Turmeric is increasing in popularity among the health community, largely because of the active ingredient, cucurmin. While for centuries turmeric has been widely used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, it is only recently that research has highlighted just how important this ingredient could be for health.


Turmeric is a root like plant similar in appearance to ginger. The difference is that the turmeric rhizomes are thinner and smaller than ginger and the inside is a bright orange colour as opposed to the pale yellow colour of ginger. The root can be used in cooking and is generally finely grated. It can also be used to make a detoxing tea. More commonly though turmeric is dried and ground into a powder and sold as a spice.  



Findings from a recent study on curcumin


In a study published in December 2014, it was confirmed that curcumin has strong antibacterial properties. The study investigated the effects of curcumin on several types of bacteria that are common human pathogens. These included two Gram positive groups, namely: Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis; and two Gram negative groups, namely: Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Specifically the study looked at how effectively curcumin could penetrate the membranes of these types of bacteria.


The study results showed that in all cases the curcumin successfully penetrated the bacteria membranes and caused damage to the bacteria cells. This serves to confirm that curcumin is effective as an anti-bacterial agent and provides a basis for further studies on the subject.  


Additional research findings on curcumin


This is not the first study to reveal positive effects from curcumin. Numerous other studies have supported that curcumin has several important health benefits. These include:


  •         Cardiovascular benefits

It has been identified that inflammation plays an important role in arteriosclerosis, which is viewed as a cardiovascular risk factor. Reducing inflammation in the arteries andsubsequently reducing arteriosclerosis can provide cardiovascular benefits and curcumin is effective in achieving this.  In addition to this curcumin has shown to improve the function of the endothelium which is the blood vessel lining. When endothelium is not functioning properly it can impact functions such as blood pressure.


  •         Cancer prevention and treatment

It is believed that while there are numerous factors that influence the development of cancer, two of the major factors are inflammation and toxicity. Curcumin effectivelycombats both of these risk factors with the will of Allah and is increasingly being studied as a cancer preventative and supplementary treatment.


  •        Neuro protective capabilities

Curcumin has several benefits in terms of brain health. In some studies, it has been found to  have a positive influence n the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases such as       Alzheimer. In addition, curcumin has been found to boost brain function by stimulating Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor which is a brain growth hormone. This can help improve and increase connections in the brain. Many neuro-degenerative diseases are linked to a decrease of this hormone and this could well be the link to why curcumin may help prevent the onset of such diseases.


  •         Help treat Inflammation

Conditions such as arthritis are caused by inflammation in the joints. This is usually a      condition that develops in people as they age. Curcumin has been found to help reduce chronic inflammation, particularly in joints, which can help ease the discomfort of arthritis. Curcumin effectively blocks the NF-kB molecule that causes inflammation in cells and is a major component of many chronic diseases. This is one reason why curcumin is believed to be effective in helping prevent the onset of chronic diseases.


  •         Anti-oxidant capacity

Curcumin has high antioxidant properties. Due to its chemical nature, curcumin has the ability to neutralize free radicals. In addition curcumin can help to boost the body’s natural defences by increasing the antioxidant enzyme capacity.


  •        Helps fight depression

Initial research is showing that curcumin could play an important role in treating depression. In addition to increasing the BDNF hormone, it has been found that curcumin may help increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin. In a small study of 45 participants curcumin showed to be as effective as prozac in treating depression.


Additional interesting health facts about curcumin


While curcumin is an active ingredient in turmeric, it appears that the concentration of curcumin in dried, powdered tumeric used as a spice is relatively small (as little as 3% in some cases). Most of the research studies have been conducted on concentrated curcumin rather than turmeric as a ground dried spice.  This is important to keep in mind, because it means that one would need to consume a rather large amount of ground turmeric on a regular basis in order to have the same benefits as a concentrated form of curcumin.


Another interesting fact is that the body is limited in its ability to absorb curcumin. However, there are foods that aid absorption so that you can get the full benefits. One such food is black pepper.  Pepperine is a natural compound in black pepper that helps to increase the absorption of curcumin by as much as 2000 percent.



Always be sure to select organic sources of turmeric and curcumin as these will ensure that the spices are free from harmful toxic residues left by pesticides. Natureland’s turmeric spice is certified organic and is sourced from reputable suppliers to ensure a quality product.


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