Curcumin – an active component of turmeric, is said to have anti-oxidant properties and so turmeric is used in alternative medicine. Curcumin also has an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing histamine(hormone) levels.
According to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope,” research activity into curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is exploding. Anti-tumoral effects against melanoma cells have been demonstrated.
Other Studies have shown that turmeric slows the spread of breast cancer into lungs and other body parts. Turmeric also enhances the effect of taxol in reducing metastasis of breast cancer.
Curcumin is thought to be a powerful antinociceptive (pain-relieving) agent. In the November 2006 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a study was published that showed the effectiveness of turmeric in the reduction of joint inflammation, and recommended clinical trials as a possible treatment for the alleviation of arthritis symptoms.
Bodies responding to seasonal changes with the flu, coughs, and running noses, are immediately administered with honey mixed with turmeric, or turmeric mixed in milk by Indian housewives and mothers to soothe and cure. The roots are pounded and pressed to extract a juice that, when mixed with water, is helpful in earaches and to clear the sinuses through nasal application. The astringent qualities of turmeric are also useful in cases of consumption, tuberculosis, bronchitis, colds and asthma, the root being lightly cooked and eaten.
So right from home remedies and wives tales to internationally researched studies, Turmeric has proven to be more than just a spice and colorant making it very popular and sought after in the West nowadays.