Turmeric Health Benefits and Culinary Uses
Before the emergence of young boys from the bush during the initiation process, they are washed with Curcuma longa (Plate 4-1) to clean their skin before red paint is applied. The turmeric root is pounded, wrapped in leaves and put into the fire. The cooked paste is used to wash the skin (see Coleus blumei, Chapter 5) 1. Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae), turmeric. Curcuma longa is also used in the preparation of the decorated house poles called tse'sopung (Plate 2-18, 2-19). The turmeric is beaten to a pulp and its sap rubbed over the skin of the bamboo which makes the surface easy to carve. The skin remains green and the carved areas reveal the inner white woody tissue (Plate 4-2). Plate 4-1 Kandang dau (Curcuma longa) Plate 4-2 Wasim tse'sopung pinis wantaim Kandang dau. Decorative bamboo pole made by the male cult (tse'sopung) after washing with Curcuma longa.
There are numerous natural therapies that have shown efficacy in balancing abnormal lipids and blood pressure. Botanicals often used for modulating lipids include guggulipid (Commiphora mukul), garlic (Allium sativum), artichoke (Cynara scolymus), turmeric (Curcuma longa), and red yeast rice. (See Chapter 8 on cardiovascular health.) Many botanicals and nutrients have demonstrated blood-pressure lowering action such as hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), olive leaf (Olea europaea), coleus (Coleus forskohlii), garlic (Allium sativum), pomegranatejuice (Punica granatum), L-arginine, fish oils, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. (See Chapter 19 on hypertension.)
ROS appear to play a role in the pathology of MS. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a constituent of Camellia sinensis (green tea) known for its antioxidant activity, reduced the clinical severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice when given at or after the onset of EAE in the animals, by limiting brain inflammation and reducing neuronal damage. EAE is the animal model used to study MS as this condition can be induced in laboratory animals. EAE is a demyelinating disease in which the myelin is damaged and exhibits similar clinical progression. EGCG also directly inhibited the formation of neurotoxic ROS in neurons.38 Curcumin, a constituent of Curcuma longa (turmeric) with potent antioxidant activity, is also known for its anti-inflammatory activity. Supplementation with curcumin in animal models of MS decreased the duration and severity of the disease by decreasing secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12 from monocytes and microglial cells resulting...
Turmeric compounds as a dye plant for leather, palm fibre, etc. It is used amongst Moslems as an anthelmintic, an eye wash and an ointment for skin diseases (Dalziel, 1937). In India turmeric is the main constituent of curry powder and is used in local medicine (fresh juice) as an anthelmintic and antiparasitic in the treatment of many skin diseases. It is also said to be an ant repellent (Chopra et al., 1956). In Vietnam turmeric is taken as an anthelmintic and diaphoretic. C A colouring matter has been isolated from the rhizomes. It contains the curcumines belonging to the dicmnamoyl-methane group and an aromatic oil, turmeric oil (0.24 in the fresh rhizomes), composed of 25 terpene-carbon derivatives and 65 of sesquiterpenic ketones (turmerones) (Paris and Moyse, 1967, p. 78).
Basic curry blend consists of coriander, cumin, red pepper, and turmeric. Special blends (e.g., for fish or meat) contain, in addition to the above, ginger, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, mustard, fenugreek, curry leaf, mint, coriander leaf, and celery seed, depending upon the particular blend. Many different types of pickling blends are in vogue. The important ingredients are mango or lime pieces, chili pepper, ginger, garlic, mustard oil, mustard seed paste, turmeric, sesame seeds, mint, and cilantro. Mango, lime, and mixed fruit pickles are the common ones. Onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, fish sauce, chilies, and tamarind. Lemongrass, star anise, ginger, galangal, pandan leaf, tamarind, mint, coriander, turmeric, and shallot. Hot and fiery curry blend consisting of ginger, galangal, black pepper, red pepper, and cassia cinnamon. Apart from these spices, meat and fish stocks and a variety of other ingredients are also used. Cardamom, ginger, cassia cinnamon, black pepper, cumin,...
The genus Zingiber of the family Zingiberaceae is distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia and Far East Asia and consists of about 150 species. Zingiberaceae is of considerable importance as a spice family. Besides ginger this family includes turmeric, cardamom, large cardamom, grain of paradise, and several others having economic and medicinal importance. Zingiberaceae was earlier divided into the subfamilies Costoideae and Zin-giberoideae, which were later given independent family status as Costaceae and Zingiberaceae. Three tribes were recognized in the subfamily Zingiberoideae by workers such as Peterson (1889) and Schumann (1904) and the genus Zingiber was included in the tribe Zingibereae along with Alpinia, Amomum, and others. This tribe is characterized by the absence of lateral staminodes or staminodes that are united to the labellum, in comparison with tribe Hedychieae, in which the lateral staminodes are well developed. Later Holttum (1950) removed Zingiber from...
