Curcuma longa (Turmeric), belonging to Zingiberaceae family is one of the most useful herbal medicinal plants. Extensive researches have proven that most of the turmeric activities of the turmeric are due to curcumin. It has various useful properties with antioxidant activities and is useful in conditions such as inflammation, ulcer and cancer. It also has antifungal, antimicrobial renal and hepatoprotective activities. Therefore, it has the potential against various cancer, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic and hard curable diseases. The purpose of this review was to provide a brief summary of the new and current knowledge of the effects of curcumin. The recently published papers in international cites such as PubMed/Medline, Science Citation Index and Google Scholar about turmeric were searched. Recent studies have authenticated the use of turmeric for various diseases especially oxidative stress induced ones such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and inflammatory disorders. It also is used as hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, anticoagulant and anti-HIV to combat AIDS. Curcumin, as a spice, exhibits great promise as a therapeutic agent. It has very low toxicity, too. As the global scenario is now changing towards the use of non-toxic plant products having traditional medicinal use, development of modern drugs from turmeric should be emphasized for the control of various diseases. Further evaluation needs to be carried out on turmeric in order to explore the concealed areas and their practical clinical applications, which can be used for the welfare of mankind.
Keywords: Curcuma longa, Curcumin, Pharmacology, Phytochemistry, Therapeutic effects
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Curcuma longa has the potential against various cancer, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic and hard curable diseases. Curcumin, as a spice, exhibits great promise as a therapeutic agent. As the global scenario is now changing towards the use of non-toxic plant products, development of modern drugs from turmeric should be emphasized for the control of various diseases.
Please cite this paper as: Nasri H, Sahinfard N, Rafieian M, Rafieian S, Shirzad M, Rafieian-kopaei M. Turmeric: A spice with multifunctional medicinal properties. J Herbmed Plarmacol. 2014; 3(1): 5-8.