Turmeric

Family: Zingiberaceae

Introduction

Curcuma long is the scientific name of Turmeric. The plant belongs to the family Zingiberaceae.

The roots of turmeric have a chemical called curcumin. It is used as a colorant which is used to color foods and cosmetics.

Therapeutic Uses

The therapeutic uses of curcumin are mainly because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. 

Turmeric is used in the treatment of several diseases including

  • Arthritis

  • Dyspepsia (heartburn)

  • Stomach pain

  • Joint pain

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Ulcerative colitis

  • Hemorrhage

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach Bloating

  • Jaundice

 

Mechanism of action

Curcumin (C21H20O6) is a polyphenolic compound and is the main component of turmeric which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Anti-oxidant properties: The anti-oxidant properties of curcumin are because of its ability to raise the serum activity of superoxide dismutase which is anti-oxidant. It also has the free-radical scavenging effect and GSH activity regulation.

Anti-inflammatory properties: Curcumin shows the anti-inflammatory properties based on the upregulation of PPAR-γ.

 

Why black pepper is given in combination with curcumin?

The absorption of curcumin is less. When it is given in combination with piperine, it forms a complex which increases the bioavailability of curcumin.

 

Side effects

There are no major side effects. Some people may experience nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea.

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