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Turmeric: A Herbal and Traditional Medicine

  • vinayaka mission's college of pharmacy,salem,Tamil nadu ,India


Turmeric is a mild digestive, being aromatic, a stimulant and a carminative Turmeric is one of nature's most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease. An ointment base on the spice is used as an antiseptic in India. Turmeric water is an Asian cosmetic applied to impart a golden glow to the complexion. Curcumin has been shown to be active against Staphlococcus aureus (pus-producing infections). Anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds. Turmeric decreases Kapha and so is used to remove mucus in the throat, watery discharges like leucorrhea, and any pus in the eyes, ears, or in wounds, etc. In Unani medicine, turmeric has been used for conditions such as liver obstruction and jaundice and has been applied externally for ulcers and inflammation. Roasted turmeric has been used as an ingredient of a preparation used for dysentery. Turmeric has also been used in tooth powder or paste. Turmeric has been used for many conditions in traditional medicine in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The rhizome is generally the part of the plant that is most widely used. It can be prepared in various ways and is reputed to alleviate asthma and coughs. Hot water extracts of the dried rhizome have been taken orally in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce inflammation. Turmeric is also regarded as a 'rasayana' herb, which is a branch of Ayurvedic medicine. Here turmeric is used to counteract ageing processes.
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Scholars Research Library
Archives of Applied Science Research, 2009, 1 (2) 86-108
ISSN 0975-508X
Scholars Research Library 86
Turmeric: A Herbal and Traditional Medicine
Debjit Bhowmik, Chiranjib
, K. P. Sampath Kumar
, Margret Chandira
, B. Jayakar
Coimbatore Medical College, Coimbatore
Vinayaka Missions College of Pharmacy, Salem
Turmeric is a mild digestive, being aromatic, a stimulant and a carminative Turmeric is one of
nature's most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been
used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. The medicinal
properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known
for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural
wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to
Alzheimer's disease. An ointment base on the spice is used as an antiseptic in India. Turmeric
water is an Asian cosmetic applied to impart a golden glow to the complexion. Curcumin has
been shown to be active against Staphlococcus aureus (pus-producing infections). Anemia,
cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning, gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor
circulation, staph infections, and wounds. Turmeric decreases Kapha and so is used to remove
mucus in the throat, watery discharges like leucorrhea, and any pus in the eyes, ears, or in
wounds, etc. In Unani medicine, turmeric has been used for conditions such as liver obstruction
and jaundice and has been applied externally for ulcers and inflammation. Roasted turmeric has
been used as an ingredient of a preparation used for dysentery. Turmeric has also been used in
tooth powder or paste. Turmeric has been used for many conditions in traditional medicine in
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The rhizome is generally the part of the plant that is most widely
used. It can be prepared in various ways and is reputed to alleviate asthma and coughs. Hot water
extracts of the dried rhizome have been taken orally in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce
inflammation. Turmeric is also regarded as a 'rasayana' herb, which is a branch of Ayurvedic
medicine. Here turmeric is used to counteract ageing processes.
Key words: Ayurveda, Curcumin, Haldi, Rasayan, Traditional Medicine.
Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used from antiquity as dye and a
condiment. It is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java. Peru. Australia
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and the West Indies. It is still used in rituals of the Hindu religion, and as a dye for holy robes,
being natural, unsynthesized and cheap. Turmeric is in fact one of the cheapest spices. Although
as a dye it is used similarly to saffron, the culinary uses of the two spices should not be confused
and should never replace saffron in food dishes. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years, to the
Vedic culture in India where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance.
The name derives from the Latin terra merita “meritorious earth” referring to the colour of
ground turmeric which resembles a mineral pigment. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used
for 4,000 years to treat a variety of ailments. Several research studies have found that turmeric
may, in fact, help treat a number of illnesses. However, it is important to remember several facts
when you hear news reports about turmeric's medicinal properties. First, many studies have taken
place in test tubes and animals, and the herb may not work as well in humans. Second, some
studies have used an injectable form of curcumin (the active substance in turmeric). Finally,
some of the studies show conflicting evidence. Nevertheless, turmeric may have promise for
fighting infections and some cancers, reducing inflammation, and treating digestive problems.
Turmeric is widely used as a food coloring and gives Indian curry its distinctive flavor and
yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Turmeric has long been
used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and
liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. The curcumin in turmeric has been shown to
stimulate the production of bile by the gallbladder. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant;
antioxidants scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell
membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can neutralize free
radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. In addition,
curcumin reduces inflammation by lowering levels of two inflammatory enzymes (called COX-2
and LOX) in the body and stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.It is a
valuable home remedy for bronchial asthma. A teaspoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk
twice or thrice daily is very effective. It acts best on an empty stomach. Turmeric is a valuable
intestinal antiseptic. The rhizome, its juice or dry powder, mixed in buttermilk or plain water is
highly beneficial in intestinal problems, especially chronic diarrhea. It also helps prevent
flatulence. About 20 drops of the juice of raw turmeric, mixed with a pinch of salt, taken first
thing in the morning daily is considered an effective remedy for expelling worms. Turmeric,
being rich in iron is useful in anemia. A teaspoon of raw turmeric juice, mixed with honey is
taken everyday in the treatment of this condition. Turmeric is useful in the treatment of measles.
Turmeric roots are dried in the sun and ground to a fine powder. This mixed with a few drops of
honey and the juice of few bitter gourd leaves can be taken by those suffering from measles.T
urmeric with its antiseptic properties is a useful remedy for chronic cough and throat irritations.
Half a teaspoon of fresh turmeric powder mixed in 30 ml of warm milk is very effective in these
conditions. To prepare this milk is poured on a hot ladle with turmeric in it and boiled over a
slow fire. In case of a running cold smoke from burning turmeric can be inhaled. This increases
the discharge from the nose and brings quicker relief. Turmeric in combination with caraway
seeds or ajwain is beneficial for cold in infants and children. A teaspoon of turmeric powder and
quarter teaspoon of ajwain are added to boiling water which is then cooled. About 30 ml of this
decoction sweetened with honey may be taken thrice a day in treating such conditions. For
treating sprains or the swelling caused by sprains, turmeric paste mixed with lime and salt can be
applied with beneficial results.
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Turmeric powder is beneficial in soreness of the eyes. About 6 grams of this powder is boiled in
about half a liter of water till it is reduced to half. A few drops of this water put in the affected
eyes three or four times a day give relief. An application of turmeric powder to boils speeds up
the healing process. In case of fresh boils a few dry roots of turmeric are roasted and the ashes
dissolved in a cupful of water add applied over the affected portion. This solution enables the
boils to ripen and burst. It is useful in the treatment of skin diseases like ringworm and scabies.
In such cases, the juice of raw turmeric is externally applied to the affected parts. Simultaneously,
turmeric juice, mixed withhoneyshouldbetakenorally. India produces nearly the whole world's
turmeric crop and consumes 80% of it. With its inherent qualities, Indian turmeric is considered
to be the best in the world. The fresh spice is much preferred to the dried spice in South East
Asia. The fresh rhizome is grated and added to curry dishes; it is also used as a yellow curry
paste in Thailand. Due to Indian influence, turmeric has also made its way into Ethiopian cuisine.
Besides flavoring food, the most common uses of turmeric are to purify the blood and remedy
skin conditions. Many people are familiar with turmeric as a traditional Middle-Eastern spice,
but few know of its medicinal virtues. Turmeric, otherwise known as Circuma longa, is a
member of the ginger family, Zingaberaceae. The Latin name is derived from the Persian word,
"kirkum," which means "saffron," in reference to the rhizome's vibrant yellow-orange color. It is
indigenous to southeast Asia, but has long been used and cultivated throughout India. Turmeric
is highly valuable for the influence it exerts on the digestive system and the liver. In both
Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, it is considered to be a bitter digestive and a
carminative. It is used by Unani practitioners to expel phlegm or kapha, opening out the blood
vessels to improve blood circulation. It can be incorporated into foods, including rice and bean
dishes, to improve digestion and reduce gas and bloating. It is a cholagogue, stimulating bile
production in the liver and encouraging the excretion of bile via the gallbladder. This improves
the body's ability to digest fats. Western cuisine does not use turmeric directly, but it forms part
of several spice mixtures and sauces; it is also used to impart a bright yellowcolortomustardpaste.
Preliminary studies on mice suggest curcumin may be effective in stopping the progression of
Multiple Sclerosis. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found that mice bred to develop a
MS-like disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), demonstrated little or no
symptoms of the disease when given curcumin. Mice that were not given curcumin went on to
develop severe paralysis.
History of turmeric
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and several other species of the curcuma genus grow wild in the
forests of Southern Asia including India, Indonesia, Indochina, nearby Asian countries, and some
Pacific Islands including Hawaii. All of these areas have traditional culinary and medicinal uses
going back to pre-history. In the Indian Ayurveda system of herbal medicine, turmeric is known
as strengthening and warming to the whole body. Traditional uses in India include to improve
digestion, to improve intestinal flora, to eliminate worms, to relieve gas, to cleanse and
strengthen the liver and gallbladder, to normalize menstruation, for relief of arthritis and swelling,
as a blood purifier, to warm and promote proper metabolism correcting both excesses and
deficiencies, for local application on sprains, burns, cuts, bruises, insect bites and itches, for
soothing action in cough and asthma, as antibacterial and anti-fungus, and in any condition of
weakness or debility. According to Michael Moriarty, “The ancient Hawaiians used this herb
for many things, including the prevention and treatment of sinus infections (it is very astringent
and appears to pull mucus out), ear infections (swimmers ear) and gastrointestinal ulcers.”
