Turmeric is an important ingredient of curry powder and contains curcumin, which gives the curry powder its bright saffron yellow color. Like capsaicin, turmeric is the subject of many studies on the health benefits of hot food, particularly because medical practitioners and researchers have observed low rates of certain cancers among Asian people. Countries like India and Pakistan, where the people eat a lot of curry, have a lower incidence of various types of cancer.
Curcumin is the yellow pigment of turmeric.
Curcumin is believed to be converted to a bile production stimulating compound, perhaps caffeic acid.
Curcumin's protective effects on the liver are similar to those of Milk Thistle (silymarin) and Artichoke Leaf Extract (cynarin).
Like cynara extracts, curcumin has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Curcumin is an extract of the spice turmeric, known to have antioxidant properties and other health benefits. In Indian medicine, curcumin is used to reduce inflammation and treat wounds and skin ulcers. Topical application of curcumin encourages wound remodeling via effects on transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b). It also improves reepitheliazation (new skin formation) and migration of cells such as myofibroblasts, fibroblasts, and macrophages, necessary for healing at the wound site.
Curcumin comes from the spice turmeric. The rhizome of this plant has been traditionally used as an antiinflammatory agent in Ayurvedic medicine. Curcumin appears to reduce proinflammatory leukotriene synthesis and also promotes the breakdown of fibrin. In a double-blinded trial, patients receiving 1,200mg of curcumin per day experienced reductions in stiffness and joint swelling comparable to the effects of phenylbutazone, a potent antiinflammatory drug. Curcumin has also reduced inflammation in surgical patients.
Clinical studies have substantiated curcumin anti-inflammatory effects, including a significant beneficial effect in Rheumatoid Arthritis. In one study, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone, a very potent NSAID that has fallen out of favor because of frequent side effects. The improvements in the duration of morning stiffness, walking time, and joint swelling were comparable in both groups.
Curcumin – the most active constituent of turmeric – is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-proliferative effects on cells. It has an inhibitory effect against a variety of organisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, including those causing Hepatitis. Turmeric also affects membrane fluidity, which impairs Hepatitis C virus binding and fusion.
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