Turmeric Health Benefits and Culinary Uses
Turmeric is endemic to peninsular India, especially the provinces of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Maharashtra. The plant's growth habit is erect with large, pale green elongated ribbed leaves the flower develops a spike 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) with a cylindrical inflorescence of yellow flowers. Curcuma longa has a small, branched rhizome that is bright yellow on the interior. The rhizome is the source of turmeric, widely used in Indian cuisine, the dyeing of cloth, and traditional medicine. At the close of the 19th century, turmeric was used in laboratories in turmeric paper to test for alkalinity before litmus paper was produced. Medicinally, turmeric is considered to be a strong antiseptic and is used to heal wounds, infections, jaundice, urinary diseases, ulcers, and to reduce cholesterol levels. Turmeric, in the form of a paste, has been used to treat external conditions such as psoriasis (i.e., as an anti-inflammatory) and athlete's foot (i.e., as an antifungal). A major medicinal...
Generation of free radicals inhibition has been observed in paw and 107,113 liver of treated rats turmeric and curcumin act by interacting with certain transcription factors, a property that is important for the treatment of arthritis and cancer HCC is predominantly due to the chronic inflammation by virus, bacteria, or chemical and curcumin may prevent HCC
Abstract Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an orange-yellow component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice often found in curry powder. Since the time of Ayurveda numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and thus has a potential against various malignant cancers, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic illnesses. These effects are mediated through the regulation of various transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other enzymes. Thus, curcumin, by virtue of its effect on multiple cell signaling pathways, could prove to be a panacea for modern human diseases. Keywords Curcuma longa Curcumin Antioxidant Anticancer
Abstract Turmeric, derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian subcontinent, not only for health care but also for the preservation of food and as a yellow dye for textiles. Curcumin, which gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Extensive research within the last half century has proven that most of these activities, once associated with turmeric, are due to cur-cumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes,...
Regarded as a 'Rasayana' herb in Ayurveda to counteract ageing processes, Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) has also been used for culinary purposes and in the textile industry. Much research has focused on curcumin (18), a curcuminoid from C. longa rhizomes, and it has been shown to modulate a variety of molecular targets. In particular, studies have shown that some curcuminoids are associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, but in general, studies with particular attention to cognitive disorders and any clinical relevance are lacking. In addition, further evaluation of potentially active compounds from C. longa, other than the curcuminoids, may contribute to the understanding of the traditional uses of this herb.
One of the most supportive botanical medicines for the patient with RA may well be cur-cumin or turmeric (Curcuma longa). Notable for its ability to act as an antioxidant and antiinflammatory,59-61 curcumin seems well suited for treating this condition. More recent research suggests that curcumin is a potent inhibitor of the signaling pathway utilized by a specific type of IL-6, called oncostatin M.62 Specifically, curcumin decreases the proinflammatory pathways induced by oncostatin M. If not inhibited via this pathway, oncostatin M signaling results in the transcription translation of metalloproteinases and their inhibitors. An imbalance between metalloproteinases and their inhibitors may represent one of the mechanisms of joint damage in RA. To be able to slow down metalloproteinase expression may represent one of the many recently discovered mechanisms of efficacy of an ancient herb.
This chapter describes some examples of screening experiments aimed at identifying antiinflammatory constituents of plants. A large number of plants and herbs are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Well-known examples are willow bark (contains salicin, from which aspirin is derived), Boswellia serrata (boswellic acids) and turmeric (curcumin). In addition to these, many other herbs have been suggested to be anti-inflammatory. Inflammation plays a role in many different clinical disorders. In addition to the obvious inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, asthma, Crohn's disease, psoriasis and so on, inflammation also plays an important role in diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's and many other diseases. In many of these, a disordered immune system contributes to the onset and or progression of the disease.
The good news is the truly impressive number of vitanutrients documented in scientific journals that can relieve arthritic symptoms. When arthritis has an inflammatory basis (the painful joints get red and swollen and a blood test shows your sed rate is high), the most effective natural therapies are MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), cetyl myristoleate, copper, bromelain, ginger, turmeric and pantethine (vitamin B5). For the non-inflammatory type (osteoarthritis), natural therapies include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, sea cucumber, fish oil, niacinamide and the B complex group of vitamins.
Chile peppers pair well with garlic, fermented beans, ginger, coconut, shallots, fermented fish or shrimp, galangal, turmeric, sesame oil, and fruit sauces. In Southeast Asia, Korea, and Szechwan region, they are added to fermented soybeans and seafood to make fiery hot pastes for many dishes. Dried or fresh chilies are a must in Thai salads and curry pastes, Korean kimchis, Indonesian rendangs, and Malaysian sambals. In India, dried red chile peppers and fresh green chile peppers are popularly used. Sri Lankans and South Indians use whole cut chilies abundantly in snacks, chutneys, and curries. The black curries of Sri Lanka contain bird peppers and cayennes with toasted spices.
Ground yellow mustard acts as a physical emulsifier and stabilizes mayonnaise and salad dressings. It is also used as a flavor enhancer and a water binder in processed meats. In the United States, yellow mustard is combined with sugar, vinegar, and turmeric and commonly used as a spread for hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches and luncheon meats, while the seeds are used as toppings on cooked vegetables. It is an important flavoring in baked beans, combined with brown sugar, ketchup, beans, onions, and bacon.
Turmeric Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is used for numerous inflammatory conditions as it has antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer activity. The primary constituent is curcumin, which is believed to exert anti-inflammatory properties via inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipoxygenase, and inducible nitric oxide synthase.22 Preliminary studies have supported the efficacy of turmeric in several conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory eye diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic pancreatitis, psoriasis, hyperlipidemia, and cancers.23
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