Also see commercial Turmeric Curcumin
Turmeric curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric (curcuma longa), a
spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine. It is a
significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. Turmeric itself is
also used to give a yellow color to some prepared mustards, canned chicken
broth, and other foods (often as a much cheaper replacement for saffron). It
makes a poor fabric dye as it is not very lightfast (the degree to which a
dye resists fading due to light exposure).
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric, through its active ingredient turmeric
curcumin, is thought to have many healthful properties and many in India use
it as a readily available antiseptic for cuts and burns. Turmeric curcumin
is taken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which allegedly
helps with stomach problems and other ailments. Turmeric is popular as a tea
in Okinawa, Japan.
Turmeric curcumin powder is bland, nothot, tangy or peppery. Turmeric
curcumin tastes a little sour. Turmeric curcumin is pungent, bitter and
astringent, not sweet like ginger.
Turmeric curcumin is currently being investigated for possible benefits in
Alzheimer's disease, cancer and liver disorders. This is partially evidenced
by the large numbers of scientific studies published on this topic. Turmeric
curcumin has long been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an
anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive disorders and liver problems, and for
the treatment of skin diseases and wound healing. Turmeric curcumin has been
shown, for example, to stimulate the production of bile and to facilitate
the emptying of the gallbladder. It has also demonstrated in animals a
protective effect on the liver, anti-tumor action, and ability to reduce
inflammation and fight certain infections.
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