Research indicates that turmeric may help mitigate the growth of MRSA superbugs

One of the scariest health problems that the world is facing today is the explosion of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. These bacteria can cause infections, pneumonia, and other problems. When left unchecked – which is often the case because it’s notoriously difficult to treat – it can lead to sepsis and death. If antibiotics, one of the most incredible inventions of modern medicine, aren’t enough to address MRSA, what can be done about it? Research shows that nature may have the answer in the form of turmeric.

This yellow-orange root, which is related to the ginger plant, is often used in cooking. Native to India and Southeast Asia, it’s readily available fresh, powdered, and in supplement form. As more information comes to light about its many health benefits, its popularity continues to soar.

Now, a study that was published in the journal Molecule shows the promising role that curcumin, the primary polyphenol found in turmeric that gives it its distinctive golden color, plays in reversing infectious bacteria’s resistance to conventional antibiotics.

Previous research shows that curcumin can have synergistic effects with certain antibiotics. Therefore, the researchers wanted to explore how curcumin would interact with the S. aureus bacteria in various conditions. They found that the growth of the bacteria was inhibited in strains of MRSA that were exposed to curcumin.

A review of the antibacterial action of curcumin against this bacteria published in the Journal of Tropical Medicine found that the Asian spice is indeed effective against S. aureus. In addition, the researchers noted that in vitro experiments showed curcumin’s effects are even more powerful when it’s used in conjunction with other antibacterial agents. They believe that it could one day be developed into a natural antibiotic.

One of the most exciting aspects of this story is the fact that curcumin has little to no toxicity in active doses, unlike many of the other medications that are used to treat infections.

Curcumin’s impressive health achievements

Curcumin has an impressive array of benefits that extend far beyond its ability to fight MRSA. In fact, it has been the subject of thousands of studies and has been found to kill bacteria like E. coli, Helicobacter Pylori, and Bacillus subtilis. It can also inhibit or kill a range of viruses that includes Hepatitis B and C, Coxsackie virus, HIV, HSV-1, Epstein-Barr, and the Japanese encephalitis virus, according to GreenMedInfo.

It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, making it good at combating the low-level inflammation that can spur diseases like metabolic syndrome, degenerative disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s been linked to brain function improvements and a lower risk of brain disease, and it can also be helpful to those with arthritis.

Above all, turmeric has been studied extensively for its anti-cancer effects, and this attention is certainly justified given the prevalence of the disease. However, at the same time, its natural antibiotic action should not be overlooked as we face greater challenges in dealing with the antibiotic-resistant superbugs devastating hospitals throughout the world. As long as doctors continue to prescribed antibiotics for every minor complaint that patients have, it’s a problem that it’s only going to get worse, and finding a solution should be a top priority.

Also read for coverage of plant-based medicines that kill bacteria.

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