India's 'holy powder' finally reveals its centuries-old secret

April 20, 2009
Scientists have unlocked the secrets of the "holy powder" turmeric. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists in Michigan are reporting discovery of the secret behind the fabled healing power of the main ingredient in turmeric — a spice revered in India as "holy powder." Their study on the ingredient, curcumin, appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

In the study, Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy and colleagues point out that turmeric has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems. Although modern scientific research on the spice has burgeoned in recent years, scientists until now did not know exactly how curcumin works inside the body.

Using a high-tech instrument termed solid-state NMR spectroscopy, the scientists discovered that molecules of curcumin act like a biochemical disciplinarian. They insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly in a way that increases cells' resistance to infection by disease-causing .

More information: "Determining the Effects of Lipophillic Drugs on Membrane Structure by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy -- the Case of the Antioxidant Curcumin," .

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

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5 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2009
I already take it every day
not rated yet Apr 20, 2009
How about ginger?
5 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2009
That too. They go well together with some lemon juice and water. Turmeric is a great anti anti inflammatory and also helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. I even once put it on a cut and it healed very quickly.I cant say enough about turmeric. Except if your not careful, it will stain ANYTHING. even glass. Come to think of it, it probably makes great paint

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