Know Your Nutrients: Turmeric Curcumin

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is best known as a spice in the U.S. and is one of the main components of curry powder. However, turmeric is native to tropical South Asia and has been used in India, and other parts of Asia, for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine that includes massage and meditation). It was first used as a dye and then later for medicinal purposes, because of its inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties, and is used to treat many health conditions.

Why should someone take turmeric?

Turmeric (particularly curcumin, a substance in turmeric) seems to reduce inflammation, and it is suggested that it may ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, especially pain and inflammation.

In some lab tests, curcumin blocks the growth of certain kinds of tumors, one study, in particular, showed that turmeric extract (containing curcumin) can stabilize colorectal cancer.
Other health conditions that seem to be helped by curcumin/turmeric are some types of lung damage, skin diseases, Alzheimer’s, heart failure, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol, as well as, upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.

Can turmeric be found in food?

Turmeric is a spice and is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. The spice, along with the supplement, comes from the rhizomes (underground stems) of the turmeric plant. Please remember that most of the above conditions were treated and results found during laboratory research. Please make sure to discuss any addition to your supplement regimen with your physician.
Turmeric Curcumin can be found in the Riordan Clinic Supplement Store, and during the month of February, you’ll receive a 15% savings on your purchase.