Turmeric Plant Medicinal Uses- Is it Medicinal Useful?

Turmeric is a spice that we use to give curries a yellow color, but turmeric is more than a spice. There are several turmeric plant medicinal uses. 

Turmeric has been used as a spice and a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Science has recently begun to support the traditional claim that turmeric plant possesses compounds with healing properties.

Turmeric from turmeric plant contains several compounds called curcuminoids, the active ingredient of which is curcumin. Curcumin is an ingredient that gives turmeric many fantastic health benefits.

Curcumin is a yellow polyphenolic pigment obtained from turmeric, has been used for cooking and coloring for centuries, and as an additive in various medicines.  

Turmeric rhizome

Is Turmeric Plant Medically Useful?

Turmeric plant has proven medical uses. Turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herbaceous rhizome plant belonging to Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia. Up to 133 species of turmeric are known in the world. Most of them have common local names and are used in various medicines. [1] 

Turmeric is made from the rhizome of the turmeric plant, which is tuberous, rough, and fragmented skin. Several chemical compounds present in turmeric contribute to its healing ability.

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the main polyphenol in turmeric, has excellent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other curcuminoids include bisdemethoxycurcumin and dimethoxy curcumin.

In China and South Asia, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years for various illnesses such as fatigue, difficulty breathing, rheumatism, and severe pain. 

Here, we will try to know turmeric plant medicinal uses.  

It is Anti-Inflammatory

One of the turmeric plant’s medicinal uses is against inflammation because it possesses anti-inflammatory property. Inflammation is helpful. It helps the body fight foreign invaders and plays a role in repairing the damage.

Inflammation for the short-term is beneficial but can be a worry if it becomes chronic and attacks body tissue.

There are many indications that turmeric has an anti-inflammatory effect. [2]

The anti-inflammatory property of turmeric, which is derived from the turmeric plant, is well-known for its health benefit; this property makes it an excellent medicine to reduce inflammation and pain, for example, in arthritis.  

Curcumin’s desirable prophylactic or putative medicinal properties have also been associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. [3]

Since inflammation is closely related to tumor progression, curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties, is expected to have a prophylactic effect on carcinogenicity. [4]

It can also help control muscle inflammation and exercise pain, thus improving the recovery and performance in active people. [5]

Also Read: Bioperine Black Pepper Benefits- Is It Beneficial?

Improves Immunity

Curcumin from the turmeric plant has been shown an excellent immunomodulatory compound that regulates the activation of B cells, T cells, neutrophils, macrophages, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. [6] 

The immune system protects the body from pathogens that can cause disease and infection.

Turmeric has proven to be one of the best foods for maintaining, protecting, and strengthening immunity, which reduces the risk of disease. Antiviral, anti-bactericidal, and antimicrobial properties are present in turmeric. 

The beneficial effects of curcumin on arthritis, allergies, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer have been reported because of its ability to regulate the immune system. [7]

These results suggest the use of curcumin in the treatment of immune disorders. [8]

Help Relieve Pain

Curcumin can help relieve pain and is used as a painkiller for arthritis pain. It has been studied in several studies, especially in patients with arthritis.

Curcumin cream topical administration can significantly lower knee pain in older adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Older adults with knee pain, which is linked with osteoarthritis curcumin cream, can be used as an alternative treatment. [9]

Randomized clinical studies provide scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of turmeric extract (approx. 1000mg of curcumin per day) in treating arthritis. [10]

However, research on this subject is limited, so more detailed and extensive research is required to confirm the healing effect of turmeric in arthritis. [11]

Potent Anti-oxidant

Oxidative damage to the cells in the body is considered to be one of the causes of aging and many diseases.

Curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage in cells. In addition, curcumin can boost the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the body. 

Oxidative damage to DNA and proteins is thought to be linked with several chronic pathological complications, such as atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. [12]

Curcumin is thought to play a significant role against chronic pathological diseases. [13]

 Help Boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

The reduction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) affects cognitive function, learning, and memory. It also causes behavioral disorders. [14]

The BDNF gene provides guidelines for manufacturing a protein found in the brain and spinal cord. 

The protein promotes the survival of neurons (nerve cells) by playing a role in the growth, development (differentiation), and maintenance of nerve cells. [15]

Curcumin can enhance brain neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the growth of new neurons and inhibits many degenerative processes in the brain. [16]

The remarkable beneficial effect of added curcumin on BDNF levels suggests its potential use in neurological disorders associated with low BDNF levels. [17]

 May Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer disease is recognized by uncontrolled cell growth. Many different types of cancer appear to be affected by curcumin supplements.

The anticancer property of curcumin has been well described and is still being studied. [18]

Curcumin is a promising compound for an effective chemotherapeutic drug alone or combined with other medication. It affects various signaling pathways and molecular targets involved in developing several cancers. [19]

Curcumin can affect the proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells by regulating NF-B stimulating genes. A therapeutic effect in the treatment of lung cancer has also been demonstrated. [20]

May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and causes significant harm to people.

The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can lower cardiovascular disease. [21]

The cardioprotective properties of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases have been demonstrated in many studies. [22]

Curcumin can enhance endurance improve the stiffness of large elastic arteries, and conduit endothelial artery function in healthy middle-aged and older adults. [23]

A 12-week study in healthy middle-aged adults shows that curcumin supplementation improved vascular endothelial function by increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide in blood vessels, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing conduit artery endothelial function. [24]

Conclusion

The turmeric plant has a long history of medicinal use. Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, is an effective compound containing many scientifically proven health benefits. Several medicinal uses of the turmeric plant are there. 

Curcumin has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancerous properties. It is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound beneficial in arthritis, heart disease, immunity, and brain function.    

 

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