Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India. It appears that curcumins anti-inflammatory properties help fight a range of health problems, including arthritis and bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease.
Research has suggested it could help in the fight against Alzheimers after tests showed build-up of plaques in the brain had halved and there was less inflammation in the brain tissue.
In the latter half of the 20th century, curcumin was identified as responsible for most of the biological effects of turmeric. According to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal, research activity into curcumin and turmeric is increasing, with supplement sales increased 35% from 2004. The U.S. National Institutes of Health currently has registered 19 clinical trials underway to study use of dietary turmeric and curcumin for a variety of clinical disorders (dated February 2010).
Turmeric May Boost Liver Health
New research suggests that a compound found in turmeric (a key ingredient in curry) may help protect against liver damage. In their study on mice, scientists determined that the compound known as curcumin may help lessen the inflammation linked to cirrhosis (a potentially fatal disease marked by scarring of the liver).
For the study, researchers focused on mice with chronic liver inflammation. After following a curcumin-enhanced diet for four or eight weeks, the mice experienced a significant reduction in liver cell damage and scarring. It’s likely that these benefits stem from curcumin’s ability to curb inflammation, according to the study’s authors.