Thursday, 7 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is a perennial plant in the genus Curcuma, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae, native to tropical South Asia. The herb has been used in trditional medicine as anti-oxidant, hypoglycemic, colorant, antiseptic, wound healing agent, and to treat flatulence, bloating, and appetite loss, ulcers, eczema, inflammations, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Pancreatic cancer
In the study of the cytotoxic effect of Turmeric Force (TF), a supercritical and hydroethanolic extracted from turmeric, alone and in combination with gemcitabine in two pancreatic carcinoma cell lines (BxPC3 and Panc-1), found that TF induced cell death in 96% of the cells at 50 microg/ml. The combination of gemcitabine and TF was synergistic with IC90 levels achieved in both pancreatic cancer cell lines at lower concentrations. CalcuSyn analysis of cytotoxicity data showed that the Gemcitabine + Turmeric Force combination has strong synergism with combination index (CI) values of 0.050 and 0.183 in BxPC3 and Panc-1 lines, respectively at IC50 level, according to "Potentiation of gemcitabine by Turmeric Force in pancreatic cancer cell lines" by Ramachandran C, Resek AP, Escalon E, Aviram A, Melnick SJ.(1)

2. Cancer Therapy
In the investigation of the effect of an ethanol extract of turmeric ("Curcuma longa") as well as an ointment of curcumin (its active ingredient) in relieving symptoms in patients with external cancerous lesions, found that Reduction in smell were noted in 90% of the cases and reduction in itching in almost all cases. Dry lesions were observed in 70% of the cases, and a small number of patients (10%) had a reduction in lesion size and pain. In many patients the effect continued for several months. An adverse reaction was noticed in only one of the 62 patients evaluated, according to" Turmeric and curcumin as topical agents in cancer therapy" by Kuttan R, Sudheeran PC, Josph CD.(2)

3. Anti cancer effects
In assessment of the anticancer activity of the rhizomes of turmeric, in vitro, using tissue culture methods and in vivo in mice, found that Cytotoxic effect was found within 30 min at room temperature (30 degrees C). The active constituent was found to be 'curcumin' which showed cytotoxicity to lymphocytes and Dalton's lymphoma cells at a concentration of 4 micrograms/ml. Initial experiments indicated that turmeric extract and curcumin reduced the development of animal tumours, according to "Potential anticancer activity of turmeric (Curcuma longa)" by Kuttan R, Bhanumathy P, Nirmala K, George MC.(3)

4. Antifungal activity
In the determination of the urmeric oil and curcumin, isolated from Curcuma longa L., effects against fifteen isolates of dermatophytes, four isolates of pathogenic molds and six isolates of yeasts, found that turmeric oil (dilution 1:80) was applied by dermal application on the 7th day following dermatophytosis induction with Trichophyton rubrum. An improvement in lesions was observed in 2-5 days and the lesions disappeared 6-7 days after the application of turmeric oil, accoridng to "Antifungal activity of turmeric oil extracted from Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae)" by Apisariyakul A, Vanittanakom N, Buddhasukh D.(4)

5. Anti prostate diseases
In the examination of the use of turmeric, derived from the root of the plant curcuma longa, for the treatment of various diseases in Ayurveda and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, indicated that extensive research over the last decade has indicated that this polyphenol can both prevent and treat prostatic diseases, acccording to "[Curcumin in the treatment of prostatic diseases].[Article in Chinese]" by Chen ZQ, Mo ZN.(5)

6. Anti inflammatory effects
In a systematic review of the literature was to summarize the literature on the safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin, found that curcumin has been demonstrated to be safe in six human trials and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. It may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation, according to "Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa)" by Chainani-Wu N (6)

7. Antioxidants
In the reseach of a literature search (PubMed) of almost 1500 papers dealing with curcumin, most from recent years, with ll available abstracts were read and pproximately 300 full papers were reviewed, found that curcumin, a component of turmeric, has been shown to be non-toxic, to have antioxidant activity, and to inhibit such mediators of inflammation as NFkappaB, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipooxygenase (LOX), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Significant preventive and/or curative effects have been observed in experimental animal models of a number of diseases, including arteriosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, respiratory, hepatic, pancreatic, intestinal and gastric diseases, neurodegenerative and eye diseases, "Curcumin, an atoxic antioxidant and natural NFkappaB, cyclooxygenase-2, lipooxygenase, and inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibitor: a shield against acute and chronic diseases" by Bengmark S.(7)

8. Neuroprotective effect
In the finding of the A Potential Neuroprotective Agent in treating Parkinson's Disease, found that curcumin exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, crosses the blood-brain barrier and is neuroprotective in neurological disorders. Several studies in different experimental models of PD strongly support the clinical application of curcumin in PD. The current review explores the therapeutic potential of curcumin in PD, according to "Curcumin: A Potential Neuroprotective Agent in Parkinson's Disease" by Mythri RB, Bharath MS.(8)

9. Antiarthritic efficacy
In the determination of the antiarthritic efficacy and mechanism of action of a well-characterized turmeric extract using an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), found that a turmeric fraction depleted of essential oils profoundly inhibited joint inflammation and periarticular joint destruction in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo treatment prevented local activation of NF-kappaB and the subsequent expression of NF-kappaB-regulated genes mediating joint inflammation and destruction, including chemokines, cyclooxygenase 2, and RANKL, according to "Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis" by Funk JL, Frye JB, Oyarzo JN, Kuscuoglu N, Wilson J, McCaffrey G, Stafford G, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD, Sólyom AM, Kiela PR, Timmermann BN.(9)

10. Gastrointestinal diseases
In the exporation more systematically in various diseases of curcumin's therapeutic promise,
indicated that curcumin may be particularly suited to be developed to treat gastrointestinal diseases. This review summarizes some of the current literature of curcumin's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer potential in inflammatory bowel diseases, hepatic fibrosis and gastrointestinal cancers, according to "Therapeutic potential of curcumin in gastrointestinal diseases" by Rajasekaran SA.(10)

11. Diabetes
In identification of turmerin, a water-soluble peptide in turmeric rhizomes,and its inhibitory potential against glucosidase and its antioxidant (AO) capacity, indicated that Turmerin showed good DPPH (IC(50) = 29 µg mL(-1)) and superoxide (IC(50) = 48 µg mL(-1)) and moderate ABTS (IC(50) = 83 µg mL(-1)) radical scavenging and Fe(II) chelation (IC(50) = 101 µg mL(-1)) capacities. The inhibitory potential showed by turmerin against enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes, as well as its moderate AO capacity, could rationalise the traditional usage of turmeric rhizome preparations against diabetes, according to "Turmerin, the antioxidant protein from turmeric (Curcuma longa) exhibits antihyperglycaemic effects" by Lekshmi PC, Arimboor R, Raghu KG, Menon AN.(11)

12. Wound healing
In the testing the efefct of wound healing of fresh turmeric (Curcuma longa) paste in a preclinical study in an animal model, found that Only tensile strength was measured on day 14 of treatment. It was observed that the wound healing was statistically significantly faster (P < .01) in both treatment groups compared to the control group, according to "Turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome paste and honey show similar wound healing potential: a preclinical study in rabbits" by Kundu S, Biswas TK, Das P, Kumar S, De DK.(12)

13. Etc.

Side effects
1. Overdose may cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea and diarrhea and liver damage.
2. Topical use may be allergic to skin such irritation to certain peoples
3. Do not use the herb in new born, children or if you are pregnant and breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist.
4. Etc.

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