effi-science/e-sciences

Turmeric, protection for fragile joints

Turmeric: from Ayurvedic medicine to today's science

Turmeric owes most of its health benefits to curcumin, one of its main active components.

 

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that provides effective protection against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

 

In addition, curcumin acts in many ways on chronic inflammation.

 

Thanks to the curcumin it contains, turmeric has many physiological effects. Its use is particularly interesting for reducing joint inflammation and for reducing inflammation of the digestive system.

 

We are going to tell the story of turmeric, a plant with remarkable properties that has been used for several millennia...and which is far from having revealed all its secrets, since research is currently in full swing on the subject...

The traditional use of turmeric for thousands of years

Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry, the spice blend that is ubiquitous in Indian cuisine. Turmeric has also been used for many years in traditional medicine, especially in Ayurvedic India, as well as in the traditional medicines of China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

 

Turmeric is considered a protector and tonic of the entire digestive system and a remedy for various inflammatory disorders. It is used to treat a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal problems, inflammation, headaches, infections and colds.

 

In fact, these properties are almost universally recognised, so that turmeric is marketed worldwide.

 

"Let your food be your medicine, let your medicine be your food! Hippocrates, 400 BC

The World History of Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the oldest traditional remedies. Its health benefits were described in India 4000 years ago.

 

Turmeric is one of the primary plant principles of ancient Ayurvedic medicine ("science of life" in ancient Sanskrit). It is traditionally associated with other mineral or plant principles such as boswellia serrata and ginger, and in particular, with black pepper.

 

Folk wisdom was ahead of science, as pepper was always associated with turmeric in Indian curries. Research has been conducted in this direction and has confirmed the good sense of tradition, since the piperine in black pepper effectively potentiates the assimilation of curcumin from turmeric.

 

According to Ayurvedic medicine, black peppers were used for their anti-inflammatory properties and as an anti-irritation component. Black pepper was also used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat allergies.

 

Turmeric is mentioned in an Assyrian herbarium dating back to about 600 BC. It is mentioned in the Greek physician Dioscorides' treatise "On Medical Matter". Marco Polo, in his memoirs of his travels in China, describes turmeric in the 13th century: "There is a vegetable substance which has the characteristics of saffron, as well as its colour, but which is not exactly saffron. Turmeric is held in very high esteem, it is an ingredient in all their culinary dishes, and its price is high.

Thehigh appreciation of turmeric is established by its use bymany cultures, each naming the spice in its respective language:

Burmese: fa nwin / Chinese: wong geung fun, yü chiu / Danish: gurkemeje / Dutch: geelwortel. / Finnish: keltajuuri / French: curcuma, saffron des Indes / German: gelbwurz, kurkuma / Icelandic: turmerik / Italian: curcuma / Indian languages: haldee, haridra, haldi, huldee, huldie / Indonesian: kunjit, kunyit / Japanese: ukon / Malaysian: kunjit / Norwegian: gurkemeie / Polish: klacze kurkumy / Portuguese: açafrão-da-Índia / Russian: zholty imbir / Spanish: azafrán de la India, azafran arabe / Sinhalese: kaha / Swedish: gurkmeja / Tamil: munjal / Thai: ka min / Vietnamese: bot nghe

 

Validation by Commission E and WHO

The Commission E (commission charged by the German Ministry of Health to evaluate the efficacy of herbal preparations) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognise the efficacy of turmeric rhizomes to treat dyspepsia, i.e. digestive disorders such as stomach ache, nausea, loss of appetite or feelings of overload, as well as digestive inflammations.

 

The effects of the curcuma longa plant are due to its active ingredients, curcumins

The botanical group to which turmeric longa belongs is related to the Zingiberaceae group, to which ginger belongs. The root and rhizome (the underground parts) of turmeric longa are ground into a powder. Turmeric powder is one of the main ingredients of curry, a spice mixture that is omnipresent in Indian cuisine.

In the rhizomes of turmeric, substances have been isolated which have been given the name curcumins. These are very powerful antioxidants, which may explain certain traditional medicinal indications of this plant, in particular for the treatment of various inflammatory disorders: relief of arthrosic, rheumatic or menstrual pain, treatment of various skin and digestive inflammations, etc.

In recent years, international scientific research has shown increasing interest in the study of curcumin - the main active ingredient in turmeric. The concentrations of cucurmin studied are much higher than those of food spices, for which the cucurmin titration is not determined.

 

The impeccable tolerance of curcumin

According to the available data, curcumin, even when used in very high doses, does not produce any toxicity or side effects in humans. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years without any adverse effects, even in large quantities as a condiment. The US FDA classifies turmeric as a safe and healthy substance, as GRAS (General Recognition And Safety).

 

Low bioavailability of curcumin, compensated by the addition of piperine (black pepper)

Curcumin alone has a very low bioavailability. It has recently been shown that the active ingredients in black pepper (piperine) allow the active ingredients in turmeric (curcumin and curcuminoids) to be effectively absorbed by the body. Piperine, the pungent ingredient in pepper, improves the absorption of curcuminoids. We use curcumin and piperine in the composition of our food supplement Cartilamine Phyto.


Theabsence of a patent on curcumin

The therapeutic applications of curcumin are of great interest to large pharmaceutical companies, which have filed exclusive patent applications. However, due to its natural origin and widely documented traditional use, these exclusive patent applications have all been rejected. As a result, curcumin can be freely marketed worldwide. This is useful for educated and knowledgeable consumers.


Future developments

With more than 3000 scientific papers, the majority of which have been published in recent years, the study of the effects of curcumin is receiving remarkable interest from the international scientific community.


Numerous in vitro and animalstudies, and a few preliminary clinical studies have determined multiple and consistent modes of action. This has triggered a flurry of activity simultaneously in several medical fields: rheumatology, gastroenterology, oncology and neurology. The multiple protective properties of curcumin make it an extremely credible and remarkably promising candidate in each of these fields. The hopes rationally raised now need to be confirmed by clinical studies currently underway or to be conducted in the future.