According to a research, on laboratory animals, the curry spice turmeric may help reduce and even prevent inflammation of the intestines. The spice contains curcumin, a compound thought to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent effective in wound healing.
Dr. Ken Sugimoto, of the department of internal medicine at the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan, showed that curcumin can improve experimental colitis. The researchers induced severe colitis, or colon inflammation, in mice using a chemical and immediately gave the mice a diet containing 1% to 2% curcumin for a week. The mice are used to study inflammatory bowel disease, a group of conditions in humans that can result in intestinal inflammation, cramping and chronic diarrhea.
The researchers also gave some of the mice a 2% diet of curcumin before the colitis was induced, in order to see whether the compound had a preventive effect, and 2 days after colitis was induced, to see whether the substance had healing powers if administered at a later point. The mice who received no curcumin had a 30% death rate due to colitis.