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Turmeric - Ucchin
Turmeric, commonly known in Okinawa as ucchin, is one of the Okinawans' favorite herbs and claims a multitude of health benefits. It's known as ukon to the Japanese, jiang huang to the Chinese, and as curcuma and Indian saffron in other areas of the world and is widely available in North America. Turmeric is from the ginger family. The root of the plant is the part most commonly used in both herbal and traditional medicine, and is the part that provides the distinctive yellowish-orange powder that adds flavor and color to curry. Local folkloric knowledge says that turmeric strengthens the immune system, relieves inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, improves digestion, relieves gas, kills parasites and worms, alleviates menstrual problems and dissolves gallstones, among other potential benefits.

According to recent scientific studies, turmeric has been well studied for its potential medicinal properties, especially its anti-inflammatory actions. While it's still too early to recommend it for specific medicinal uses, turmeric shows early promise for several medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, mainly due to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of its major active component, curcumin. Curcumin consists mainly of the smaller bioactive components tumerone, atlantone, zingiberone and heptanoids. Other compounds mainly consist of various proteins, sugars, resins, vitamins and minerals. If turmeric is proven to do even half of what it appears to do, it will be considered a very important medicine. In the mean time, using it as a spice in cooking, or drinking it as a tea may be the best way to benefit from its health properties.

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Turmeric - Ucchin

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