Research on turmeric spice indicates its potential to fight depression, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disease. The bright yellow spice, which lends color and flavor to mustard, curry, and other foods, also contains highly beneficial chemicals like curcumin.
Curcumin has been studied widely in the past, but it only makes up about two to five percent of the turmeric spice. Researchers from the Cytokine Research Laboratory at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center sought to study all components of turmeric. Some effects of the spice were not replicated by just curcumin alone.
Turmeric has had many traditional applications in folk medicine for issues such as gastric problems, blood disorders, infectious diseases, and gynecological problems. Modern research continues to find evidence for its successful use in treating many serious diseases.
The study, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, isolated various chemicals in turmeric spice, with a specific focus on curcumin. Under cell-based studies, turmeric exhibited anti-cancer and anti-mutagenic properties, as well as being insecticidal, larvicidal, anti-microbial, and a radioprotector.
Animal studies with turmeric showed positive results against pro-inflammatory diseases, and human clinical trials further indicated success with cancer, lupus, and diabetes, as well as fibrosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and acne.
Source: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research