According to the American Cancer Society
, Turmeric is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia. It has a long history of use in herbal remedies, particularly in China, India, and Indonesia. The root and rootstock, or rhizome, of the plant contain curcumin, which is considered to be the active ingredient. Curcumin is not related to cumin, which is a spice made from the seeds of a different plant.
Turmeric is a common food flavoring and coloring in Asian cooking. Animal and laboratory studies have found that curcumin, an antioxidant that is an active ingredient in turmeric, demonstrated some anti-cancer effects in the lab. But human research is needed to determine curcumin's role in cancer prevention and treatment in people. Several types of cancer cells are inhibited by curcumin in the laboratory, and curcumin slows the growth and spread of some cancers in some animal studies. Clinical trials are underway to find out if it can help humans as well.
In India turmeric is often used to color sweet dishes, while in Morocco it's used to spice meat, (especially lamb) and vegetables. It's used with fish, in baked goods, meat and meat products, prepared mustards and pickles, broths, cheeses, dressings, grains, egg recipes, and soups. Try it with artichokes and potatoes and in rice dishes. And combine it with coriander and cinnamon for a spicy meat or poultry rub.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE in pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting the pregnancy at risk. Don?t take turmeric if you are pregnant.
There isn?t enough information to rate the safety of turmeric during breast-feeding. It?s best not to use it.
Gallbladder problems: Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Don?t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Don?t take turmeric if it worsens symptoms of GERD.
Surgery: Turmeric might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.