Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.
Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called Indian saffron because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.
More recently it has been researched to deliver:
- protection against Alzheimer’s disease
- lowered cholesterol
- improved liver function
- reduce risk of childhood leukemia
- In conjunction with cauliflower halted prostate cancer
- reduced risk of colon cancer
- lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer
- help for cystic fibrosis sufferers
- relief for rheumatoid arthritis
- effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease
Wellness Resources researchers explained their interest in the active agent of turmeric, curcumin:
“Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is one of the most powerful and promising chemopreventive and anticancer agents. How curcumin exerts its powerful anticancer activities has been thoroughly investigated, and several mechanisms of action have been discovered. Curcumin exerts its biological activities through epigenetic modulation” (epigenetic modulation is the changes in genes produces from external sources - other than by gene changes).“
In other words, curcumin changes the regulation of DNA to help kill cancer. In fact, curcumin not only influences epigenetic settings, it also manages the downstream consequences, helping to guide multiple steps in the way gene orders are implemented.