Turmeric is eaten as a food both raw and cooked throughout Asia. While turmeric root looks
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much like ginger root, it is less fibrous and is more chewable, crunchy, and succulent. The fresh
root (not the powder) has a somewhat sweet and nutty favor mixed with its bitter flavor. As a
result, it is not unpleasant to eat and not difficult to chew. It is sometimes chewed plain or
chopped up and put in salads raw. Traditional use includes mashing/grinding it in a mortar to
make a paste to mix with other spices for flavoring in curries. In modern times, the most
common use is of the dried root powder as the base of most curries in India and other nearby
countries. (personal observation)
Another traditional use of turmeric is as a food colorant and dye for cloth – in both cases a
cheaper alternative to saffron. It was and is used in religious ceremonies and offerings often
representing life, purity, and prosperity. The old herbals of Europe make little if any mention of
turmeric. Marco Polo refers to turmeric as Indian saffron used for dying cloth. Michael
Castleman writing in 1991 says: “The ancient Greeks were well aware of turmeric, but unlike its
close botanical relative, ginger, it never caught on in the West as either a culinary or medicinal
herb. It was, however, used to make orange-yellow dyes. In the 1870’s, chemists discovered
turmeric’s orange-yellow root powder turned reddish brown when exposed to alkaline chemicals.
This discovery led to the development of turmeric paper … to test for alkalinity.” European and
American herbalists up until the late 20
century had little interest in turmeric. For example, in
all of Dr. Christopher’s writings the only mention of turmeric I can find is that it is listed as an
alternative tonic. In Jethro Klauss’s book Back to Eden, I can find no mention of turmeric at all.
This indicates to me that the herbal schools Dr. Christopher and Jethro Klauss went to were not
aware of the potential of turmeric which was well known to Asian herbalists. I also suspect that
there was a disconnect between Asian and western herbalists. Michael Castleman comments:
“American chemists used turmeric paper, but not even the botanically oriented 19
Eclectic physicians had much use for turmeric itself, except to add color to medicinal
ointments.”In one western herbal from the early 20
Century, I do find a discussion of turmeric.
This is in Maude Grieve’s book A Modern Herbal. She gives a botanical description and the
constituents of the herb as if the herb was of some importance, but then under Medicinal Actions
and Uses she says: “Turmeric is a mild aromatic stimulant seldom used in medicine except as a
coloring. It was once a cure for jaundice. Its chief use is in the manufacture of curry powders.
It is also used as an adulterant of mustard and a substitute for it and forms one of the ingredients
of cattle condiments. … Turmeric paper is used as a test for alkaloids and boric acid.” This
disregard of turmeric as an important nutritional and medicinal herb continued in western
herbalism up until the late 20
Century.However, even as Maude Grieve was writing, the roots
of turmeric’s emergence as a prominent healing herb were starting to grow. Daniel B. Mowrey
tells the story: “Serious research on turmeric began in Germany, in the early 1920’s.
Sesquisterpenes in the essential oil of turmeric were isolated in 1926 and to them was ascribed
the therapeutic activity. Later, a team of scientists compared the effects of whole extract, the
essential oil, and the water-soluble extract. In 1936, curcumin was compared to whole extract
and several isolated constituents. … The results of the experiment show that turmeric acts in the
following ways:
Turmeric stimulates the flow of bile; several constituents have this
The increased flow of bile depend in part on the contraction of the gallbladder and in
part on the increase in bile secretion;
The stimulation of bile depends mostly on the presence of essential oil;
The flavonoids cause
the contraction of the gallbladder and thereby increase the effective emptying of this
organ.”“While studies were being pursued in European, primarily German laboratories, Asian
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researchers were independently validating the same properties of turmeric. But their interest
extended to the liver protective and curative principles of turmeric and in a series of brilliant
papers they reported important findings in that area. So far what has clearly been demonstrated
is that turmeric possesses anti-hepatotoxic activity on the order possessed by other liver-
protective herbs such as milk thistle and licorice. Other research has helped establish the effects
of turmeric on the blood. For example, as many of the common curry herbs do, curcumin
prevents large fluctuations in blood cholesterol after meals.The potent anti-inflammatory activity
(in the essential oil and in curcumin) of turmeric has been substantiated in other research. Like
other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as licorice root), curcumin appears to act
through some sort of adrenal mechanism (when the adrenals are removed, turmeric has no
effect).” In the mid-20
century, western herbalists began taking note and considering turmeric
for herbal use – initially in Germany. In Rudolph Weiss’s book, Herbal Medicine, first
published in 1961, discusses the potential use of turmeric for the digestive system: “Its
usefulness as a gallbladder remedy in the narrower sense has been demonstrated. The
cholagogue and choleretic action is quite powerful. The people of Java call this plant temoe
lavak. In India and other Asian countries it has a long tradition as a popular remedy for jaundice
and liver disease. There is no doubt that it can be effective, particularly where bile flow needs to
be thoroughly stimulated” However, Dr. Weiss then discourages the use of turmeric and makes
comments which appear to me to reflect hearsay and not personal use: “but it is doubtful if it
achieves more than our native drugs The yellow pigment has marked irritant effect on the gastric
mucosa, so that caution is indicated where there is a tendency to hyper acidity or where there is
simple irritable stomach Observations made in India have shown the powerful and lasting irritant
effect of curry on the stomach.” This discussion obviously ignores the potential other causes of
gastric irritation such as excessive use of oils (which are often rancid) and overcooking literally
for hours at very high temperatures typical of Indian curries. Few contemporary herbalists
recommended turmeric through the 1980’s and when they did it was for limited or special uses
such as liver tonic or menstrual regularity. However, by the early 1990’s a chorus of prominent
western herbalists (including Murray, Hobbs, Castleman, Mowrey, Duke, Clark, Tierra, and
Pederson), began promoting the use of turmeric for several major health problems. As Michael
Castleman put it: “Western herbalists, wake up. Turmeric is a healer.”
Health benefits of turmeric in our daily life
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth
of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque
buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs
but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
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12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric medicinal uses
From many years awareness of turmeric and its use as medicine is continuously
increasing. A flowering plant, Turmeric, in the ginger family, is commonly used as a food
coloring and is one of the basic ingredients in curry powder. To heal many health disorders like
liver problems, digestive disorders, treatment for skin diseases and wound healing turmeric has
long been used in Medicinal as an anti-inflammatory.Curcumin is the active ingredient in
turmeric which has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects.
Digestive Disorders
Turmeric is considered as a digestive bitter and a carminative. It can be added into foods
including rice and bean dishes to improve digestion, reduce gas and bloating. It is a cholagogue,
stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder.
This improves the body's ability to digest fats. For chronic digestive weakness and/or congestion
turmeric is recommended. It can be taken as a single extract or in the form of digestive bitters,
which combine turmeric with other bitter and carminative herbs. Turmeric is beneficial for
people who feel tired after consuming meals or who experience gas and bloating. Whatever way
turmeric is consumed it is beneficial to both the digestive system and the liver.
Liver Diseases
Turmeric is beneficial for its influence on the liver. In spring more consumption of herbs and
foods can strengthen the liver. Turmeric shares similar liver protectant compounds that milk
thistle and artichoke leaves contain. It is said to shrink engorged hepatic ducts, so it can be useful
to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice.
Recent scientific research confirm that turmeric can cure host of diseases, also they found that
turmeric restrain the growth of various types of cancer. Turmeric is used for the treatment of skin
cancer or pre cancerous skin conditions. Both topical and internal uses are beneficial.
Turmeric may helpful in preventing the blockage of arteries that can gradually cause a heart
attack or stroke in one of two ways. Turmeric makes cholesterol levels low and inhibited the
oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). Oxidized LDL deposits in the walls of blood vessels and
contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Turmeric may also prevent platelet build
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up along the walls of an injured blood vessel. Platelets collecting at the site of a damaged blood
vessel cause blood clots to form and blockage of the artery as well.
Turmeric may help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis because of its ability to reduce pain
and disability.
Menstrual problems of Woman
For women who experience monthly menstrual cramps, try using turmeric extract or bitters twice
daily for two weeks prior to expected menstruation. Turmeric is an antispasmodic to smooth
muscles so it reduces digestive and menstrual cramping. It should reduce the severity of pain, if
not ease them completely. Certainly, diet and standard of living have a reflective influence on the
menstrual cycle, but turmeric is a great addition.
Bacterial Infection / Wounds
Turmeric is useful as an external antibiotic in preventing bacterial infection in wounds.
Eye Disorder
Curcumin may prove to be as effective as corticosteroids in the uveitis (inflammation of the
uvea, the middle layer of the eye between the sclera - white outer coat of the eye and the retina -
the back of the eye) the type of eye disorder.
Other Health Disorders
Turmeric decreases congestion and inflammation from stagnant mucous
membranes. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory to the mucous membranes, which coat the throat,
lungs, stomach and intestines. Regular use of turmeric can benefit from Colitis, Crohn's disease,
diarrhea, and post-giardia or post salmonella conditions. The itching and inflammation that
accompanies hemorrhoids and anal fissures can reduce by use of turmeric. Turmeric can also
benefit skin conditions including: eczema, psoriasis and acne, for those it is potent detoxifier.
"Turmeric gives the energy of the Divine Mother and grants prosperity of health. Turmeric is
effectual for purification the chakras, as well as purifying the path of the subtle body."
Turmeric as healing properties
Besides flavoring food, to purify the blood and skin conditions remedy is probably the most
common use of Turmeric in Ayurveda.
The main organs that turmeric treats are the skin, heart, liver and lungs.
Turmeric is used for epilepsy and bleeding disorders, skin diseases, to purify the body-
mind, and to help the lungs expel Kapha.
Activities of Turmeric include: Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,
anti-tumor, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent,
cardiovascular, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary.
