What’s all the interest in turmeric these days? Well, turmeric, the yellow-pigmented “curry spice” often used in Indian cuisine, contains curcumin, which is the polyphenol identified as its primary active component. Curcumin exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including those of being antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer in nature.
Curcumin is also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and holds promise as a neuroprotective agent in a wide range of neurological disorders.
Researchers have also investigated curcumin for its potential role in improving Parkinson’s and dementia. Curcumin also has the most evidence-based literature supporting its use against cancer of any other nutrient studied, and it’s also shown promise for many other health benefits, from healing wounds to protecting against cataracts.
What is it?
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to southwest India, requiring temperatures between 20 and 30 °C and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.