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Turmeric: India's 'Holy Powder' Finally Reveals Its Centuries-old Secret

Date:
April 21, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Michigan are reporting discovery of the secret behind the fabled healing power of the main ingredient in turmeric -- a spice revered in India as "holy powder."

Scientists have unlocked the secrets of the "holy powder" turmeric.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain Image

Scientists in Michigan are reporting discovery of the secret behind the fabled healing power of the main ingredient in turmeric — a spice revered in India as "holy powder."

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In the study, Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy and colleagues point out that turmeric has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems. Although modern scientific research on the spice has burgeoned in recent years, scientists until now did not know exactly how curcumin works inside the body.

Using a high-tech instrument termed solid-state NMR spectroscopy, the scientists discovered that molecules of curcumin act like a biochemical disciplinarian. They insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly in a way that increases cells' resistance to infection by disease-causing microbes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Barry et al. Determining the Effects of Lipophilic Drugs on Membrane Structure by Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy: The Case of the Antioxidant Curcumin. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131 (12): 4490 DOI: 10.1021/ja809217u

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Turmeric: India's 'Holy Powder' Finally Reveals Its Centuries-old Secret." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420123051.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, April 21). Turmeric: India's 'Holy Powder' Finally Reveals Its Centuries-old Secret. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420123051.htm
American Chemical Society. "Turmeric: India's 'Holy Powder' Finally Reveals Its Centuries-old Secret." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420123051.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

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