Therapeutic uses of Turmeric: Anemia, cancer, diabetes, digestion, food poisoning,
gallstones, indigestion, IBS, parasites, poor circulation, staph infections, and wounds.
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Turmeric helps to regulate the female reproductive system and purifies the uterus and
breast milk, and in men it purifies and builds semen, which is counterintuitive for a
pungent bitter.
Turmeric reduces fevers, diarrhea, urinary disorders, insanity, poisoning, cough, and
lactation problems in general.
Turmeric is used to treat external ulcers that respond to nothing else. Turmeric decreases
Kapha and so is used to remove mucus in the throat, watery discharges like leucorrhea,
and any pus in the eyes, ears, or in wounds, etc.
In Ayurvedic cooking, turmeric is everywhere, this multifaceted wonder spice helps
Detoxify the liver
Balance cholesterol levels
Fight allergies
Stimulate digestion
Boost immunity
Enhance the complexion
It is also an antioxidant Ayurveda recognizes turmeric as a heating spice, contributing bitter,
pungent and astringent tastes.
Remedies of turmeric
Everyday take a dose of 1 tsp of turmeric juice mixed with honey.
Boil 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Drink warm.
Mix 1 tsp of turmeric with 1 tsp of aloe gel and apply to burnt area.
Mix 1 tbsp of crushed, raw turmeric in 1/3 cup of water. Boil and sieve. 2–3 drops of this
mixture may be used in each eye up to 3 times per day.
Apply a paste of turmeric on the skin before bed, and wash off after a few minutes. In the
morning, remove any remaining yellow tinge with a paste of chickpea flour (besan) and oil.
Dental problems
Mix 1 tsp of turmeric with ½ tsp of salt. Add mustard oil to make a paste. Rub the teeth and
gums with this paste twice daily.
½–1 tsp of turmeric should be taken 3 times a day.
Take ½ tsp of turmeric powder or juice in water, 3 times per day. Top
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Mix 1 tsp of turmeric and 2 tsp of ginger with water to make a paste. Spread over a cloth, place
on the affected area and bandage.
Add 1 tsp of turmeric to 1 cup of warm milk and drink before bed.
Other uses
In cooking, turmeric acts as a yellow coloring agent. It is an important herb in Hindu rituals. It is
also a ingredient in cosmetics as it is beneficial for the skin. Burning turmeric can repel insects.
Inhaling the smoke can assist in coughs, asthma and congested nasal passages.
Ears, Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Turmeric dust, with alum 1:20, is blown into the ear to treat chronic otorrhea.
Mix a pinch of Turmeric with organic ghee and apply it to the mucus lining of nose to stop the
sniffles. It also stops nosebleeds, helps to clear the sinuses, restore a more acute sense of smell,
and helps to purify the mind and brain.
Turmeric helps to maintain the shape and integrity of our eyes.
A Turmeric/water decoction, 1:20, is used to treat conjunctivitis and eye disease in general. Soak
a cloth in the decoction and then cover the eye with it. This helps to relieve the pain as well.
Turmeric for Stomach and Intestines
Turmeric treats the whole Gastro - Intestinal system.
In general turmeric is used for
Weak stomachs
Poor digestion
To normalize metabolism
To help digest protein
To increase the bio-availability of food and the ability of the stomach to withstand
digestive acids.
Turmeric is a great carminative, able to calm an upset digestive system by getting rid of gas and
distention. Carminatives also tend to increase absorption and nurture the intestinal flora.Taking
Turmeric will work fine to balance an upset digestion. Just take a small spoonful of Turmeric
and stir it in a cup of yogurt right after lunch. Remedy for ‘piles’ is to directly apply a mixture of
mustard oil, turmeric, and onion juice. To stop rectal bleeding take a 2 or 3 tablespoons of
Turmeric every half hour until the bleeding stops, usually in an hour.
Therapeutic uses of turmeric
Turmeric is a wide, foot-long, lily-like leaves and yellow to yellowish white flowers that is
native to India, Bangladesh and China. It has a strong taste and its yellow color is almost
impossible to remove once it stained your clothes. The culinary and medicinal value of turmeric
is in the root or rhizome; it is dried and ground into the spice.
Turmeric is beneficial in the treatment of Gallbladder problems, hepatitis, indigestion, infections,
lack of appetite, scabies, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, athlete's foot, boils, bursitis,
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breast cancer, colon cancer, cataracts, colic, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, fibrosis, gallstones, gas,
hardening of the arteries, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, inflammation,
intestinal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, lack of menstruation, lymph gland problems,
menstrual pain, morning sickness, pain, psoriasis, sprains, ulcers, wounds, yeast infections. It is
also being use for the treatment of bruises, for childbirth, eye inflammation, epilepsy, fever,
hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, itching, ringworm.
Therapeutic Properties:
Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids it is a first rate natural remedy for arthritis, it has
an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help alleviate pain. It can also help protect the
gallbladder and liver and provide a defense against cancer. Curcumin can also help inhibit the
formation of cancer in breast tissue. Experiment on animal shows that curcumin slashed the risk
of colon cancer by almost 60%, this phytochemical seems to neutralize cancer-causing
compounds, stop cancerous changes in the cells and directly fight substances that enable
carcinogens to spread and wreak havoc. Turmeric also triggers better bile flow, which helps
digest fats and reduces the risk of gallstones. It also helps generates the secretion of several
enzymes that assist the liver in breaking down and metabolizing certain toxic substances. Some
of these same phytochemicals inhibit the oxidative damage that allows cholesterol to coagulate
and cling to the inside of arteries. Turmeric /curcumin is about half as effective as corticosteroids,
but it doesn't have bad side effect as corticosteroids, this drug is use for the treatment of arthritis,
but they can cause fluid retention and bloating, elevate blood pressure, encourage intestinal
bleeding, ulcer formation and increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Direction for use / Dosage:
400 milligrams of a curcumin extract three times a day, 445 milligrams of a standardized
supplement 2 to 3 times a day, 1tsp of the dried herb in a cup of warm milk daily, 1tsp to 1 tbsp
of a liquid extract divided into several dosages over the course of a day, or 1/8 to ¼ tsp of
turmeric tincture 3x a day. Your body will absorbed more curcumin if you take it with lots of
black pepper. The pipeline in pepper improves the body's ability to use turmeric perhaps as much
as twentyfold, according to studies. Ginger is also a good companion for turmeric.
Don't take turmeric if you have bile duct obstruction, people with gallstones should consult a
herb physician before taking this. Excessive dosage of curcuminoids could cause ulcers or cancer
and reduce the number of red and white blood cells in the body. Too much intake can also cause
hair fall. When buying turmeric, always buy from reputable seller since some species are toxic.
Turmeric use as traditional medicine
India, China, and Southeast Asia have valued turmeric as a medicine for hundreds of years. In
Ayurvedic medicine, the 5,000-year-old natural healing system of India, turmeric is used as a
cleansing herb for the whole body and as a remedy for minor wounds, poor digestion, arthritis,
jaundice, inflammation, and pain. If you were told that taking as little as one teaspoon per day of
a simple spice could possibly treat the pain of arthritis, ward off ulcers, fight heart disease,
prevent some cancers, treat dysentery, and protect your liver.Well, this is turmeric. Turmeric has
been the subject of a great deal of research and all of it has been very promising.Turmeric
exhibits very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This would be exciting
enough, but turmeric offers so much more. It would probably be easier to say what it couldn't
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do...but that wouldn't be half as enlightening.Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and like
ginger it is the rhizome that is used. It is cured in a special process...boil, clean, sun dry, and
polish. Not surprisingly, India is the world's major producer of turmeric today, responsible for
around 94 percent of the worlds supply. Curcuminoids are what give turmeric its characteristic
(and beautiful) yellow coloring. Curcumin is one of the curcuminoids, and has been the focus of
much research. Curcumin is similar to the compound capsaicin (found in cayenne), curcumin
lowers something called "substance P" so pain signals are not transmitted through nerve fibers.
Turmeric has shown strong liver protective properties. In this age of giving a "pill for every ill",
this kind of liver support can be potentially crucial. Our livers have to process every drug that we
take in. This can take its toll. Acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) can be especially hard on
one's liver especially if we are taking it regularly or in large amounts. So can alcohol. Using
turmeric may be a great insurance policy towards protecting that liver. Arthritis can be a misery,
but many of the medications to treat the pain and inflammation of the arthritis can be a misery in
themselves. Taking turmeric (curcumin 1,200 mg to be exact) every day significantly improved
the swelling and stiffness of the joints and improved the ability to walk in a study of rheumatoid
arthritis sufferers. The best news here is that curcumin does not have the toxicity potential of
other anti-inflammatory drug therapies. Turmeric, like many culinary herbs, helps to slow food
spoilage. This is due to the fact that it has an antibiotic action. Laboratory tests have shown that
turmeric also fights protozoa. These are a group of nasties that, among other things, can be
responsible for dysentery. Traditionally, turmeric has been used to treat this type of dysentery,
and anecdotal reports show that it has been quite successful. Turmeric may also prevent heart
disease and stroke by preventing the blood clots that are the causes of many. Also, it has been
shown to lower cholesterol. Be mindful, that these studies are preliminary, but very promising.
