Curcumin and Turmeric

Curcumin and turmeric have a unique relationship as Curcumin can only be found within turmeric, probably the most beloved spice of India. Turmeric is used in the preparation of a variety of dishes with the goal of adding color and flavor, especially to curry, a foundation of Indian cuisine.

For thousands of years, turmeric had a large part to play in Ayurvedic medicine, ranging from reducing inflammation attributed to arthritis to an entire host of maladies. Today, Curcumin, and turmeric are being studied for their potential in combatting disease, primarily due to Curumin’s biological activity. Curcumin, a phytochemical and effective antioxidant belongs to a class of chemical compounds known as curcuminoids. In addition to being the primary curcuminoid in turmeric, Curcumin is a natural polyphenol, a chemical which provides many health benefits.

Curcumin and Turmeric’s Remarkable Abilities

Curcumin and turmeric’s ability to convey a sense of well-being, while at the same time coming between the body and the processes leading to disease are exactly why scientists are continuing to investigate and explore this medicinally beneficial plant compound. The tropical rootstock known as Curcuma longa, from which Curcumin and turmeric originate is the source of all these new found advantages. 

  • Curcumin tested in clinical trials using human subjects exhibited anti-cancer activity and in contrast to using dangerous chemotherapy drugs was tolerated and considered safe.
  • Afflictions of the gastrointestinal tract, whether cancer or digestive concerns, show great promise with the use of Curcumin as the compound tends to gather in the tissues of the digestive tract.
  • Curcumin and turmeric were found in other clinical studies to decrease inflammatory responses in the body, inhibit the growth of cancer-causing proteins; kill cancer cells while preserving non-cancerous cells, assist in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant, eradicate free radicals, and slow the progression of colon and pancreatic cancer in some patients.
  • In laboratory studies, Curcumin and turmeric showed potential for: halting the accumulation of/and getting rid of the proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease and treating Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

Further research is underway to investigate the possibility of using Curcumin and turmeric  in the treatment of multifarious conditions.

Supplementation may bring mild distress in the form of GI discomfort for a few individuals. This can be avoided by taking the supplement with meals. For individuals taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet drugs, bleeding is a concern.

Turmeric’s Health Benefits


Wood, Rebecca Theurer. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating. New York, NY: Penguin/Arkana, 1999. Print.

Mansour, Professor Awad. The 50 Miracle Cures of Curcumin. Chicago Ridge: Health Tech Book Series, 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2012.

About Health Writer - Anna Jones


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