Curcuma longa (turmeric)
Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, belongs to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Perhaps most notably used for its anti-inflammatory ability, its rhizome (modified underground stem) also has the following properties: antioxidant, carminative, astringent, analgesic, antifungal, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, cholagogue, expectorant, vulnerary. Its profile is considered to be warming, bitter, pungent. It contains a chemical constituent called curcumin that's believed to be largely responsible for its ability to modulate inflammation. Interestingly, pairing curcumin with peperine (black pepper constituent) may increase its bioavailability by roughly 2000%! Its pairing with piperine is thought to be effective because this inhibits glucuronidation - inhibiting this process allows curcumin to act more strongly.
Turmeric is used medicinally for: stomach ulcers, irritable bowel, flatulence, gallstones, toothache, osteoarthritis, respiratory diseases, liver support, headache, migraines, depression, mental dullness.
Turmeric is an ancient herb - there's evidence of some cultures (Vedic culture in India) utilizing it medicinally, culinarily, religiously for 4000+ years.
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