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Introduction Latin Name: Curcuma longa Common Names: Turmeric, Turmeric Root, Indian Saffron Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant native.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction Latin Name: Curcuma longa Common Names: Turmeric, Turmeric Root, Indian Saffron Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant native."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction Latin Name: Curcuma longa Common Names: Turmeric, Turmeric Root, Indian Saffron Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant native to tropical climate in South Asia (Benzie, 2011). It is commonly used as a spice, flavoring agent, food preservative and coloring agent. The bright yellow color of this spice is responsible for its common name “Indian Saffron”. Taste of this spice is described as bitter, slightly acrid, yet sweet (Benzie, 2011). It also has an extensive history of medicinal use and most recently associated with anti-inflammatory properties. Nutrition and Content The primary active ingredients of turmeric include a group of three cuminoids: Curcumin (Difeurloylmethane), Yellow pigment of turmeric (demethoxycurcumin) Bisdemethoxycurcumin Curcuminoids are major oxidative components of turmeric (Cousins, 2007). Curcumin, is a naturally occurring phytochemical derived from turmeric, a rhizome of the C. longa plant (Martin, 2011). Spice Turmeric is frequently used in South Asian cuisines. It pairs well with potatoes, lentils, cauliflower and rice. Turmeric lends a yellow hue to dishes (Mayo Clinic, 2012). Essential Oil The essential oil of turmeric is used in pharmaceutical applications for its antioxidant, antimutagentic, anti- carcinogenic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and insect repellent activities. Oil is extracted from the rhizomes if C. longa by supercritical fluid extraction (Ling, 2011). History The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years within the Vedic culture in India. Vedic culture used it as a culinary spice but it also held religious significance. It was also referenced by Marco Polo in 1280 describing it as a vegetable with qualities similar to Saffron. In addition of culinary and religious uses it also has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia (Benzie, 2011). Medical Claims Turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes both historically and today. The root is the part of the plant widely used to make medicine (NIH, 2012). The National Institute of Health states common medicinal uses for Turmeric as follows: Food and Drug Administration The Food and Drug Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services identifies turmeric as a color additive that is the ground rhizome of Curcuma longa. They advise turmeric may be “safely used for the coloring of foods generally, in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice, except that it may not be used to color foods for which standards of identity have been promulgated under section 401 of the act, unless the use of added color is authorized by such standards” (Food and Drug Administration, 2012). NCCA The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine within the United States Department of Health and Human Services has a fact sheet regarding the use of turmeric available to the public as an online research. They believe there is little reliable evidence to support the use of turmeric for any health condition because few clinical trials have been conducted (NCCA, 2007). Side Effects and Cautions Produced by the NCCA Turmeric is considered safe for most adults. High doses or long term use of turmeric may cause indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea In animals, high doses of turmeric have caused liver problems. No cases or liver problems have been reported in people. People with gallbladder disease should avoid using turmeric as a dietary supplement, as it may worsen the condition. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary practices you use. Truth on Turmeric Kelsey Hertsgaard Kincaid Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Concordia College, Moorhead, MN References Anti-inflammatory / Anti-oxidative Biomedical research has investigated the correlation and bioavailability of curcumin versus turmeric. Research published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Technology revealed: Curcumin has limited clinical efficacy due to inefficient bioavailability. This was done by comparing the bioavailability distribution of curcumin and turmeric. Researchers investigated molecular effects of these compounds on pro-and anti- inflammatory markers. Experiments were performed on Sprague-Dawley rats by surgical and nutritional manipulation. Serum distribution of curcumin was similar for both the curcumin fed and turmeric feed animals, with non-significant increase in turmeric, but significant increase in the curcumin and turmeric when compared to the control diet. They concluded molecular effects of curcumin and turmeric in the role as an anti- inflammatory therapy as well as its effect in certain pro- inflammatory genes (Martin, 2011). Research published in the Journal of Food Chemistry looked at the relationship of turmeric oil on anti-hyperlipidaemic and antioxidant effects in rates. They observed treatment with turmeric oil caused a reduction in the ratio of LDL/HDL, which suggest turmeric oil possesses cardioprotective potential. This is because hyperlipidemia leads to tissue oxidant stress, due to the reduction in anti-oxidant capacity and free radical load generated by a high fat diet. They concluded there was potential in the management of hyperlipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease with therapy including turmeric oil, due to meditation via inhibition of lipid peroxidation (Ling, 2011). However, further studies need to be done to determine the exact mechanisms of turmeric oil on lipid metabolism. Fig. 1. The fold changes of molecular markers in animals feed three different types of diet: Control Curcumin diet, and Turmeric (Martin, 2011) Conclusion Research results indicate molecular effects of curcumin and turmeric in the role of anti-inflammatory therapy as well as their effect on certain pro-inflammatory genes. Limited dietary consumption of this spice is likely safe with some restriction in at-risk populations. Further investigative trials are needed to confirm potential benefits regarding oxidative and inflammatory properties among other medicinal claims. Arthritis Stomach Pain Diarrhea Intestinal Gas Stomach bloating Loss of Appetite Jaundice Liver Disorders Benzie IFF, Wachel-Galor, S. (2011).Turmeric, the Golden Spice. In Traditional Medicine to Modern Medicine (13). Retrieved from Cousins, M., Adelberg, J., Chen, F., Rieck, J. (2007). Antioxidant capacity of fresh and dried rhizomes from four clones of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) grown in vitro. Industrial Crops and Products an International Journal, 25, doi: /j.indcrop Food and Drug Administration. (2012). Turmeric. Retrieved from Ling, J., Wei, B., Lv, G., Ji, H., Li, S. (2011). Anti-hyperlipidaemic and antioxidant effects of turmeric oil hyperlipdaemic rats. Food Chemisty, 130, doi: /j.foodchem Martin, C.G., Aiyer, H.S., Malik, D., Li, Y. (2011). Effect on pro-inflammatory and antioxidant genes and bioavailable distribution of whole turmeric vs curcumin: Similar root but different effects. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 50, doi: /j.fct Mayo Clinic. (2012). Tumeric. Retrieved from United States Department of Health and Human Services (2012). Turmeric. Retrieved from United States National Library of Medicine NHI National Institutes of Health (2012). Turmeric. Retrieved from


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