Turmeric Health Benefits and Culinary Uses

Turmeric Benefits and Uses

One of the spices that you often see on the shelves but do not think much about is the spice turmeric. I bet you didn't think that you could do much with that? Well you would be wrong about that! This spice has a ton of uses, both for food and for health purposes. The turmeric root can get rid of digestive problems, and alleviate inflammation. You will learn everything that there is to know about this useful root in this ebook guide. You will be able to get rid of inflammation and digestive problems with only one cheap spice from your local grocery store. Turmeric is also thermogenic in nature, so it actually causes your cells to burn calories just by eating. Once you start using this cheap, easy-to-get spice you will be able to get rid of inflammation, joint pain, digestive problems, and lose weight to boot! Continue reading...

Turmeric Benefits and Uses Summary


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Author: Kimberly Scott
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RA BIoSynthesis In cELL cuLTuRES

Rosmarinic acid has been targeted for production using undifferentiated cell suspension cultures in several species (6,48-56). Further, elicitors such as yeast extract and methyl jasmonate were used to stimulate RA content in cell cultures (6,51,57,58). The biosynthesis of RA were also evaluated and stimulated in hairy root cultures by elicitors (59). The main purpose of cell suspension cultures for production of RA is the potential for large scale production in bioreactors (60,61). Although large scale production in bioreactors is feasible for RA (62), undifferentiated cell suspension cultures are generally not practical for metabolites produced in differentiated structures (e.g., anethole in seeds of anise, cur-cumin in rhizomes of turmeric, eugenol in barks of cinnamon, and thymol in glandular cells of leaves). In a comparison of nodal shoot cultures and callus cultures of Ocimum basilicum L in airlift bioreactors, RA production in cell suspension cultures was 29 p,g g dry weight...

Plant Phenolics As Phytopharmaceuticals

Plant phenolics are an important group of secondary metabolites that have diverse medicinal applications. Examples of the use of specific phenolics as antioxidant and antiinflammatory compounds are curcumin from Curcuma longa (1), Curcuma mannga (2), and Zingiber cassumunar (4). The use of phenolics as cancer chemopreventive metabolites has been also established with curcumin from Curcuma longa (1), isoflavonoids from Glycine max (5), and galanigin from Origanum vulgare (6). Other medicinal uses of plant phenolics include lithospermic acid from Lith-ospermum sp. as antigonodotropic (7), salvianolic acid from Salvia miltiorrhiza as antiulcer (8), thymol from Thymus vulgaris as anticaries (9), anethole from Pimpinella an-isum as antifungal (10), and hellicoside from Plantago asiatica as antiasthmatic (8).

Cultural Construction of Gender

In appearance, the Tikopia are tall strong people with mid- to dark-brown skin and wavy to frizzy hair. They are muscular from work in the garden and there is no idea of dieting for an esthetically appropriate body shape, but fatness is equated with laziness and a fat young woman would not be considered a desirable wife. There are standards of beauty which are more to do with temperament (e.g., a pleasant expression) than physiology. All Tikopia decorate themselves with turmeric, flowers, and leaves for their dances, and until recently both sexes were extensively tattooed. Little children of both sexes go naked until late childhood. The women wear a barkcloth skirt held up by a rope belt and the men a barkcloth loincloth, often with a fabric wrap over it.

Leisure Recreation and the Arts

These dances are held only after the small children have gone to bed. Dance practices are always supervised by elders who teach and criticize the performance. Even when the dance is to be performed by women, the male leaders of the village determine when enough practice has taken place. On the day the dance is to be performed before the public, much attention is paid, by both male and female dancers, to their appearance. In addition to bright clothing, hibiscus skirts for women and loincloths for men, dancers also adorn themselves with brightly colored flowers, turmeric, and face paint.

CYP1A1 and Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor AhR

In addition to these phytochemicals, other plant derived compounds affect the expression and activity of CYP1A1. Curcumin, a major component of the spice turmeric, binds to and activates AhR and can bind to the xenobiotic response element upstream of CYP1A1 (75). However, several studies suggest that curcumin partially blocks DMBA induced CYP1A1 activity, as well as the conversion of procarcinogens into DNA damaging agents in breast and squamous cell carcinoma cells (75,76), and in vitro (77). Curcumin also inhibits 5-HETE (78) and prostaglandin formation (79), and has antioxidant properties thus, its role as a tumor repressor or chemopreventative agent may be due to its effects on more than one single pathway. Indole-3-carbinol (derived from cruciferous vegetables) is also antitumorigenic, likely resulting from its ability to inhibit the activity of CYP1A1, blocking the hydroxylation of estradiol and resulting in the repression of estrogen signaling.

Applications identifying flavour compounds

The chromatographic techniques employed for the analysis of macro- and microcomponents in foods and food products have been recently compiled and critically evaluated (Cserhati and Forgacs, 1999). These cover the differentiation of cassia, cinnamon, ginger, caraway fruits, turmeric powder, bell peppers, onion, garlic, wine, beer, hops, coffee, tea, dairy products, meat, fish, oils, juices, corn-based snacks and peanuts.

