Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the main yellow bioactive component of turmeric has been shown to have wide spectrum of biological actions. These include its anti inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, anticoagulant, antiprotozoal, antiviral, antifibrotic, antivenom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is extensively used as a spice, food preservative and colouring material in India, China and South East Asia. It has been used in traditional medicine as a household remedy for various diseases, including biliary disorders, anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, rheumatism and sinusitis. For the last few decades, extensive work has been done to establish the biological activities and pharmacological actions of turmeric and its extracts. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the main yellow bioactive component of turmeric has been shown to have wide spectrum of biological actions. These include its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, anticoagulant, antiprotozoal, antiviral, antifibrotic, antivenom, antiulcer, hypotensive and hypocholesteremic activities. Its anticancer effect is mainly mediated through induction of apoptosis. It’s anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antioxidant roles may be clinically exploited to control rheumatism, carcinogenesis and oxidative stress related pathogenesis. Clinically, curcumin has already been used to reduce postoperative inflammation. Safety evaluation studies indicate that both turmeric and curcumin are well tolerated at a very high dose without very toxic effects. Thus, both turmeric and curcumin have the potential medicine for the treatment of various diseases. Over all it is a good handy emergency medicine. Few of its magical properties are mentioned here.
Bruises, Sprains and Wounds
- Turmeric powder with lime or water on the affected part eliminates swelling and pain in bruises.
- Turmeric powder along with hot milk intake is also beneficial for bones.
- Turmeric powder to wound or cut can stop bleeding immediately and also hasten its healing.
- Turmeric powder, green flour with mustard oil poultice to the sprained portion enhances blood circulation.
- Bandage of turmeric powder and ghee with salt and water gives relief to the bruised portion.
Mixture of turmeric powder and lime nullifies the toxic effect
Inhale burning turmeric fumes for few minutes.
- 1 tsp ground toasted turmeric powder with 2 spoons of honey 3-4 times a day relieves cough.
- Chewing betal with little turmeric is also a good remedy.
Indigestion and Stomach Problems
- Turmeric powder and salt in equal quantity with warm water gives instant relief in acidity.
- Intake of ground turmeric along with half proportion of pepper and cardamom after meals proves to be effective.
- Curd with turmeric drink after lunch cures digestive problems.
- Applying paste of turmeric rubbed on stone with water on the affected part is helpful in decreasing ringworm white spots.
- Applying paste of turmeric and til oil on the body prevents skin eruptions.
- Appling paste of turmeric before bath is preventive against skin problems and also is a depilatory.
- Turmeric powder with 1 tsp honey twice a day is helpful
- Intake of roasted turmeric with gur (Jaggery) cures itching.
- Cotton dipped in turmeric oil over pustules gives relief.
- Massaging face with mix ground haldi and milk of banyan or peepal tree soaked overnight for 1 hour before bath eliminate freckles on the face and imparts natural glow.
Cough, Cold & Asthma
- Taking turmeric powder and little salt with hot water or sucking a small piece of haldi or licking 1 tsp turmeric powder with 1/2 tsp honey gives relief in cough and eliminates congestion of bronchi.
- Having 1/4 tsp turmeric with hot water is helpful in checking running nose.
- Inhaling smoke of burned turmeric acts as an expectorant.
- Taking 1/4 roasted turmeric in hot sand and then ground with hot water relieves breathing problem of any type.
- Taking turmeric boiled in milk and sweetened with jaggery is very useful in cold and asthma.
- Sucking a piece of turmeric or keeping it in mouth at night relieves chronic cold.
- Mixture of turmeric powder, barley powder and banana ash in equal proportions adding honey for taste, taken for 4-5 days in a day eliminates trapped phlegm in the body.
- Massaging the throat and chest with little turmeric powder, black pepper and mixed with ghee relieves irritation of bronchioles.
- Inhaling fumes of cowdung along with turmeric is also a good expectorant.
