-(aminomethyl)hexanamide] (from Streptomyces nashvillensis), albeit by an unknown mechanism. Hypericin and pseudohype ricin, two aromatic polycyclic diones from Hypericum triquetrifolium (St. Johnswort), could block HIV-1 infection through a variety of mechanisms (direct virucidal effect, inhibition of secondary virus spread, inhibition of virus budding, and inactivation of the preintegration complex). A number of miscellaneous compounds, including propolis, pokeweed antiviral protein, and michellamines inhibit HIV replication by mechanisms that still have to be resolved. Cyclosporins do so by preventing the interaction of cyclophil in A with the capsid gag proteins, thus blocking both a late event (assembly) and early event (nuclear localization of the preintegration complex) in the HIV replicative cycle. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Med Res Rev, 20, No. 5, 323–349, 2000
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Anticancer activity of the rhizomes of turmeric was evaluated in vitro using tissue culture methods and in vivo in mice using Dalton's lymphoma cells grown as ascites form. Turmeric extract inhibited the cell growth in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells at a concentration of 0.4 mg/ml and was cytotoxic to lymphocytes and Dalton's lymphoma cells at the same concentration. Cytotoxic effect was found within 30 min at room temperature (30 degrees C). The active constituent was found to be 'curcumin' which showed cytotoxicity to lymphocytes and Dalton's lymphoma cells at a concentration of 4 micrograms/ml. Initial experiments indicated that turmeric extract and curcumin reduced the development of animal tumours.