Curcumin (Curcuma longa) firstly discovered and popular in India, is the source of the spice Turmeric, which is used in curries and other spicy dishes from India, Asia, and the Middle East. Curcumin is what gives the Curry its characteristic bright yellow color and strong taste.
Curcumin was used as a food at the beginning of discovery and later was discovered that it also had impressive medicinal qualities. Over the centuries, this spice has been used as a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory agent to relieve pain and inflammation in the skin and muscles. It has served as a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, hematuria, hemorrhage, colic, and flatulence. In modern times, research has focused on Curcumin's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial properties, and on its use in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and as a treatment for the liver.
Research on families immigrating from India to the United States may reflect the importance of Curcumin in the diet. It is well documented that cancer rates in India are lower than those seen in Western countries. However, studies of Indian immigrants in Western societies indicate that rates of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, increase dramatically after a generation in the adopted country.