Chapter

The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease

Volume 595 of the series ADVANCES IN EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY pp 1-75

CURCUMIN: THE INDIAN SOLID GOLD

  • Bharat B. Aggarwal
  • , Chitra Sundaram
  • , Nikita Malani
  • , Haruyo Ichikawa

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Abstract

Turmeric, derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian subcontinent, not only for health care but also for the preservation of food and as a yellow dye for textiles. Curcumin, which gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders.