Curcuma (called “Haridra” in Sanskrit, “turmeric” in Germany) with the botanical name “Curcuma longa” belongs to the ginger plant family and has been around for over 5000 years BC.a in India and Southeast Asia. Curcuma is one of the most important spices in TCM and Ayurveda and is the most common ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is recognized as a food additive with the number E 100 and gives many foods its color (margarine, jam, mustard, curry powder, etc.). Curcuma is hot and bitter and is considered a warming spice in Ayurvedic teachings. Its root is used in cooking and natural medicine. It is not only visually very similar to ginger and is therefore also called “yellow ginger”. However, the turmeric root is a little smaller and thinner than ginger, but not pale, but bright yellow. Both roots can be used fresh or as a powder.
In medicine, turmeric is further differentiated: Curcuma longa, which comes from India, and Curcuma xanthorrhiza, the Javanese turmeric. For both types of turmeric there is a monograph by the so-called “Commission E”; this is the licensing authority that tests medicinal plants.
One teaspoon of turmeric contains the following vitamins and minerals in mg as follows (only those minerals and vitamins that are contained in a proportion of >= 1.0 mg are mentioned):
- Potassium: 1260
- Magnesium: 208
- Phosphorus: 172
- Calcium: 120
- Vitamin E: 62
- Selenium: 60
- Choline: 44
- Manganese: 36.4
- Vitamin A: 32
- Folic acid: 17
- Niacin: 9.12
- Vitamin C: 1.1
- Vitamin K: 1.0
Benefits and mode of action
In Ayurveda, curcuma has a balancing effect on all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha): The heating effect balances Vata and Kapha, and Pitta through the bitter taste. Turmeric has been recommended in Ayurveda for some time as a diuretic, stomach and liver tonic.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, turmeric is used to regulate the energy flow of Qi, dissolve stagnant blood and eliminate menstrual pain.
But turmeric has also always played an important role in Western herbal medicine. This is what the pharmacist Pahlow writes in “The Big Book of Medicinal Plants”, pages 394 - 395:
“The yellow dye, i.e. curcumin, promotes emptying of the gallbladder. The essential oil is said to increase bile production in the liver. Consequently, turmeric can be used successfully for stomach and intestinal problems caused by reduced bile excretion. The BGA (Federal Health Office) certifies that turmeric root has an anti-inflammatory, bile-inducing effect and promotes bile formation in the liver."
Scientifically proven turmeric has an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect and promotes the production and release of bile juice. Both o.G Curcuma types are therefore approved by Commission E for the treatment of digestive disorders. Curcuma is therefore particularly suitable as a dietary supplement, especially for older people whose digestive power and appetite are declining.
The active ingredients in curcuma are mainly.a Curcumin, xanthohriziol, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Turmeric and its active ingredients, i.e.H v.a The curcuminoids and the water-soluble peptides were able to effectively inhibit free radicals both in vitro (within the test tube) and in vivo (in the body). The properties of curcuminoids in preventing the buildup of tissue that injures free radicals (v.a The lipid peroxides, which are responsible for cardiovascular diseases), are among the better known antioxidant properties.
According to studies, the antioxidant mechanisms of curcuminoids could include one or more of the following interactions:
- Intervening in oxidative attacks in order to limit or prevent their occurrence - e.g. inhibiting oxidative enzymes such as cytochrome P-450
- Intercepting or neutralizing free radicals, e.g. Superoxide and peroxide radicals
- Breaking the oxidative chains formed by free radicals
Curcuminoids are classified into three groups: Curcumin I, II and III, with Curcumin I being the most contained in Curcuma. All three curcuminoid groups are biologically active and also have independent antioxidant effects. The antioxidant effect of curcuminoids against free radicals is, for example. 5x stronger than vitamin E.
The hypothesis of many studies that curcumin could also have tumor-inhibiting properties is based on the empirical finding that certain types of cancer occur less frequently in India than elsewhere, where significantly less turmeric is consumed. In addition, initial laboratory and animal experiments are promising, but cannot be transferred 1:1 to humans. Further clinical studies are pending here: https://www.medizin-transparent.at/curry-gewurz-gegen-krebs/
In addition, it is assumed that curcumin has a certain effect on preventing Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative processes in general by inhibiting the formation of amyloid beta bloomers in rodents. However, further studies are required here.
What should you consider when buying turmeric?
Curcuma products should have a high proportion of curcuminoids as the central active ingredient of curcuma by using turmeric extract in addition to the powder. You should also pay attention to high bioavailability, otherwise the turmeric will not reach anywhere in the body and will be completely excreted. This bioavailability is achieved by adding piperine from black pepper. With these tips you will find a high-quality product.
Legal consumer information
German and European case law wants to protect consumers from supposedly misleading claims about effectiveness. The statements made here refer to the original Ayurvedic and TCM texts. This ancient knowledge, which is thousands of years old, is based on experiences that are passed on from generation to generation. It is not intended to claim that the products described here have an effect in the sense of western medicine. All products are nutritional supplements; they are not medications and have no medical effect. If you are sick and need medical care, please contact your doctor or pharmacist