Also, in the realm of heart disease, turmeric is strongly anti-inflammatory and inflammation is
the enemy of our arteries.A human trial was done involving only smokers. Participants were
given 1.5 grams of turmeric (approximately 1 teaspoon) per day for one month. Findings were
promising. Smoker's urine normally contains substances called mutagens. These mutagens are
agents capable of causing mutations in genes. The mutagens are potentially carcinogenic. At the
end of the study, the smoker's urine had a significant reduction of these mutagens excreted in
their urine.Good for your arteries, potential cancer and heart disease prevention, and so much
more. It is usually very well tolerated also. In unusually large amounts, it can cause some
stomach upset. If this should occur, either discontinue use or cut back on the dosage. Pregnant
women should not use turmeric in its supplement form. In addition those with gallstones or other
bile duct blockages should not take it, as it is a bile production stimulant. Also, those people
taking blood thinners (example: Coumadin) should check with their physician before using
turmeric as a supplement. This is always a good idea with any herbal supplement, especially if
you are taking medications or if you have preexisting conditions. Turmeric is a perennial plant
belonging to the ginger family which can be found in several countries of South East Asia as
well as all of the Caribbean islands. The root of the plant has a bulb like appearance which is
usually dried and ground before use although there are some applications where it can be used
while freshly dug from the ground. It is the root or bulb that is used for cooking as well as for
medicinal applications. Indians, Chinese and West Indians have used this herb as much as for
medicinal uses as they have for cooking. Turmeric is called Curcuma Longa in Latin, Haridra or
the Yellow one in the Sanskrit language and Haldee in the Hindi language. It is also associated
with Ayurvedic medicines in the Vedas or ancient lore of the Hindus and is an integral part of
what is referred to as Aushadhi or herbal medicines. Traditional Chinese practitioners have used
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turmeric medicinally for liver and gallbladder disorders, respiratory congestion, promotion of
digestion and assimilation, improving blood circulation, regulating menses, and helping heal
bruises and sprains. Based on these and many other traditional uses, researchers are now
beginning to realize the importance of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and
anticarcinogenic actions and its liver-protective properties.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, grown and commercially harvested in India, Asia,
and other tropical countries. The thick, cured rhizomes contain protein, vitamins, minerals,
carbohydrates, and yellowish orange volatile oils called curcuminoids that are responsible for the
biological activity of turmeric.
A Beneficial Derivative
Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid derived from turmeric and is best known as an anti-
inflammatory. It is sometimes formulated with bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme found in
pineapple, to increase absorption and enhance its anti-inflammatory action. This combination
should be taken on an empty stomach 20 minutes before meals or between meals.
In rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, animal and human studies have shown that curcumin is
as effective in reducing inflammation and swelling, with fewer side effects, as hydrocortisone or
phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication. The recommended
dosage of curcumin for inflammatory conditions is 400 mg to 600 mg three times a day.
Digging Deeper
Curcumin is being studied in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. An ongoing
study is examining the safety, tolerability, and absorption of curcumin to determine its potential
effect on cognition, behaviour, and daily function of Alzheimer’s patients.
Researchers are also evaluating curcumin for its antiviral and antibacterial actions and as a
preventive agent and treatment option for stomach ulcers, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, and
Anticancer Agent
Turmeric shows real promise as an anticancer agent due in part to its antioxidant activity. Several
recent studies demonstrate that the frequent use of turmeric has been linked to lower rates of
breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Laboratory tests conclude that curcumin may prevent the development of tumours and slow the
spread of cancer cells. Currently, clinical trials are under way to assess the efficacy of curcumin
in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
In addition, curcumin is often recommended to protect healthy cells from the harmful effects of
radiation and chemotherapy, without reducing the effectiveness of these treatments.
Spice Up Your Veggies
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer in men with new cases being diagnosed every year.
The good news is scientists at the State University of New Jersey recently tested curcumin and
phenethyl isothiocyanate, a naturally occurring substance abundant in cruciferous vegetables,
and found that this combination significantly reduced tumour growth and the cancer’s ability to
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metastasize in mice implanted with human prostate cancer cells. Best of all, cauliflower, broccoli,
kale, turnips, and cabbage taste delicious when spiced with turmeric.
Further Dietary Assets
Some of our best cholesterol fighters can be found right in our own kitchens, and turmeric is no
exception. Studies show that curcumin can lower LDL levels of cholesterol, increase the
beneficial HDL levels, and reduce the production of cholesterol gallstones.
Turmeric is also a potent liver herb. Many herbal practitioners believe that turmeric is
comparable to milk thistle for treating hepatitis and improving liver function. Turmeric
stimulates the liver’s production of bile to help break down fats. It improves peristalsis, the
rhythmic contractions that move food through the intestinal tract, and increases glutathione, a
powerful substance present in the liver that helps detoxify and eliminate pesticides, heavy metals,
and harmful chemicals.
Turmeric can be consumed often and generously in the diet, although prolonged use may cause
stomach upset for some. It adds a mild, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and a golden yellow
colour to curry dishes, rice, chicken, fish, vegetables, and lentils. Turmeric can also be taken as a
tincture, in capsules, and as a powder blended in water or juice. The next time you are preparing
your favorite meal, consider spicing it up with a healthy dose of turmeric.
In Unani medicine, turmeric has been used for conditions such as liver obstruction and jaundice
and has been applied externally for ulcers and inflammation. Roasted turmeric has been used as
an ingredient of a preparation used for dysentery. Turmeric has also been used in tooth powder
or paste.
A hot water extract of the dried rhizome has been taken orally to slow lactation, to regulate fat
metabolism, for diabetes, diarrhoea, liver diseases and has been taken as a tonic and to calm the
stomach. The fresh juice taken regularly on an empty stomach has been used to prevent stomach
disorders. A hot water extract of the dried rhizome is regarded as having an abortion promoting
effect when taken orally or in the form of a pessary.
External applications
Externally the dried rhizome has been applied to fresh wounds and to insect stings and to help
the healing process in chickenpox and smallpox. Turmeric is also reported to give a good
complexion to the skin and has been applied externally to remove hair and to act as a tonic, and
to alleviate itching. Inhalation of turmeric smoke is reputed to relieve hiccups. In Ayurvedic
medicine, turmeric is regarded as a readily available antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises and as
a remedy for stomach problems. In India, turmeric is being aded to every vegetable and pulses
dish cooked in kitchen. It is a blood purifier. It heals the body from within when you have
bruises or met with an accident. Termaric is a good dermatologic antibiotic used in india.
Bacterial, fungal infections are prevented by the application of turmeric powder.
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Uses of Turmeric
Since ancient times, turmeric has been used as a traditional medicine and for beauty care. In
Ayurvedic system of Indian medicine, turmeric is an important herbal medicine prescribed for
various diseases. In fact, turmeric is even used in modern times to plug radiator leaks in water-
cooled radiators.
The various uses of turmeric are as follows :
Food Additive
Turmeric is a mild aromatic stimulant used in the manufacture of curry powders.
Turmeric is used in products that are packaged to protect them from sunlight.
The oleoresin component of turmeric is used for oil-containing products.
The curcumin solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used for water
containing products.
Sometimes in pickles and mustard, turmeric is used to compensate for fading.
Turmeric is also used for coloring cheeses, salad dressings, margarine, yoghurts, cakes,
biscuits, popcorn, cereals, sauces, etc.
Turmeric also forms a substitute for mustard in the cattle feed.
Turmeric is used for treating digestive disorders.
Raw Turmeric juice is used to treat hyper acidity and indigestion.
The juice of raw turmeric also acts as a blood purifier.
Curcumin - an active component of turmeric, has anti-oxidant properties and so turmeric
is used in alternative medicine.
Turmeric is used for cuts and burns as it is believed to have antiseptic effects and
promotes healing.
Curcumin also has an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing histamine(hormone) levels.
The flouride present in turmeric is essential for teeth.
Turmeric also has a protective effect on the liver and also in atherosclerosis.
The juice of raw turmeric is applied to the skin as a paste, kept for around thirty minutes
and then washed off. It adds glow to the skin.
It is an essential ingredient of the traditional bathing ritual of Indian marriages where it is
applied along with sandal wood paste before the bath.
It is believed that regular bathing in water containing turmeric reduces growth of body
Regular turmeric use is said to make the skin fair, soft and smooth.
Turmeric is used for spots caused due to pigmentation or blotches and also for diseases
like eczema.
As a tester for Acids and Alkalies
Unglazed white paper is saturated with an alcoholic solution of curcumin. When dried, this paper
is used for testing of alkalies, acids and boric acid.
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Alkali and Acid Test : The paper turns red-brown with alkalies. This color becomes violet
upon drying and the original yellow color is restored with acids.
Boric Acid Test : When the paper is dipped into a solution of boric acid, it turns orange-
red. The color remains so even when it is moistened with free mineral acid. Paper that has
been turned to orange by boric acid will assume a blue color when it is moistened with
diluted alkali.
Miscellaneous Uses
Ayurveda states that turmeric is poisonous for crocodiles. So anyone swimming in
crocodile infested waters should apply turmeric paste to protect himself.
Turmeric is also believed to ward off snakes and the presence of turmeric plants around
the house acts as a barrier for them.
The turmeric paste is used in Indian medicine for snakebites.
The leaves of turmeric are said to act as mosquito repellents.
Turmeric is used as a coloring agent for filter paper used in scientific tests.
It has been recently discovered that in water cooled type of radiators, a spoonful of
turmeric added to the water, plugs any leaks.
Use of Turmeric for Medicinal Purposes
Even though the turmeric herb has been around for thousands of years, in recent years attention
has been brought to this herb for it's medicinal properties. Many state that it has antiseptic
qualities and has been taken orally or applied to a wound when it's raw. Traditionally turmeric
was used quite often to help prevent infection. When taken orally, it has been used to treat
numerous infections, such as various stomach ailments. All of these traditional methods of
treatment have been proven to be helpful in most cases. The healing properties are said to come
from the rhizomes found in the herb, which is called curcumin.
Turmeric to Help with Pain and Reduce Inflammation
Some of us are interested in how to use turmeric to reduce inflammation and help with pain.
There are many popular options in order to increase the amount of turmeric that your body gets.