Edible Plants and Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals associated with health promotion and disease prevention are described in Table 2. The most studied food sources of these phytonutrients are soy beans (Glycine max) and tea (Camellia sinensis leaves), but tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculen-tum), broccoli (Brassica oleracea), garlic (Allium sativum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), tart cherries (Prunus cerasus), and various types of berries are also receiving considerable attention as functional food candidates. An overview of the research on soy and tea illustrates some of the clinical issues encountered in the development of functional foods from edible plants.

Arachidonic Acid Metabolism

Several other phytochemicals have demonstrated the ability to inhibit COX-2 transcription and activity. Curcumin (a significant component of turmeric) prevents lipopoly-saccharide and phorbol ester mediated upregulation of COX-2 gene expression, likely by blocking signaling through extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and decreasing NF-kB and activator protein 1 (AP-1) binding to the COX-2 promoter (157,158). Curcumin also directly inhibits the enzymatic activity of COX-2 (159), indicating that curcumin acts on multiple levels to decrease PGE2 levels. The phytochemical baicalein (flavone isolated from the roots of Scutellaria baicalensis that is also a 12-lipoxygenase selective inhibitor) is capable of inhibiting both cell growth and the production of PGE2 in breast and prostate cancer cell lines (160). Additionally, various flavonoids such as EGCG (green tea) and apigenin (vegetables and fruits) block COX-2 gene expression by suppressing NF-kB (161).

Relevance of phenolic antioxidants for functional food and comparative metabolic biology considerations

As discussed earlier, phenolic phytochemicals have been associated with antioxidative action in biological systems, acting as scavengers of singlet oxygen and free radicals (7477). Recent studies have indicated a role for phenolics from food plants in human health and, in particular, cancer (76,78). Phenolic phytochemicals (i.e., phenylpropanoids) serve as effective antioxidants due to their ability to donate hydrogen from hydroxyl groups positioned along the aromatic ring to terminate free radical oxidation of lipids and other biomol-ecules (79). Phenolic antioxidants, therefore, short circuit destructive chain reactions that ultimately degrade cellular membranes. Examples of food based plant phenolics that are used as antioxidant and antiinflammatory compounds are curcumin from Curcuma longa (80-82), Curcuma mangga (83), and Zingiber cassumunar (84), and rosmarinic acid from Rosmarinus officinalis (72,85). Examples of phenolics with cancer chemopreventive potential are curcumin from...

Manufacturing Process

The desolventization process reduces the extraction solvent in the oleoresin to permissible levels, as defined in the applicable regulations (17). Various methods are employed, dependent on the physical characteristics of the oleoresin. Two basic strategies are used. The first, where preservation of the volatile fraction is not required and viscosity of the product is low, is called wiped-film evaporation. The oleoresin-laden solvent, or miscella, is pumped through a column and spread by an impeller along the inside surface. The column is heated via a steam jacket and partial vacuum is applied to aid in solvent removal. The miscella is introduced at the top of the column, with the thickness of the film controlled by addition rate, speed of the impeller, viscosity, and temperature. The evaporated solvent flows countercurrent to the oleoresin and is recovered for reuse. Oleoresins that are processed in this manner include the capsicums and turmeric. Unlike the essential oils, where only...


Of raw commodities as listed in U.S. government import statistics (16). Major oleoresins are black pepper, capsicum, celery, ginger, nutmeg, paprika, and turmeric. Minor oleoresins are basil, bay, cinnamon, clove, coriander, mace, maijoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. A more complete listing of the products can be found in Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 182, section 182.20, and part 184 (17).


The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has defined spice as any aromatic vegetable substance in the whole, broken or ground form, except for those substances which have been traditionally regarded as foods, such as onions, garlic, and celery whose significant function in food is seasoning rather than nutritional that is true to name and from which no portion of any volatile oil or other flavoring principle has been removed (2). The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) goes on to define the specific spices and herbs as spices. In addition, paprika, saffron, and turmeric are identified by the FDA also as colors and must be declared as such on ingredient labels (2). See Table 1 for a listing of the common spices.

Common Spices

All Masala Ingested

Curry powder is a mixture of spices that may contain coriander, cumin, pepper, chili peppers, ginger, fenugreek, onion, cinnamon, paprika, saffron, cilantro, or turmeric. Ingredients may depend on the area of the world in which the curry was mixed. Curry is a staple of Indian and southeast Asian cuisine. It is used to flavor many meat-based dishes and soups. Curry powder adds a sweet, distinctive, and sometimes hot flavor to foods. A common use is in stews. Curry also complements the flavor of lamb. Because the flavor of curry may vary, many cooks prefer to grind their own. Beware of store-bought curry powders, which may contain mostly turmeric. This gives dishes a yellow color, and the flavor may be bitter. Turmeric turmeric is added to potatoes and light-colored vegetables for both taste and its yellowish orange color. Turmeric can be substituted for saffron.


Carbohydrates and aerobic exercise, have been suggested to reduce the risk of cholelithiasis. Holistic health providers have been prescribing herbal medicines, such as turmeric, Oregon grape, bupleurum, and coin grass, with the belief that they may reduce gall bladder inflammation and relieve liver congestion.

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