The purpose of this article is to introduce the role of turmeric in medicine and summarize the current state of research on its applications. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has had a wide range of uses in middle eastern and orietnal traditional medicine. Currently, however, its use has been truncated to a common cooking spice, despite numerous studies pointing to its healing properties and possible use in the treatment of many diseases. The main focus is on curcumin, a polyphenol which serves as the biologically active component of turmeric. Curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have been well documented in medical studies, with wide ranging applications from the treatment of rheumatologic diseases such as arthritis to dermatology, with significant effects in the treatment of psoriasis, acne and in relieving of itching. In addition to the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines, curcumin can also accelerate healing of skin wounds. Apart from controlling the body's inflammatory response, curcumin has a bacteriostatic effect, which has been shown to be an important factor in the treatment of diseases with complex etiology. Additionally, studies show that curcumin's effects on oncogenesis, the process of metastasis, angiogenesis, apoptosis or response to cytostatic drugs have yielded promising results. It has been confirmed that its antioxidant effect correlates with a decrease in LDL levels in blood and to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. Curcumin consumption has also been shown to have a vasodilating effect through its indirect impact on prostacyclins and directly on vascular endothelium. Many of the mention medicinal properties of turmeric are still the subject of research and debate; as such, only some of them have entered the phase of clinical trials.
Keywords: choroba Alzheimera; dermatologia; kardiologia; kurkuma; kurkumina; onkologia.