This should be done slowly over time. Some studies show how to use turmeric is to begin with ¼
teaspoon and working up to 1 teaspoon over the period of a month. This can be done by
sprinkling the powder in soups, adding it to your food while cooking dinner, or adding it to
scrambled eggs, or sprinkled over salads. Studies also show that adding a dash of cayenne pepper
along with the turmeric can possibly make it even more effective. Turmeric is believed to also
serve as an anti-inflammatory within the digestive tract. Some people have reported that their
food digests better, plus some reports have shown that adding a little extra turmeric to your diet
after over indulging can help with digestion and the bloated feeling.
How to Take Turmeric
While there are many methods on how to use turmeric, one thing is clear, it appears to have
many health benefits, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Many find that
rather than trying to add turmeric to their diet by various methods, that it's much easier to take a
multi-vitamin supplement. Taking a multi-vitamin supplement that includes not only turmeric,
but also other herbal extracts, which provide for overall optimum health.
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Plant Description:
A relative of ginger, turmeric is a perennial plant that grows 5 - 6 feet high in the tropical regions
of Southern Asia, with trumpet-shaped, dull yellow flowers. Its roots are bulbs that also produce
rhizomes, which then produce stems and roots for new plants. Turmeric is fragrant and has a
bitter, somewhat sharp taste. Although it grows in many tropical locations, the majority of
turmeric is grown in India, where it is used as a main ingredient in curry.
Parts Used:
The roots, or rhizomes and bulbs, are used in medicinal and food preparations. They are
generally boiled and then dried, turning into the familiar yellow powder. Curcumin, the active
ingredient, has antioxidant properties, which some claim may be as strong as vitamins C and E.
Other substances in this herb have antioxidant properties as well.
Available Forms:
Turmeric is available in the following forms:
Capsules containing powder
Fluid extract
Because bromelain increases the absorption and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, it is
often combined with turmeric products.
How to Take It:
There is no recommended dosage for children. Consider adjusting the recommended adult dose
to account for the child's weight. Most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on the basis of a
150 lb (70 kg) adult. Therefore, if the child weighs 50 lb (20 - 25 kg), the appropriate dose of
turmeric for this child would be 1/3 of the adult dosage.
The following are doses recommended for adults:
Cut root: 1.5 - 3 g per day
Dried, powdered root: 1 - 3 g per day
Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 - 600 mg, 3 times per day
Fluid extract (1:1) 30 - 90 drops a day
Tincture (1:2): 15 - 30 drops, 4 times per day
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease.
Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or
medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health
care provider.The amounts of turmeric found in foods are considered safe.Turmeric and
curcumin are considered safe when taken at the recommended doses. However, taking large
amounts of turmeric for long periods of time may produce stomach upset and, in extreme cases,
ulcers. People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should talk to their doctor
before taking turmeric.If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking turmeric
supplements. Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, and when combined with medications for
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diabetes could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).Although it is safe to eat foods containing
turmeric, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take turmeric supplements.
Possible Interactions:
If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use
turmeric or curcumin in medicinal forms without first talking to your health care provider.
Antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs (blood-thinners) -- Turmeric may affect the blood's ability
to clot, and could interfere with any blood-thinning drugs you are taking, including:
Warfarin (Coumadin)
Clopidogrel (Plavix)
Drugs that reduce stomach acid -- Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs,
increasing the production of stomach acid:
Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Famotidine (Pepcid)
Ranitidine (Zantac)
Esomeprazole (Nexium)
Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
Drugs for diabetes (that lower blood sugar) -- Turmeric may increase the effects of these drugs,
increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Cosmetic use of Turmeric
Turmeric is widely used in cosmetics. In India brides (and even grooms) are smeared with
turmeric at the wedding eve. It not only brings a golden glow to the skin but also keeps skin
healthy and beautiful by reducing inflammation, smoothening and treating and preventing skin
ailments like pimples rashes, acne, blackheads and blemishes. A whole range of creams, lotions,
pace packs etc. are also including turmeric as an ingredient.
The Wonderful Medicinal Properties of Turmeric
Modern research on turmeric has revealed many of its wonderful healing properties. Its efficacy
in fighting cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, dementia,
chronic inflammation has made drug companies try and come up with compounds that could
mimic the actions of turmeric. No wonder along with neem, turmeric was involved in a patent
dispute for its medicinal properties. The University of Mississippi Medical Center 1995 was
awarded U.S. patent on turmeric, specifically for "use of turmeric in wound healing", which was
later revoked after a complaint filed by Indian Council for Science and Industrial Research.
Turmeric is used in Siddha and Ayurveda herbal preparations to cure various inflammations,
fevers, arthritis etc. In India turmeric is considered a symbol of prosperity, fertility and purity. It
is a cleansing herb.
Turmeric Tit Bits
Turmeric has been regarded as a purifier by ayurvedic healers. Well known for its healing
properties, remedies made of turmeric are used in treating digestive disorders, strengthening of
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liver, enhancing complexion, and nourishing body tissues. The main phytochemical compound
of turmeric is curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant useful in fighting cancer. Curcumin is
found to prevent formation of plaque, reduce inflammation and thereby used in treating
Alzheimer’s disease, dementia etc. Turmeric is found to be very effective in treating
allergies. Sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion are some of the symptoms of allergies. For
this take a spoonful of turmeric in a glass of water. The symptoms are found to vanish within a
couple of days. Turmeric is found to thin blood, and so people who take blood thinners should
exercise caution when taking turmeric.External application of turmeric paste is effective in
reducing swelling and inflammation, rapid healing of wounds, and treating acne. A paste made
of turmeric and neem leaves is applied in affected areas to treat ringworm, itching, and
eczema. It can be used after surgery to reduce pain, inflammation and accelerate
healing.Research is still underway to prove scientifically what the Indians knew for centuries,
that turmeric is one of the most powerful herb on this planet.
Turmeric is known to have many medicinal properties. It has been seen that throughout the
centuries, turmeric has been used in various beauty treatments. Turmeric is said to contain
certain components that help in accentuating one’s skin color. No wonder all the innumerous
fairness cream advertisements that we get to see boast of containing turmeric. The best part
about turmeric is that it is inexpensive effective. As per Indian rituals, the bride is smeared with
turmeric paste on the day of the marriage as it is believed that turmeric is good for skin. It even
enhances skin tone and gets rid of blemishes as well as acne. Experts claim that you should have
chopped turmeric in empty stomach. This is said to cleanse the blood and purify you from within.
As a result, you get blessed with a glowing fair skin. Most fairness and beauty creams claim of
being made with turmeric paste.Turmeric paste is supposed to have certain antiseptic features.
For ages, it is believed that turmeric paste helps for healing wounds and scratches. In fact, there
are many band-aids that have turmeric paste on them now a days. Applying turmeric paste on
burns or wounds soothes the skin and helps it to heal faster. Turmeric paste when mixed with
neem and applied on the face is an excellent facemask. To get the best results, you will need to
keep this mask for a span of 30 minutes and then rinse off with rose water.
One needs to be extra careful while taking off turmeric mask. Turmeric is known to leave a
yellow stain on the skin very easily. Ensure that you wash your face a number of times after
applying this facemask.Try using turmeric in your daily beauty regime and notice a glowing and
brighter skin.
Application of turmeric in dental problem
Dental problems
Turmeric can be used in following ways offer relief from dental problems:
Rinsing the mouth with turmeric water (boil 5 g of turmeric powder, two cloves, and two dried
leaves of guava in 200 g water) gives instant relief.
Massaging the aching teeth with roasted, ground turmeric eliminates pain and swelling.
Applying the powder of burnt turmeric pieces and bishop's weed seed on teeth and cleaning
them makes the gums and teeth strong.
Applying a paste made from 1 tsp of turmeric with ½ tsp of salt and ½ tsp of mustard oil
provides relief from gingivitis and periodontitis. Rub the teeth and gums with this paste twice
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Pit and fissure sealant
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 β-Apo-8'-Carotenal.
Dental-plaque detection system
Caries or periodontal diseases are thought to be infectious diseases caused by bacteria present in
dental plaques and it is known that the removal of dental plaques is highly important for the
health of oral cavities. However, dental plaques are not easy to identify by the naked eye and it is
difficult to confirm their attachment site and extent precisely. Accordingly, dental plaques are
generally stained with dental-plaque staining agents, which contain dyes, to reveal their locations
in order to uncover the attached dental plaques.The dental-plaque detection system includes a
dental-plaque staining agent, which contains at least one selected from the yellow pigment of
beni-koji, turmeric extracts, and curcumin; and a light-emitting apparatus, which outputs light
having a wavelength within a range of 250 to 500 nm to an object in the oral cavity where the
dental-plaque staining agent is attached. A yellow pigment of beni-koji and turmeric are known
as staining agents also used for other purposes.
Side Effects of Turmeric
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease.
Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other
herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the
supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine. While pregnant
women needn't avoid foods containing turmeric, its use as a medicinal herb is not recommended
during pregnancy because the effects are not fully known.
Turmeric extracts standardized at 90 to 95% curcumin can be taken in the amount of 250 to 500
mg three times per day. Tincture, 0.5-1.5 ml three times per day, is sometimes recommended.
No reports of toxicity have been reported following the ingestion of turmeric. No change in
weight was observed following chronic treatment, although changes in heart and lung weights
were observed; a decrease in white and red blood cell levels were observed. Although a gain in
weight of sexual organs and an increase in sperm motility was observed, no spermatotoxic
effects were found.
