A Review of the Medicinal Properties of Turmeric with Specific Focus on Curcumin

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Turmeric (Curcuma longa, Zingiberaceae) is a perennial plant and the rhizome is used as a culinary spice and medicinally. Turmeric is the major source of curcumin, a polyphenol with numerous health benefits, but poor bioavailability. Turmeric has long been used medicinally and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antimutagenic properties. The purpose of this review was to summarize the effects of curcumin on human health.

Curcumin is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. As an antioxidant, it works through superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH), and lipid peroxides. It can also scavenge or neutralize free radicals, inhibit reactive oxygen species (ROS)-generating enzymes, and scavenge peroxyl radicals. It further acts as an anti-inflammatory in multiple ways, including the partial blockage of NF-κB.

Curcumin has poor bioavailability. The addition of piperine from black pepper (Piper nigrum, Piperaceae) to curcumin increased curcumin’s bioavailability by 2000%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

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