The Healing Powers of Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonder spice.  In India India it has been revered for its healing properties and used as a daily supplement.  In the Ayurveda system of health, turmeric has many medicinal properties and is an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic. Because of its effects on enzyme related to inflammation, turmeric may have the same mode of action as anti-inflammatory medicins. In It is used for cuts and burns and is known as an anticeptic and an antibacterial and for ulcers in the stomach. 

Also called curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice from India. Indians use it more for its healing properties (as a daily dietary supplement) than for taste.  It has an astringent taste but is otherwise tasteless.  It also provides a wonderful color to foods making them more apetizing. 

According to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope,” research activity into turmeric’s active ingredient, is exploding. Two hundred and fifty-six curcumin papers were published in the past year according to a search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The U.S. National Institues of Health has four clinical trials underway to study curcumin treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer’s, and colorectal cancer. 

© Kavita Mehta
photo credit Kavita and Vinay Mehta


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