Turmeric and Modern Research
Continuing research on the health and medical benefits of turmeric show its healing properties
are more far-reaching than researchers first thought. Scientists discovered that turmeric has
natural phenolic compounds which provide a multitude of antioxidant properties. These
antioxidant properties are called curcuminoids. Beginning in the mid 1970s and continuing to
this day, the medical use of curcuminoid compounds is being studied in clinical and laboratory
research. The results of these studies show the importance of the rhizome, or fleshy rootstock, of
the turmeric plant and its current and possible future effect on modern medicine. Turmeric is the
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root (or rhizome) of the Asian plant, Curcuma longa or C. domestica (red valerian, haldi, jiang
huang). When the roots are ground up, they yield a yellowish powder that resembles saffron; it is
sometimes referred to as Indian saffron. Turmeric is used as a curry component and as a spice in
Indian cooking, and can be used as a dye. Turmeric and its major component, curcumin, are both
used as phytomedicines.
Potential Uses of Turmeric
There are many other uses of turmeric. Turmeric:
1. Improves the ability of the liver to remove toxic chemicals taken into the body.
2. Stops the oxidation of the body’s cholesterol which is the leading cause of diabetic heart
disease and atherosclerosis
3. Provides a natural source of vitamin B6 which keeps homocysteine levels low protecting the
walls of the blood vessels
4. Lowers cholesterol
5. Provides protection from neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s
6. Aids in the treatment of cystic fibrosis
7. Treats digestive Disorders
8. Reduces inflammation of the middle layer of the eye
9. Treats liver disease including cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice and enlarged hepatic ducts
10. Relieves the pain of osteoarthritis
11. Relieves menstrual cramp pain
12. Heals bacterial infections
13. Improves skin conditions and diseases including psoriasis
14. Defends or potentially defends against HIV
Clinical trials in turmeric
Clinical trials have been primarily published in local journals from Asian countries. There have
been no clinical studies on turmeric or curcumin from Europe or North America. Inflammation
and Arthritis-In a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial from India, of 6-month duration and
conducted on 42 patients with osteoarthrits, Articulin-F, an herbal mixture containing turmeric
(plus ashwagandha, frankincense, and zinc) improved pain and disability scores compared to
placebo. Although the results were statistically significant, the individual effect of turmeric was
not evaluated and the dose of turmeric (300 mg/day) was relatively small. A "preliminary"
double-blind RCT on 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis suggested curcumin 400 mg ti.d. was
as effective as phenylbutazone 100 mg t.i.d.; however, upon analyses of the results,
phenylbutazone appeared more effective, and there was no adequate placebo control.Other
Indications-An open study on patients with chronic anterior uveitis evaluated 53 patients, with 21
lost to follow-up. Eighteen patients with a weak reaction to purified protein derivative (PPD)
received 375 mg t.i.d. of turmeric alone for 12 weeks, versus 12 patients with a strong PPD
reaction who received turmeric combined with antitubercular drugs for 1 year. The 18 patients
receiving turmeric alone all improved within the initial 12 weeks, compared to 86% of the
combined treatment group. After 3 years of follow-up, there was a higher recurrence rate in the
turmeric group (55%) than the combination treatment group (36%), with similar rates of vision
loss. The authors suggest that turmeric may be beneficial in treating chronic anterior uveitis, but
the results of this non-blinded and poorly controlled study are difficult to interpretSmall
uncontrolled studies in India and China have reported potential effects of turmeric or curcumin in
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lowering serum cholesterol In an open study of 45 patients that assessed cholesterol as a
secondary endpoint over 4 weeks, triglycerides were reduced, but total cholesterol was
unaffected. An uncontrolled pilot study in India involving 814 patients reported that a paste of
turmeric combined with neem was beneficial to treat scabies.
Adverse Effects
Encapsulated turmeric or curcumin administered in the clinical trials was well tolerated; side
effects were qenerally similar to placebo. In one trial of patients with duodenal ulcers, a burning
sensation was reported twice as often in Ihe turmeric group than in the placebo group (13% and
7%, respectively). There are rare cases of allergic contact dermatitis reported.
Side Effects and Interactions:
Turmeric has anti platelet effects in vitro, which could have an additive effect with
anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs. However, antiplatelet effects have not been demonstrated in
vivo, and no adverse effects or interactions have been reported in the clinical trials or from
individual cases.
The safety of the herb (especially the turmeric extract, curcumin) in pregnancy and during breast
feeding has not been determined. Its choleretic effect may, in theory, cause an increase in
symptoms in patients with gallbladder or biliary disease, but this has not been reported in
humans, and the effect is unlikely.
Preparations & Doses:
Turmeric is used in foods, and is readily available as powders or capsules. Various extracts
containing curcumin are available in liquid form or in proprietary mixtures. In the clinical trials,
turmeric root or powder preparations were administered in a dose of 1-6 g/day, typically divided
three times daily, whereas doses of about 400 mg t.i.d. of curcumin were used. Quality turmeric
products are allegedly standardized to contain not less than 3% curcumin, and not less than 3%
volatile oils. Much larger amounts of curcumin can be administered than turmeric; the usual dose
of 1200 mg/day of curcumin is equal to about 40 g/day of turmeric (containing 3% curcumin). A
heaping teaspoon of powdered turmeric is about 4 g.
Nutrient Values of Turmeric
Nutrient Values of Turmeric per 100g
354kcal Energy Value
1481kj Total Fat
9.88mg Carbohydrates
65g Protein
Dietary Fiber
21g Sugars
3g Sodium
38mg Zinc
4.35mg Potassium
Vitamin C
25.9mg Magnesium
193mg Copper
0.603mg Calcium
183mg Iron
Vitamin E
Vit. B3
Vitamin B6
Vit. B1
Vit. B2
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Turmeric has been traditionally recognized in India as a flavorful, colorful condiment, and as an
Ayurvedic medicine to improve appetite, act as a carminative, and treat gallstones and other
biliary problems, as well as dyspepsia. It is a traditional remedy in India, China, and other
Southeast Asian countries to treat asthma and colds, and is applied as an ointment, paste, or
poultice for scabies, boils, bruises, insect bites, and other skin lesions. Turmeric is given orally
for many other conditions, including menstrual problems, pain, epilepsy, respiratory tract
infections, bleeding, diarrhea, jaundice, and rheumatic disorders. More recently, it has gained a
reputation as an anti-inflammatory agent, a treatment for hypercholesterolemia, an antioxidant,
and a cancer preventative, and is claimed to prevent cardiovascular and other degenerative
changes of aging. Claims also are made for its value in allergy, AIDS, cataracts, and other
diseases. Curcumin is added to foods such as butter and margarine to prevent oxidation and to
improve the color. Turmeric is a valued spicy condiment that has been traditionally used to
improve digestion and to treat dyspepsia and inflammatory disorders. Turmeric and its major
component, curcumin, are also promoted as antioxidants; cancer, HIV, and hypercholesterolemia
treatments; and cardiovascular disease preventatives. However, controlled clinical trials are
either lacking for these indications or have not shown convincingly positive results. A clinical
benefit has not been demonstrated for peptic ulcer disease, and one study was inconclusive for
dyspepsia. Controlled trials for arthritis and inflammation also do not adequately demonstrate
beneficial effects. Other uses have not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials.
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... 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 . ...
... Several beneficial attributes like antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-tumor, antithrombotic, nematocidal, antihepatotoxic, anti-mutagenic, anti-choleretic and even antivenom activities make turmeric indispensable in medicine, pharmaceutical, and food industry. Turmeric has a strong influence as antispasmodic, cardiovascular, diuretic, carminative, astringent, cholagogue, digestive, appetizer, stimulant, and vulnerary property (Bhowmik et al., 2009). Lesser prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is documented in regions with high consumption of turmeric like India (Yadav et al., 2017). ...
... Turmeric has a wide range of uses including dairy products, baked products, cake icings, biscuits, salad dressings, popcorn, cereals, sauces, sweets, gelatins and drinks (Bhowmik et al., 2009;Prasad & Aggarwal, 2011). In addition to its flavor and color effect, its use in functional food production is being investigated due to the bioactive compounds it contains (Zou et al., 2016). ...
... Also, turmeric is widely used in different cosmetic products as an ingredient such as creams, lotions, face packs, etc. (Bhowmik et al., 2009;Krup et al., 2013). ...
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... Curcumin is a yellowish polyphenol that has traditionally been used in Asian countries as a medicinal herb for various pathological conditions such as dermatologic diseases, infection, and reducing inflammation, stress, and depression (Debjit Bhowmik et al., 2009;Kocaadam & Şanlier, 2017). It is the main natural compound in the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), which is wildly cultivated in Indonesia, China, and India (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017). ...
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Curcumin, as the main natural compound in the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), is a yellowish polyphenol that has been used traditionally in Asian countries as a medicinal herb for various types of disease and pathological conditions caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. In the present review, we conducted a comprehensive literature search for evidence that shows the effect of curcumin on factors influencing exercise performance, including muscle damage, muscle soreness, inflammation, and oxidative stress. During exercise, reactive oxygen species and inflammation are increased. Thus, if there is no balance between endogenous and exogenous antioxidants and increases in oxidative stress and inflammation, which is important for maintaining redox homeostasis in skeletal muscle, it can lead to muscle soreness and muscle damage and ultimately result in reduced exercise performance. Due to the anti‐oxidant and anti‐inflammatory properties of curcumin, it can increase exercise performance and decrease exercise‐induced muscle soreness and muscle damage. It appears that curcumin supplementation can have positive effects on exercise performance and recovery, muscle damage and pain, inflammation, and oxidative stress. However, there is still a need to precisely evaluate factors to more accurately assess/quantify the beneficial therapeutic effects of curcumin with regard to enhancing exercise performance and recovery. Curcumin, by functioning as an antioxidant, may reduce oxidative stress to cells, and especially mitochondria, in the long‐term, as well as positively impact exercise endurance, strength, and recovery to improve overall health.
... Various studies have applied at least one of the compounds in Bilva ointment for the treatment of burn wounds and showed the positive effects of honey 26, 27 , aloe vera gel [28][29][30] , and turmeric in the healing of burn wounds 31,32 . ...
