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The Healing Powers of Turmeric

November 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Food News

By: Kavita Mehta

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 medicines. In It is used for cuts and burns and is known as an antiseptic 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 appetizing.

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 Institutes of Health has four clinical trials underway to study curcumin treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple melanoma, Alzheimer’s, and colorectal cancer.


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