Top 10 uses for Turmeric

Vogel and Pelletier- the Harvard College laboratory scientists were the first to discover curcumin, almost two centuries ago, during a study conducted on the rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric). [1] About 2- 5% of curcumin is present as an active ingredient in turmeric and till now numerous studies had been conducted to discover its various health benefits. [2] Several research studies provide evidence that curcumin has therapeutic benefits against a number of human diseases, as it possesses multi-targets and able to modulates several signaling molecules. The remarkable health benefits of curcumin are: [1]

  1. Cancer Therapy

Topical application of curcumin in external cancerous lesion has shown significant symptomatic relief, administration of which includes reduction of itching, the size of the lesion, and pain.

Several past studies provided evidence that curcumin, either alone or in combination with other agents, can potentially active against breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, oral cancer, lung cancer, multiple myelomas, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. [1,3]

  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammation of intestine is the basic characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease are two most common type of inflammatory bowel disease. Mild to moderate form of ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease can be improved by daily use of curcumin, but with different dose. The possible mechanism of action is curcumin’s ability to suppress mitogen-activated protein kinase, interleukin and matrix metalloproteinase-3 in the intestine to reduce the inflammation. A regular dose of curcumin is also responsible for symptomatic relief from IBD. [1]

  1. Arthritis

Curcumin administration in arthritis condition can produce improvement in joint swelling, morning stiffness and walking time, and its anti-rheumatic  potentiality is similar to phenylbutazone. Laboratory test result showed that curcumin can reduce the level of  C-reactive protein level. Moreover, regular therapy with curcumin can suppress the different serum inflammatory biomarkers interleukin, soluble CD40 ligand, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate and provide beneficial effect against the management of osteoarthritis. [1,4]

  1. Vitiligo

Destruction of melanocytes (skin pigment-producing cells) causes white patches on the skin and this skin condition is termed as vitiligo, which may occur due to oxidative stress. Topical application of Tetrahydro curcuminoid, a derivative of curcumin showed better outcome in the treatment of vitiligo in combination with Narrowband UVB, because of its antioxidant property. [1]

  1. Dejerine-Sottas disease

Dejerine-Sottas disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, in which generalized weakness, loss of sensation, bending of the spine, and sometimes mild loss of hearing occur. Oral administration of curcumin may improve the quality of life of the affected patients due to a slight increase of foot strength, though further detail research is required to understand the precise result. [1]

  1. Idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor

Idiopathic orbital inflammatory pseudotumor (IOIP) is a persistent neoplasm-like inflammatory effect, typically affects the orbital tissues of both eyes and orbit. A short-term clinical trial showed that curcumin can able to control the swelling, though large-scale study requires establishing this efficacy. [1]


  1. Improvement of Lipid Profiles

Low dose curcumin in highly effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) level in patients and on the contrary it increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). However, high dose of curcumin is unable to show these benefits. The improvement of lipid profile also has a preventive effect against Atherosclerosis (the plaque formation the arterial wall). [1,4]

  1. Diabetes

Curcumin is effective to lower the blood sugar level in the diabetic patient. It is also found that curcumin is a good choice to prevent diabetes in risk population, as it is effective to improve overall β cells functioning, insulin resistance, and also showed C-peptide levels lowering effect. Curcumin increases adiponectin (anti-inflammatory cytokine) level and provides clinical benefits to pre-diabetic patients. [1,3]

  1. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Curcumin has no direct effect against AIDS, as it unable to decrease the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) load. But, after continuation of administration of curcumin, the patient reported that they felt better. The exact cause of this betterment is unknown, but it has been found that curcumin can slightly increase the CD4 cells count in its higher dose. [1]

  1. Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infections

Oral supplementation of curcumin in combination with lactoferrin has potential immunologic effects against recurrent respiratory tract infections ((RRTIs),  specifically in children. This combined therapy possesses immune-modulatory effects in children and reduces the predominance of RRTIs. [1]


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