YOGYAKARTA - Turmeric is widely available in Indonesia and has been traditionally used by the community, both as food and medicine. Scientific research in turmeric proved that turmeric containing curcumin proved to have anti-inflammatory efficacy; it is an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antitumor.
In Faculty of Pharmacy UGM, curcumin has been developed into new molecules that have the effect of anti-inflammatory analgesics which are more patent and can be utilized for cancer therapy. "There are hundreds of new molecules that we found and eight of them are already patented," a curcumin researcher from Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Dr. Supardjan, MS, Apt., said on the sidelines of a seminar on Turmeric (curcuma longa): Philosophical and Scientific Review , on Tuesday (17/1). The seminar taking place in Unit V Room of Faculty of Pharmacy was organized to mark the retirement of Prof. Supardjan as lecturer.
The man born in Yogyakarta 65 years ago said that the result of his research was that turmeric which contains curcuminoid in yellow color actually contains curcumin molecules, demethoxy curcumin, and bis-demethoxy curcumin. Curcumin derivatives have been researched even further. "The redder derivative is the anti-inflammatory, while the yellow one is more like protecting the liver (hepatoprotector)," he said.
According to Supardjan, curcumin is also good for diabetics to prevent clotting or blood clots. In fact, the efficacy of curcumin has been proven by Supardjan himself. "I’ve been suffering diabetics for 18 years. I drink 1-2 glasses of turmeric drink everyday," he explained.
Although curcumin has been newly developed as herbal medicine and has not been used as chemical drug because it requires clinical trials with a longer time and bigger costs, according to Supardjan, scientific study of medicines from Indonesian native plants should be developed further. "Especially for herbal medicine, it is not only turmeric that needs to be explored," he added.
A pharmacology researcher from Faculty of Medicine, Dr. dr. Nyoman Kertia, Sp.PD, said that turmeric rhizome extract is also effective as anti-inflammatory in patients with joint disease (osteoarthritis). Joining other team members the researcher managed to do a study of 80 patients with osteoarthritis. "Turmeric rhizome extract has the ability to reduce levels of MDA (malondialdehida-ed), the knee joint synovial fluid," he said.