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Abstract Introduction: The most common dressing for burn wound is silver sulfadiazine (SSD); however, its side effects on wound healing and the need for repeated use is often painful. This study aimed to compare Bilva and SSD ointments on wound healing, pain, itching, and scarring of burn wounds. Methods: A clinical trial was performed on 35 patients with superficial second-degree burns hospitalized in the Burn Ward of Sina Hospital in Tabriz, Iran, from 2019 to 2020. After irrigation of the wound, Bilva ointment was applied andomly on one side and SSD ointment on the other side. Patients were followed on days 1, 7, 14, 21, and the first, second, and third months after burns; data related to wound healing, pain, itching, and scar status of patients were assessed. Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups regarding variables related to the wound healing process. The amount of burn wound scar did not differ between the two groups either. Pain and itching were significantly better in the Bilva group on the 7th (p<0.01), 14th (p<0.01), 21st day (p<0.01), and the first month (p<0.01) after burns compared to the SSD group. Conclusion: Bilva ointment had a similar effect in healing the burn wounds of patients compared to SSD, and it was more effective in controlling pain and itching of burn wounds than SSD. Further studies are needed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this dressing method on superficial burn wounds.
... Turmeric Curcumin (C. longa) as an old-style medicinal herb was castoff for various determinations for refining of overall health and also as a medication in many cases (15,16). Curcumin was intermittently used in animal health due to its growth increment, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, and neuroprotective effects (13,17). ...
... Turmeric Curcumin (C. longa) as an old-style medicinal herb was castoff for various determinations for refining of overall health and also as a medication in many cases (15,16). Curcumin was intermittently used in animal health due to its growth increment, antimicrobial, antiinflammatory, and neuroprotective effects (13,17). ...
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Nanoparticles biosynthesis has an essential and increased role in delivering medical compounds. Calcium carbonate phosphate nanoparticles (CaCO3-NPs) were prepared as a stabilized amorphous and incorporated with herbal curcumin extract as an anticoccidial agent in vitro. CaCO3 - NPs were tested against local meriz goat coccidian oocysts. Concentrations were used 2, 4, 8, 16, 30 and 50 mg/ml shows oocysticidal effects and sporocystidal effects at concentration of 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1000 µg. Sporulation inhibition assay was used for 24 and 48 hours. Results of significant oocysticidal effect were seen to inhibit in the concentration of 30 - 50 mg/ml and able to inhibit the sporulation of meriz coccidian parasite oocysts at a rate of 92.54±3.51%. The sporocysticidal effect was also significant with a curcumin nanoparticles concentration of 400-1000 µg/ml with a rate of 98.1±2.11%. The stability of prepared curcumin nanoparticles was examined against various pH levels 4.01, 7, and 9.21 at multiple temperatures 4, 25, 60, and 100°C. Investigation after 1, 6, 12, and 24 hours of treatment occurs according to various treatments. Stability was assessed by spectrophotometric indicated significant reductions for pH 4 and 9 after one hour of treatment and at the temperature of 60°C and 100°C after 12-24 hours of treatment. These results reflect promising hopes of exploiting CaCO3 curcumin nanoparticles to eradicate coccidiosis as they are composed of and prepared from natural substances.
... Further the phlegm in the gullet, liberations like leucorrhea and other fluids of the eyes, ears or wounds can be treated with turmeric. In Unani medicine, turmeric has also been used in illnesses including liver obstruction, jaundice and applied topically to treat ulcerative and inflammatory problems (Debjit et al., 2009). ...
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Plant based traditional health care is one of the ancient remedies used to prevent and treat different health related disorders. Due to increasing cost of medicine in the modern era, people are now moving towards the utilization of ancient ethno medicinal plants based remedies to prevent and treat diseases as well as to maintain their health. Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric has been used since ancient times as ethno medicinal plant due to its pharmacological and therapeutic potential. The rhizome of this plant is commonly used to prevent the lifestyle related disorders. Its biologically active components can also be extracted and utilized directly to enhance the efficacy. Purpose of this review is to highlight the importance of turmeric as it contains various biologically active components that are beneficial in prevention and treatment of various health related disorders. Turmeric has been demonstrated to exhibit anti-cancer, immunostimulant, skin protection, ulcer treating, anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-oxidant, anti-hyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective, renal protection and hematological parameters maintenance properties. There is no evidence of adverse effects of turmeric in literature. Only the people who are allergic to it can have side effects otherwise it is almost stomach friendly due to which it can be used for treatment of various health related disorders.
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Turmeric, also called as Curcuma longa, is used as a flavouring agent, medicinal herb, and dye in Asian countries. In India where Ayurveda is a system of herbal medicine, turmeric is known for strengthening and warming the whole body. The main component in turmeric is curcumin, which has a wide range of properties, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, and antimicrobial. The main objective of this article is to review the importance and therapeutic properties of turmeric in oral health. Various databases like PubMed, Cochrane, Index Copernicus, EBSCO, etc., were searched to collect data about turmeric and oral health. The effectiveness of turmeric in the treatment of dental pain, periodontal diseases, oral cancers, and as a sealant, mouthwash, toothpaste, and subgingival as well as endodontic irrigant will be discussed.
Curcumin is a pigment compound extracted from turmeric. It possesses many pharmaceutical activities, but its aqueous solubility is low, leading to limited bioavailability. This study aimed to improve the dissolution of curcumin by creating solid self-emulsifying drug delivery systems (Solid SEDDS) which adsorbed on various adsorbents. Caprylic capric triglyceride or olive oil was used as an oil phase, whereas polysorbate 80 and propylene glycol were used as surfactant and cosolvent in the SEDDS, respectively. The SEDDS samples owning suitable properties were then loaded with curcumin and characterized for the droplet size of the systems emulsified in aqueous media. The systems showing appropriate properties were subsequently ground with four types of adsorbents, i.e., colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose monohydrate, dibasic calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate. The results showed that caprylic capric triglyceride can provide the finely emulsified droplets with the size ranging between 10-200 nm, whereas the use of olive oil resulted in the formation of larger droplet sizes, ranging between 3-5 µm. The increase in surfactant concentration was the crucial factor to obtain a smaller droplet size. Regarding solid SEDDS, it was found that all produced solid SEDDS could distinctively improve the dissolution of curcumin compared with the intact curcumin powder. Curcumin in the solid SEDDS using lactose monohydrate and dibasic calcium phosphate can be released up to 90% by weight within 120 min. In contrast, curcumin in the samples using colloidal silicon dioxide can be dissolved by approximately 20% by weight, whereas the use of calcium carbonate as an adsorbent showed signs of curcumin degradation.
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Curcumin, derived from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. and having both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, inhibits chemically induced carcinogenesis in the skin, forestomach, and colon when it is administered during initiation and/or postinitiation stages. This study was designed to investigate the chemopreventive action of curcumin when it is administered (late in the premalignant stage) during the promotion/progression stage of colon carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. We also studied the modulating effect of this agent on apoptosis in the tumors. At 5 weeks of age, groups of male F344 rats were fed a control diet containing no curcumin and an experimental AIN-76A diet with 0.2% synthetically derived curcumin (purity, 99.9%). At 7 and 8 weeks of age, rats intended for carcinogen treatment were given s.c. injections of azoxymethane (AOM) at a dose rate of 15 mg/kg body weight per week. Animals destined for the promotion/progression study received the AIN-76A control diet for 14 weeks after the second AOM treatment and were then switched to diets containing 0.2 and 0.6% curcumin. Premalignant lesions in the colon would have developed by week 14 following AOM treatment. They continued to receive their respective diets until 52 weeks after carcinogen treatment and were then sacrificed. The results confirmed our earlier study in that administration of 0.2% curcumin during both the initiation and postinitiation periods significantly inhibited colon tumorigenesis. In addition, administration of 0.2% and of 0.6% of the synthetic curcumin in the diet during the promotion/progression stage significantly suppressed the incidence and multiplicity of noninvasive adenocarcinomas and also strongly inhibited the multiplicity of invasive adenocarcinomas of the colon. The inhibition of adenocarcinomas of the colon was, in fact, dose dependent. Administration of curcumin to the rats during the initiation and postinitiation stages and throughout the promotion/progression stage increased apoptosis in the colon tumors as compared to colon tumors in the groups receiving AOM and the control diet. Thus, chemopreventive activity of curcumin is observed when it is administered prior to, during, and after carcinogen treatment as well as when it is given only during the promotion/progression phase (starting late in premalignant stage) of colon carcinogenesis.
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Curcumin is a small-molecular-weight compound that is isolated from the commonly used spice turmeric. In animal models, curcumin and its derivatives have been shown to inhibit the progression of chemically induced colon and skin cancers. The genetic changes in carcinogenesis in these organs involve different genes, but curcumin is effective in preventing carcinogenesis in both organs. A possible explanation for this finding is that curcumin may inhibit angiogenesis. Curcumin was tested for its ability to inhibit the proliferation of primary endothelial cells in the presence and absence of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), as well as its ability to inhibit proliferation of an immortalized endothelial cell line. Curcumin and its derivatives were subsequently tested for their ability to inhibit bFGF-induced corneal neovascularization in the mouse cornea. Finally, curcumin was tested for its ability to inhibit phorbol ester-stimulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA production. Curcumin effectively inhibited endothelial cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Curcumin and its derivatives demonstrated significant inhibition of bFGF-mediated corneal neovascularization in the mouse. Curcumin had no effect on phorbol ester-stimulated VEGF production. These results indicate that curcumin has direct antiangiogenic activity in vitro and in vivo. The activity of curcumin in inhibiting carcinogenesis in diverse organs such as the skin and colon may be mediated in part through angiogenesis inhibition.
