Chapter 2: Scientific Approach to the Role of Turmeric in Ayurvedic Formulations and Their Phytochemistry
Published:09 Nov 2022
G. Singh, N. Vinayagan, and A. Mateen, in Chemistry, Biological Activities and Therapeutic Applications of Medicinal Plants in Ayurveda, ed. A. Amalraj, S. Kuttappan, and K. Varma, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, ch. 2, pp. 22-44.
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Curcuma longa L. or turmeric, the golden spice, is one of the most widely used botanicals in traditional medicine systems across the world. Its use in traditional medicine is backed by meticulous documentation of its properties, formulations, uses and benefits in hundreds of classical medical texts. Turmeric is one of the most studied botanicals for its human health benefits in modern science too, with the Curcumin Resource Database showing over 9000 publications and 500 patents. However, there is little to show for the effort in terms of concrete results in the clinical trials and epidemiological studies. Turmeric awaits a new scientific approach that is powered by a holistic framework to test the many benefits associated with it in traditional medicine systems. This chapter reviews the use of turmeric in Ayurveda and analyses its main formulations. It maps turmeric's phytochemicals on its physicochemical properties and suggests this approach as a way to deconstructing its classical formulations for insights.