Part Used: Dried rhizome (Malabar, India)
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herb with various medicinal importances. It grows to nearly 3 feet tall, and is grown mostly in tropical regions. In Chinese medicine it has been used to ease shoulder pain, menstrual cramps, and colic. The thick rhizome of Turmeric is the part that is most commonly used. It is the major ingredient in curry powder. The rhizome (root) of Turmeric has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat gastrointestinal upset, and arthritic pain. Several laboratory and animal researches have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties of Turmeric and its active constituent curcumin. Historically, it has been used as a remedy for appetite loss and liver & gall bladder problems.
The active constituent of Turmeric is known as curcumin. It has been shown to have a wide range of therapeutic effects. First, it protects against free radical damage because it is a strong antioxidant. Second, it reduces inflammation. It accomplishes this by reducing histamine levels and possibly by increasing production of natural cortisone by the adrenal glands. Third, it protects the liver from a number of toxic compounds. Fourth, it has been shown to reduce platelets from clumping together, which in turn, improves circulation and helps protect against atherosclerosis. Numerous studies have also shown cancer-preventing effects of curcumin. This may be due to its powerful antioxidant activity in the body. Turmeric has also been used internally for indigestion, gas, bloating, stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, fever, swelling, bronchitis, colds, chest infections, worms, leprosy, kidney and bladder inflammation, headaches, and missed menstrual periods. Applied externally, it has been used as treatment for bruises, leech bites, festering eye infections, inflammation in the mouth, inflamed skin, and infected wounds.
PDR Health. http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/herbaldrugs/102800.shtml
All Natural. http://www.allnatural.net/herbpages/turmeric.shtml
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h27.htm