Turmeric is an ancient spice dating back to 600 BC, used as medicine, a condiment, and in flavoring foods.17 It is a member of the ginger family of herbs, cultivated in south-east Asia.17 The most active component of turmeric is curcumin, which gives the spice it’s vibrate orange-yellow color.8 Today, turmeric is known for a variety of health promoting properties as well as treatment of inflammatory conditions.17 Curcumin also has a chemopreventive effect on oral precancerous lesions like oral leukoplakia, oral lichen planus and oral fibrosis.6 It is currently being studied in human clinical trials for colon and pancreatic cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.10
Turmeric has blood thinning properties; therefore, patients who take warfarin or Coumadin should not supplement with turmeric.8 Patients with active liver disease or gallstones should also use caution because of turmeric’s potential to stimulate contractions and bile secretions.8 Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not take turmeric due to the lack of safety data available.8
In India, turmeric is one of the most extensively used spices. In the United States, it is used as a coloring agent in cheese, mustard, cereal, soups, ice cream and yogurt. Turmeric has a wide variety of culinary uses. It makes a great addition to legumes of any type while improving their digestibility.8 Mix it into salad dressing, marinade, soups, and smoothies to enhance nutrient density.17
Your session is about to expire. Do you want to continue logged in?
WARNING! You did not finish creating your certificate. Please click CONTINUE below to return to your previous page to complete the process. Failure to complete ALL the steps will result in a loss of this test score, and you will not receive credit for this course.