Officinale) Plates 42-44 and turmeric (Curcuma longa), in the fruit wall of pepper (Piper nigrum), capsicum and chillies (Capsicum annum), in the perisperm and embryo of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) Plates 63 & 64 , in the bark of cassia (Cassia angustifolia) and cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and in the root of valerian (Valeriana officinalis).
Ayurveda, the ancient healing system flourished in India in the Vedic era. The classical texts of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were written around 1000 B.C. The Ayurvedic Materia Medica includes 600 medicinal plants along with therapeutics. Herbs like turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, garlic and holy basil are integral parts of Ayurvedic formulations. The formulations incorporate a single herb or more than two herbs (polyherbal formulations).
The adults are medium-sized moths with a wingspan of 18 to 24 mm the wings and body are pale straw yellow with minute black spots (see Figure 10.2). There are five larval instars fully grown larvae are light brown with sparse hairs and measure 16 to 26 mm in length (see Figure 10.3). The dimensions of adults and larvae may vary depending on the host plant in which they are raised. Jacob (1981) reported the morphometrics of various stages when reared on turmeric. Thyagaraj et al. (2001) suggested a method for determining the shoot borer's sex based on the size and morphology of male and female pupae. No information is available on the life history of the shoot borer on ginger. However, its life history has been studied on other Zingiberaeceous crops such as turmeric and cardamom. Such studies on turmeric conducted at Kasaragod (Kerala) under laboratory conditions (temperature range 30 to 33 C relative humidity range 60 to 90 percent) indicated that the preoviposition and egg periods...
But this particular stand comes to mind because here too the ground is covered with the inflorescences of what is sometimes called native turmeric, Curcuma australasica These are spikes of relatively inconspicuous white flowers each enclosed with a fleshy pink bract, and each of these bracts too is water filled. The bract water of each of these inflorescences is alive with the tiny white larvae of the mosquito Uranotaenia diag-onalis and, occasionally, the voracious predatory larvae of the muscid fly Graphomya. The muscid larvae, unlike the mosquitoes on which they feed, are able to move freely from one bract axil to the next in order to keep up with the appetite that must be satisfied in order to complete the species' life cycle within the month or so that represents the life time of the inflorescence itself.
Other uses are just empirical, for example those based on the 'Law of Signatures'. This is an old belief which says that nature has provided a plant for every disease and has indicated by an obvious sign for which disease or which part of the body each drug plant is to be used. Thus the shape of a plant or of one of its components may suggest a cure. This belief existed in many parts of the world, including Europe in the Middle Ages. The classical example was a walnut, which having the shape of a brain, should thus be used for diseases affecting the brain. Grier (1937) cites other examples 'Plants with red flowers were to be used in blood disorders and those with yellow flowers, also turmeric, in jaundice. Saxifrages, which grow on rocks and break them up, would be useful for stones in the bladder, a belief in the Middle Ages in England (Grier, 1937). Euphrasia was to be given in eye diseases, because a black spot in the flower resembles the pupil of the eye.' Similar beliefs are...
The virus causing mosaic disease in ginger has spherical particles with a diameter of 23 to 38 nm. It shows a positive serological reaction with antiserum to cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). The virus is known to be transmitted by sap to different plants known to be hosts of CMV (So, 1980). Nambiar and Sarma (1975) did not obtain sap transmission from ginger to ginger, ginger to Nicotiana tabacum var. Harrison special, N. tabacum var. rustica, N. tabacum var. xanthii, N. glutinosa, Elettaria cardamomum, Curcuma longa, and C. aromatica.
This pathway assists in making fat-soluble toxins water-soluble, allowing for excretion via the kidneys. Because this pathway is glutathione-dependent, it is indirectly dependent upon the presence of sufficient cysteine and methionine in the body. Chronic alcohol intake is also strongly associated with increased oxidative stress and decreased glutathione levels.12 Vitamin C has also been shown to be effective in supporting the maintenance of glutathione levels.13 Consumption of foods that stimulate glutathione conjugation, such as orange-peel oil, turmeric, artichoke, and dill and caraway seeds, can be recommended therapeutically. If phase 1 detoxification generates excess free radicals, glutathione depletion can occur, thereby preventing or stalling the glutathione-conjugation pathway.
