Turmeric Root Extract Uses

Turmeric is an herb native to Asia, commonly used in Indian cooking. As an herbal remedy, the root of the turmeric plant has been used for over 4,000 years as a part Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The U.S. National Library of Medicine cautions that despite some preliminary studies, there is not enough scientific evidence to definitively prove the effectiveness of turmeric for any of its reported uses, and more research is required.

Gasterointestinal

In traditional Asian medicine turmeric, practitioners recommend turmeric for indigestion and stomach discomfort after a heavy or fatty meal, explains the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Some also credit turmeric with having the ability to treat stomach ulcers caused by a bacteria known as Heliobacter pylori. A 2001 study at the Faculty of Medicine at the Siriraj Hospital of Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand and published in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health found that patients who consumed two turmeric capsules five times per day for one month experienced relief from the symptoms of peptic ulcers.

Cancer

A chemical in turmeric called curcumin is a type of antioxidant, a nutrient believed to destroy harmful toxins in the human body, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Because of the presence of curcumin in turmeric, herbalists sometimes recommend root extract for the treatment of prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancers. A 2010 study at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey and published in Cancer Letters found that curcumin inhibited the development of brain and spinal cancerous tumors in laboratory rats.

Cardiovascular

Herbalists credit turmeric root with the ability to prevent the build up of cholesterol in blood vessels, which would reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. A 2009 study at the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University in Khon Kaen,Thailand and published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that curcumin helped regulate heart rate and improved blood flow to the heart in laboratory mice suffering from stress on the heart, suggesting that turmeric may have benefits for patients suffering from heart disease or heart failure.

Diabetes

Some natural medical practitioners recommend turmeric to help control blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Turmeric may also have the potential to prevent complications from diabetes, such as damage to the retina, which causes blindness in some diabetics. A 2007 study at the National Institute of Nutrition division of the Indian Council of Medical Research in Hyderabad, India and published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications investigated this theory and found that diabetic rats given curcumin derived from turmeric for eight weeks experienced less retinal damage than those not given the herb.