Researchers Uncover Why Turmeric Helps Heal

FRIDAY June 5, 2009 -- Modern technology has revealed the ancient secret behind the healing power of turmeric, a spice regarded as "holy powder" in India.

Turmeric has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections and other ailments. It's long been believed that curcumin -- the main ingredient in turmeric -- is responsible for its healing power, but it hasn't been known how curcumin works inside the body, explained researcher Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy and colleagues.

They used solid-state NMR spectroscopy to examine molecules of curcumin and found that they act like a "biochemical disciplinarian." The molecules insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly in a way that boosts cells' resistance to infection by disease-causing microbes.

The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about turmeric.

Posted: June 2009


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