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Curcumin and its structurally related compounds (curcuminoids), the phenolic yellowish pigments of turmeric, display antioxidative, anticarcinogenic and hypocholesterolemic activities. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary supplemented curcuminoids [commercial grade curcumin: a mixture of curcumin (73.4%), demethoxycurcumin (16.1%) and bisdemethoxycurcumin (10.5%)] on lipid metabolism in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to three diet groups (n = 6) and fed a moderately high-fat diet (15 g soybean oil/100 g diet) for 2 wk. One diet group did not receive supplements (CONT), while the others were supplemented with 0.2 g curcuminoids/100 g diet (CUR0.2) or 1.0 g curcuminoids/100 g diet (CUR1.0). Liver triacylglycerol and cholesterol concentrations were significantly lower in CUR1.0 rats than in CONT rats. Plasma triacylglycerols in the VLDL fraction were also lower in CUR1.0 rats than in CONT rats (P < 0.05). Hepatic acyl-CoA oxidase activity of both the CUR0.2 and CUR1.0 rats was significantly higher than that of CONT rats. Furthermore, epididymal adipose tissue weight was significantly reduced with curcuminoid intake in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that dietary curcuminoids have lipid-lowering potency in vivo, probably due to alterations in fatty acid metabolism.
Curcumin I (Cur I) and curcumin III (Cur III) are the yellow coloring phenolic compounds isolated from the spice turmeric. The effect of curcumins on different stages of development of cancer was studied. Cur I inhibited benzopyrene- (BP) induced forestomach tumors in female Swiss mice, and Cur III inhibited dimethylbenzanthracene- (DMBA) induced skin tumors in Swiss bald mice. Cur I also inhibited DMBA-initiated, tetradeconyl phorbol acetate-promoted skin tumors in female Swiss mice. In vitro 3H-BP-DNA interaction studies, and in vivo carcinogen metabolizing enzyme studies revealed that curcumins exert anticarcinogenic activity by altering the activation and/or detoxification process of carcinogen metabolism. Cur I and Cur III also exhibit in vitro cytotoxicity against human chronic myeloid leukemia, which is dose dependent. This study shows that curcumins inhibit cancer at initiation, promotion and progression stages of development.
This article summarizes available data on the chemopreventive efficacies of tea polyphenols, curcumin and ellagic acid in various model systems. Emphasis is placed upon the anticarcinogenic activity of these polyphenols and their proposed mechanism(s) of action. Tea is grown in about 30 countries and, next to water, is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Tea is manufactured as either green, black, or oolong; black tea represents approximately 80% of tea products. Epidemiological studies, though inconclusive, suggest a protective effect of tea consumption on human cancer. Experimental studies of the antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects of tea have been conducted principally with green tea polyphenols (GTPs). GTPs exhibit antimutagenic activity in vitro, and they inhibit carcinogen-induced skin, lung, forestomach, esophagus, duodenum and colon tumors in rodents. In addition, GTPs inhibit TPA-induced skin tumor promotion in mice. Although several GTPs possess anticarcinogenic activity, the most active is (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major constituent in the GTP fraction. Several mechanisms appear to be responsible for the tumor-inhibitory properties of GTPs, including enhancement of antioxidant (glutathione peroxidase, catalase and quinone reductase) and phase II (glutathione-S-transferase) enzyme activities; inhibition of chemically induced lipid peroxidation; inhibition of irradiation-and TPA-induced epidermal ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclooxygenase activities; inhibition of protein kinase C and cellular proliferation; antiinflammatory activity; and enhancement of gap junction intercellular communication. Curcumin is the yellow coloring agent in the spice turmeric. It exhibits antimutagenic activity in the Ames Salmonella test and has anticarcinogenic activity, inhibiting chemically induced preneoplastic lesions in the breast and colon and neoplastic lesions in the skin, forestomach, duodenum and colon of rodents. In addition, curcumin inhibits TPA-induced skin tumor promotion in mice. The mechanisms for the anticarcinogenic effects of curcumin are similar to those of the GTPs. Curcumin enhances glutathione content and glutathione-S-transferase activity in liver; and it inhibits lipid peroxidation and arachidonic acid metabolism in mouse skin, protein kinase C activity in TPA-treated NIH 3T3 cells, chemically induced ODC and tyrosine protein kinase activities in rat colon, and 8-hydroxyguanosine formation in mouse fibroblasts. Ellagic acid is a polyphenol found abundantly in various fruits, nuts and vegetables. Ellagic acid is active in antimutagenesis assays, and has been shown to inhibit chemically induced cancer in the lung, liver, skin and esophagus of rodents, and TPA-induced tumor promotion in mouse skin. Ellagic acid functions through a variety of mechanisms, including inhibition of microsomal P-450 enzymes, stimulation of glutathione-S-transferase, scavenging the reactive metabolites of carcinogens, and direct binding to DNA, thus potentially masking sites that would normally interact with ultimate carcinogens. GTP, curcumin and ellagic acid exhibit potent antioxidant effects. This property, coupled with their other effects, make them effective chemopreventives against both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of carcinogenesis.
Curcumin, obtained from rhizomes of Curcuma longa, was administered orally to patients suffering from chronic anterior uveitis (CAU) at a dose of 375 mg three times a day for 12 weeks. Of 53 patients enrolled, 32 completed the 12-week study. They were divided into two groups: one group of 18 patients received curcumin alone, whereas the other group of 14 patients, who had a strong PPD reaction, in addition received antitubercular treatment. The patients in both the groups started improving after 2 weeks of treatment. All the patients who received curcumin alone improved, whereas the group receiving antitubercular therapy along with curcumin had a response rate of 86%. Follow up of all the patients for the next 3 years indicated a recurrence rate of 55% in the first group and of 36% in the second group. Four of 18 (22%) patients in the first group and 3 of 14 patients (21%) in the second group lost their vision in the follow up period due to various complications in the eyes, e.g. vitritis, macular oedema, central venous block, cataract formation, glaucomatous optic nerve damage etc. None of the patients reported any side effect of the drug. The efficacy of curcumin and recurrences following treatment are comparable to corticosteroid therapy which is presently the only available standard treatment for this disease. The lack of side effects with curcumin is its greatest advantage compared with corticosteroids. A double blind multi-centric clinical trial with this drug in CAU is highly desirable to further validate the results of the present study.
In a search for alternative and preventive therapies for prostate cancer, attention was focused on the ways in which curcumin (Turmeric), used in food and medicine in India for centuries, could interfere with the growth factor signaling pathways in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells, as exemplified by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) signaling. The androgen-sensitive LNCaP and androgen-insensitive PC-3 cell lines were grown in 5 to 50 microM curcumin and analyzed for EGF-R protein by Western blotting and for EGF-R tyrosine kinase activity. Curcumin was a potent inhibitor of EGF-R signaling, and it accomplished this effect by three different means (1) down regulating the EGF-R protein; (2) inhibiting the intrinsic EGF-R tyrosine kinase activity; and (3) inhibiting the ligand-induced activation of the EGF-R. These results, taken together with our previous results that curcumin can induce apoptosis in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells, support our view that curcumin may be a novel modality by which one can interfere with the signal transduction pathways of the prostate cancer cell and prevent it from progressing to its hormone-refractory state.
Curcumin prevents colon cancer in rodent models. It inhibits lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and induces glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes. We tested the hypothesis that 14 days of dietary curcumin (2%) affects biomarkers relevant to cancer chemoprevention in the rat. Levels of inducible COX-2, as reflected by prostaglandin E(2) production by blood leukocytes, were measured ex vivo. Total GST activity and adducts of malondialdehyde with DNA (M(1)G), which reflect endogenous lipid peroxidation, were measured in colon mucosa, liver, and blood leukocytes. Curcumin and its metabolites were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography in plasma, and its pharmacokinetics were compared following a diet containing 2% curcumin versus intragastric (i.g.) administration of curcumin suspended in an amphiphilic solvent. The curcumin diet did not alter any of the markers in the blood but increased hepatic GST by 16% and decreased colon M(1)G levels by 36% when compared with controls. Administration of carbon tetrachloride during the treatment period increased colon M(1)G levels, and this increase was prevented by dietary curcumin. Dietary curcumin yielded low drug levels in the plasma, between 0 and 12 nM, whereas tissue concentrations of curcumin in liver and colon mucosa were 0.1--0.9 nmol/g and 0.2--1.8 micromol/g, respectively. In comparison with dietary administration, suspended curcumin given i.g. resulted in more curcumin in the plasma but much less in the colon mucosa. The results show that curcumin mixed with the diet achieves drug levels in the colon and liver sufficient to explain the pharmacological activities observed and suggest that this mode of administration may be preferable for the chemoprevention of colon cancer.
Curcumin, a dietary pigment in turmeric, posseses anti-carcinogenic and anti-metastatic properties. The present study was conducted to study in vitro chemopreventive effects of curcumin in transformed breast cells. Here, we show that curcumin inhibits H-ras-induced invasive phenotype in MCF10A human breast epithelial cells (H-ras MCF10A) and downregulates matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 dose-dependently. Curcumin exerted cytotoxic effect on H-ras MCF10A cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Curcumin-induced cell death was mainly due to apoptosis in which a prominent downregulation of Bcl-2 and upregulation of Bax were involved. We also suggest a possible involvement of caspase-3 in curcumin-induced apoptosis. Curcumin treatment resulted in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in H-ras MCF10A cells. Apoptotic event by curcumin was significantly inhibited by pretreatment of an antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), suggesting redox signaling as a mechanism responsible for curcumin-induced apoptosis in H-ras MCF10A cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that curcumin inhibits invasion and induces apoptosis, proving the chemopreventive potential of curcumin.