The Dragon's Tale

Hurry, Eat Curry to Fight Infection, Inflammation: Study.

Turmeric, the mellow, warming spice that gives curries their yellow hue, may protect against a range of viruses, finds a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemsitry.

Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, stopped the potentially deadly Rift Valley Fever virus from multiplying in infected cells, say researchers at George Masion University.

Lead investigator Aarthi Narayanan, who comes from India and adds turmeric to most recipes, says she grew up eating turmeric and serves it often to her family to fend off a variety of ailments. Now her research is getting this folk remedy serious attention as a spice that might provide broad-spectrium protection against viruses.

Turmeric, a bright-yellow spice related to ginger, is considered safe at any dose. It can be found fresh at many Asian markets and dried at most supermarkets. Other research finds that taking 2 grams of turmeric a day (about 1-1/2 teaspoons) can lessen the effects of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and asthma. Some experts say turmeric shows promise as an aid for depression, diabetes, and other conditions.

East Asian cooks use turmeric powder liberally in cooking—it’s what gives curries that mellow yellow color. And for thousands of years Chinese and Indian healers have used turmeric’s dried root to treat conditions including digestive woes, wounds, arthritis, skin conditions, and menstrual problems.


Credit: Heath