Turmeric (Curcuma domestica, synonyn Curcuma longa, Curcuma aromatica) is most likely indigenous to India although it is now cultivated in other tropical regions of southeast Asia as well. Turmeric is actually more commonly used as a spice than a medicine. It has a warm, bitter taste and is often used for both flavor and taste in curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. The rhizome can be used medicinally. The major active constituents of turmeric are curcuminoids including curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow pigment. Turmeric appears to have anti-inflammatory acitivity. It has also demonstrated antibacterial effects, protection of the liver from damage, and stimulates the production of bile. Turmeric has been commonly used for liver and gallbladder protection as well as the loss of appetite, and abdominal pain and bloating.
Food Sources Orally, turmeric is well tolerated. It can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea and diarrhea.
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Cautions Orally, turmeric is well tolerated. It can cause gastrointestinal complaints such as nausea and diarrhea.