This common herb, used frequently in the form of turmeric (Curcuma longa), has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown to help inhibit the carcinogenic effects of benzopyrene that arise from the consumption of charbroiled meat. This herb has been shown to modulate phase 1 detoxification while inducing phase 2 of the process. When 1.5 g of turmeric was given to 16 smokers and 6 nonsmokers (control subjects), it was shown that, after 30 days of consuming turmeric, urinary excretion of mutagens in smokers was nearly equivalent to that of nonsmokers. This study demonstrated that turmeric is an effective inhibitor of phase 1 detoxification, preventing the excess accumulation of toxic metabolite conversion of
Dry chilli is used extensively as a spice in all types of curried dishes in India and abroad. Grinding roasted dry chilli with other condiments such as coriander, cumin, turmeric and farinaceous matter makes curry powder. It is also used in seasoning egg, fish and meat preparations, sauces, chutneys, pickles, frankfurters and sausages. Bird chilli is used in making hot sauces, such as pepper sauce and tabasco sauce. 'Mandram' is a West Indies stomachic preparation made by adding cucumber, shallot, lime juice and Madeira wine to the mashed fruits of bird chilli.
There is a considerable amount of international trade in ground spices, in which black and white pepper powder are by far the most important. They are available in a variety of different grinds. The most common grinds are cracked, coarse ground, table grind and fine grind or pulverized. Generally speaking, the finer the grind, the more immediately available the flavour, but the shorter its shelf-life (American Spice Trade Association, 1964). Other popular ground spices include chilli or Capsicum, turmeric, onion, garlic, cinnamon and coriander.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa) is the yellow pigment of the spice turmeric. Curcumin has various properties that are beneficial for the athlete. Curcumin behaves as an inhibitor of the transcription factor NF-kappaB, which allows it to act as a stimulator of muscle regeneration after traumatic injury. One recent study showed that in-vivo muscle regeneration is greatly enhanced after the systemic administration of curcumin. Biochemical and histologic analyses indicated this effect in subjects after four days of curcumin administration compared to controls who required more than two weeks to attain fully restored muscle-tissue architecture.21 Because of curcumin's role in regulating myogenesis, it is an appropriate treatment for sports-related muscle injuries.
Black pepper is cultivated as a monocrop in most of the pepper growing countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil etc. while in Kerala, India, it is mostly grown as a mixed crop in homesteads, trailed either on arecanut or coconut palms or other trees, or as a companion crop in coffee or cocoa plantations. Crops like banana, elephant foot yam, colocasia, ginger, turmeric and a variety of vegetables are also grown along with pepper in homestead gardens in India. Such crop combinations play an important role in building up populations of certain polyphagous pests and pathogens, and they are major constraints limiting production and productivity of pepper.
Pepper roots extend only up to about 90 cm from the base and so ample space will be available for the intercrop without affecting the pepper. In pepper gardens receiving well distributed mean rainfall of not less than 1500 mm-1 per year, the competition for soil moisture is unlikely and in such areas, cultivation of annual crops like ginger, turmeric, elephant foot yam and perennial crops like fodder grass, banana, coffee, etc. can be very well accommodated as intercrops.
Phenolic compounds are widely distributed in plant flora. They constitute an important part of glycosides (phenolic glycosides), flavonoids, and tannins. Curcumins (Fig. 5.189) are phenolics compounds from Curcuma longa. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti cancer, and hepatoprotective activities. The pharmacological activities of cucrcuminoids are due to unique molecular structure. In crude extracts of C. longa about 70-76 of curcumin is present alongwith 16 demethoxycurcumin and 8 bisdemethoxycurcumin. Tetracurcuminoids (Fig. 5.189) are derived from curcuminoids. This compound is, unlike the yellow curcuminoids. Curcuma longa
Curcumin is also worthy of continued research. This nutrient is one the constituents of the spice turmeric. Widely used for its anti-inflammatory actions, curcumin has been shown to inhibit AA metabolism and to prevent the occurrence of chemically induced pre-neoplastic colon lesions in rats.33 Some of curcumin's antitumor effects also extend beyond the initial stage of initiation to the late premalignant progression stage, during which curcumin is associated with an increased rate of apoptosis.34 Additionally, curcumin has been shown to decrease inflammation by inhibiting TNF-induced NF-kappaB activation by suppression of NF-kappaB-regulated COX-2 and cyclin D1 protein expression as well as inhibition of the proliferation of tumor cells.35 Curcumin's ability to block initial DNA damage and to limit progression make curcumin a very promising preventive agent.
When young girls experience their first menses (seclusion initiation), their faces are washed with Coleus blumei (Plate 5-1, 5-2) to make their skin look tight and fresh. Young men too, before they appear from their initiation seclusion, wash with Curcuma longa (Chapter 4, Plate 4-1) and wash their face with Coleus blumei, giving the face a yellow hue. This makes young men look good when they emerge from seclusion to face the village community in the early morning.
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