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Miolecular Secret of Turmeric Spice Finally Revealed

Scientists believe they have discovered the mechanism by which turmeric, a spice revered in India as "holy powder," exerts its fabled healing powers. Turmeric has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat wounds, infections, and other health problems. Using solid-state NMR spectroscopy, the scientists discovered that molecules of curcumin, the key ingredient in turmeric, insert themselves into cell membranes and make the membranes more stable and orderly in a way that increases cells' resistance to infection by disease-causing microbes. The results were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [JACS article]