- Taking 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder with 3-4 gulps of hot water acts as a preventive against asthma.
Fomentation with paste made of 10 gms turmeric powder roasted in mustard oil and then tied around the neck gives relief in tonsilitis
Licking the paste of turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of vayavidang choorna with 1 tsp of honey for 7-8 days kills worms and throws them out.
Blisters in Mouth
Gargling with 1 glass water in which little turmeric powder is boiled, twice a day, cures it.
Taking paste of ground or juice of raw turmeric and honey with goats milk twice a day cures all urinary problems.
- Taking 1 tsp of turmeric powder and tamarind for 4-5 days act as a preventive against small box.
- Application of thin turmeric powder, cream of fresh milk and wheat flour mixed with mustard oil or fresh cream on the affected part twice a day flatten the deep spots of small pox and makes the skin soft.
Pregnancy and Postnatal Care
- Taking 1 tsp of turmeric powder with hot milk in latter part of the 9th month of pregnancy helps in easy delivery.
- Intake of 1 tsp of roasted turmeric powder with gur (Jaggery) after delivery eliminates weakness and relieves uterus swelling.
Pain in Breast
Apply paste of stone rubbed turmeric on the affected part.
Take 1/2 kg of turmeric, roasted coconut, 1 kg jaggery, 200 gm cashew nuts or ground nuts daily in the morning with basil or lemon tea makes the joint supple and also gives relief in pain and swelling.
Pain in Ribs
- Gentle massage with turmeric oil helps to relieve pain.
- Massaging the ribs with paste of turmeric powder in milk of the Aak plant gives quick relief.
- Applying paste of turmeric powder in hot water on the aching ribs is a good option.
Jaundice and Liver Problems
Taking 4-5 ground turmeric with water or honey twice a day is helpful.
- Try turmeric powder with sugar twice a day.
- Washing the private parts with turmeric water is very effective. Along with it one batasha with 8-10 drops of milk of banyan tree before sunrise for 7 days helps in early cure.
Debility in Males
Taking about 7-8 gms of raw ground turmeric and equal amount of honey with goat’s milk renders a promising result.
- Rinsing the mouth with mixture of turmeric, clove and 2 dried leaves of guava in 200 gms of water is a healthy practice.Applying and rubbing the teeth with paste of turmeric powder, salt and mustard oil strengthens the gums.
- Massaging the aching teeth with roasted ground turmeric eliminates pain and swelling.
- Keeping piece of roasted turmeric near the aching tooth and letting saliva ooze out is also good.
- Filling the cavity in teeth with roasted ground turmeric powder gives temporary relief to the pain.
- Applying the powder of burnt turmeric piece and ajwain on teeth makes the gum and teeth strong.
Putting 1 -2 drops of turmeric (by roasting 2 pieces of haldi in mustard oil) in ear, cleaning it with ear bud relieves problems.
- Applying lightly heated paste of turmeric rubbed on stone on eyelids also eliminates pain, swelling and eye troubles.
- A decoction of turmeric powder with water as a cooling lotion on the eyes is useful in conjunctivitis.
IN A NUT SHELL
There is hardly any dish in which Indians don’t put a little bit of turmeric. The Indians for many years knew its multiple benefits and uses ranging from medicines to food.
- Curcumin, one of the active ingredient in turmeric, induces the flow of bile, which breaks down fats.
- Curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves the aches and pains associated with arthritis.
- Turmeric is very useful in case of Cardiovascular conditions.
- Turmeric’s volatile oil functions as an external antibiotic, preventing bacterial infection in wounds.
- Organic turmeric powder can be used for encapsulation and preparing highly beneficial organic Turmeric health tablets.
- Organic turmeric pastes and ointments can be made from Turmeric. The turmeric, with its anti-bacterial action, will prevent the bacterial wound infections.
- Organic turmeric is an essential ingredient in various Indian food preparations for taste and colouring.
- Organic turmeric is an essential ingredient in many herbal formulations.
