AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Colourful molecules of turmeric


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Turmeric

Mains level: NA

Researchers have come forward with some interesting findings on Turmeric.


  • Turmeric has about 3% of the active component molecule called curcumin, a polyphenol diketone (and not a steroid).
  • Researchers point out that there is another molecule in turmeric called piperine, which is an alkaloid, responsible for the pungency of pepper that we use every day in our cooking, along with turmeric.
  • Piperine enhances curcumin absorption in the body. It gives turmeric its multivariate healing and protective power.

Benefits of turmeric consumption

  • Turmeric has been known for over 4,000 years in the Indian subcontinent, West Asia, Burma, Indonesia and China, and is used as an essential part of our daily food – what the colonials called curry powder.
  • It has also been known as a medicine for ages, and to have anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Herbal medicine experts have used turmeric to treat painful symptoms of arthritis, joint stiffness, and joint pain.
  • They have also claimed that turmeric helps cure acute kidney injuries. Some of these claims need to be checked using controlled trials.

Against COVID-19

  • Most recently, an exciting study has recently been published by a group in Mumbai which shows that turmeric aids in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • The researchers did a trial of about 40 COVID-19 patients and found that turmeric could substantially reduce morbidity and mortality.

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