Turmeric Health Benefits and Culinary Uses
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a famous herb known in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for thousands of years for its amazing healing properties. The fleshy underground rhizomes are the medicinally important part of this plant, since these contain curcuminoids, which are biologically active yellow pigments. Turmeric is a regular condiment in food items like curries in Indian and other Asian cuisine. The yellow powder made from the root has great spiritual significance in Hindu culture, and the dry roots are exchanged as a gesture of goodwill, particularly during marriage ceremonies. In folk traditions, turmeric has been used to treat diarrhea, fever, parasitic worms, leprosy, bladder and kidney inflammations, etc. Turmeric has been reported to protect humans against the development and growth of various cancers.126 The potential health benefits of turmeric were attributed to curcumins. Natural curcuminoids were found to be powerful antioxidants.127 Curcumin was shown to inhibit...
Turmeric Rhizome Rhizoma Curcumae longae Pinyin Jiang huang Sanskrit Haridra Turmeric is native to India, where it was originally used to preserve foods and as a culinary spice. It is also widely used to promote digestive health and is applied externally for the prevention and treatment of skin diseases. In the last few decades, turmeric has emerged as one of the most scientifically researched of all botanicals for a wide range of indications from antioxidant and antihepatotoxic activity to anticancer effects. Traditionally, the rhizome was cured by boiling after harvest, then dried, milled, and extracted or made into a paste. Although growers in the United States do not have a demand for boiled rhizomes and sell their material uncured, some manufacturers may use imported boiled material. Boiling gives a yellowish brown, yellow, or grayish brown and speckled color to the external surface of the rhizome and gelatinizes the starch content. There are many species of Curcuma in trade.
Pullulan solutions contain short microfibrils, as observed by electron microscopy 72 . Pullulan solutions are able to stabilise turmeric oleoresin emulsions for applications in food industry 73 . In the same field, pullulan enhances the viscosity of frozen sucrose solutions 74 . However, unlike xanthan, pullulan has only a slight effect on the stabilisation of cottonseed protein isolate emulsions 75 . Two-phase systems based on pullulan sodium dodecyl sulfate mixtures containing sodium chloride were investigated by means of rheology coupled with optical observations. Morphological observations (from droplets to co-continuous structures and strings) could thus be correlated to rheological data under shear 76, 77 .
The presence of glycosides of kaempferol, rhamnetin and quercetin and phenolic amides are believed to confer antioxidant activity to pepper (Nakatani et al., 1986). In oregano, among the active components, four flavonoids were identified (Lagouri and Boskou, 1996) while in thyme, compounds have been isolated and identified as dimers of thymol and flavonoids. Similarly, the phenolic antioxidants, -coumaric acid, ferulic acid, curcumin and caffeic acid, which are found in coriander, turmeric, liquorice, oregano, sesame and rosemary, inhibit the formation of 3-nitrotyrosine in vitro and may prevent lipid peroxidation in vivo (Aruoma et al., 1992, 1996). Caffeic acid and other hydroxycinnamic acids have also been found to have an inhibitory effect on LDL oxidation (Abu-Amsha et al., 1996). Rosmarinic acid also fulfils the requirements for being considered as a potent antioxidant since it is not only capable of scavenging superoxide anions but is also able to chelate...
Perkins et al.99 discuss the efficacy and pharmacokinetics of curcumin in the Min + mouse FAP model. Curcumin is the yellow pigment in turmeric, which prevents the development of adenomas in the intestinal tract of the C57BI 6J Min + mouse, a model of human APC. They found that curcumin was not effective at 0.1 in the diet, but at 0.2 and 0.5 , it reduced adenoma multiplicity by 39 and 40 respectively, when compared with untreated mice. They concluded that curcumin may play an important role in the chemoprevention of human intestinal malignancies related to APC mutations. They suggest that a daily dose of 1.6g of curcumin would be required for efficacy in humans. Furthermore, they call attention to the clear advantage of curcumin over NSAIDs in its ability to decrease intestinal bleeding linked to adenoma maturation. Curcumin has been shown to decrease COX-2 expression and inhibit NF-Kb,100 suggesting similar molecular mechanisms as NSAIDs.
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