- Owing to its anti-bacterial properties, organic turmeric can be taken on daily basis to boost body immunity to various allergic conditions.
Some research on turmeric health benefits :
- Scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) and Yale University School of Medicine have found that a compound in the spice turmeric corrects the cystic fibrosis defect in mice. This research is reported in the April 23, 2004 issue of the journal Science.
- Rutgers researchers have found that the curry spice turmeric holds real potential for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer, particularly when combined with certain vegetables. The paper, “Combined Inhibitory Effects of Curcumin and Phenethyl Isothiocyanate on the Growth of Human PC-3 Prostate Xenografts in Immunodeficient Mice,” is available at http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org
- Turmeric Prevents Experimental Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bone Loss, University Of Arizona Study Shows.
- Tumeric contains an ingredient called curcumin which helps stop the spread of breast cancer into the lungs. It also helps current breast cancer medications and procedures work better, according to researchers in Texas. These findings are the results of tests carried out on mice. Further research is needed, said the scientists. However, they said the results so far are ‘exciting’.
- Turmeric, an Asian spice found in many curries, has a long history of use in reducing inflammation, healing wounds and relieving pain, but can it prevent diabetes? Since inflammation plays a big role in many diseases and is believed to be involved in onset of both obesity and Type 2 diabetes, Drew Tortoriello, M.D., an endocrinologist and research scientist at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center, and his colleagues were curious what effect the herb might have on diabetic mice.
- Van Andel Institute (VAI) researchers have found that curcumin, a component of the curry spice turmeric, blocks herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) infections that commonly result in facial cold sores. Finding out how curcumin blocks the infections will be key to developing a treatment for cold sore sufferers.
- Eating a curry once or twice a week could help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The magic ingredient in curry is curcumin, a component of the spice, turmeric. Professor Murali Doraiswamy, director of the Mental Fitness Laboratory at the Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Carolina, told delegates at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Meeting in Liverpool that curcumin prevented the spread of amyloid plaques, found outside brain cells.
- Eating curcumin, a natural ingredient in the spice turmeric, may dramatically reduce the chance of developing heart failure, researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre of the Toronto General Hospital have discovered. In a study entitled, “Curcumin prevents and reverses murine cardiac hypertrophy,” published in the February edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers found when the herb is given orally to a variety of mouse models with enlarged hearts (hypertrophy), it can prevent and reverse hypertrophy, restore heart function and reduce scar formation.
- You might want to make curcumin part of your daily diet. This active ingredient of the Indian curry spice, turmeric, not only lowers your chances of getting cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, but may reduce the size of a hemorrhagic stroke, say Medical College of Georgia researchers. Second-year medical student Jay McCracken is working with Dr. Krishnan Dhandapani, neuroscientist in the MCG School of Medicine, using animal models to study curcumin’s effect on intracerebral hemorrhages, bleeding in the brain caused by ruptured vessels.
- A fructose study led by Ling-Dong Kong, M.D., from Nanjing University in China investigated the effects of curcumin on fructose-induced hypertriglyceridemia and fatty liver in rats. Curcumin, a compound derived from turmeric (curcuma root), is sold as an herbal supplement and is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and anti-viral properties. Researchers observed a hyperactivity of hepatic protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), which is associated with defective insulin and leptin signaling, in fructose-fed rats. For the first time this study demonstrated that curcumin inhibited hepatic PTP1B expression and activity in fructose-fed rats. “Our results provide novel insights into the potential therapeutic mechanisms of curcumin on fructose-induced hepatic steatosis associated with insulin and leptin resistance,” said Dr. Kong.
- UCLA/VA researchers found that curcumin — a chemical found in curry and turmeric — may help the immune system clear the brain of amyloid beta, which form the plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. Published in the Oct. 9, 2006 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the early laboratory findings may lead to a new approach in treating Alzheimer’s disease by enhancing the natural function of the immune system using curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.