Being in the medical profession, I encounter the word inflammation regularly from colleagues and see the symptoms in patients now and then. Thanks to the advanced information superhighway that makes people aware of the situation they are facing. But still, they find it difficult to rule out whether inflammation is good or bad?

Inflammation is absolutely a normal response of our immune system against the invaders and other environmental factors. Generally, it presents itself as

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Rise in temperature at the site.
Whenever you have been injured by some blunt or sharp objects or got a bitten by a bug, you may notice redness and swelling at the site. Usually, this is the response of the immune system that activates several of its component members to repair and heal the injury. Hence once the healing occurs inflammation goes away. So, inflammation occurring for a short period is healthy and normal. But long-standing inflammation is a threat to our body. Oxidative stress is one such event that causes long-standing inflammation in the body.

How oxidative stress is related to inflammation?

Oxidative stress is not a new term for us. Today common man also might have come across this term very often. What is oxidative stress? How it is responsible for the disturbances in our healthy life? Oxidative stress is the imbalance between the production and elimination of free radicals or reactive oxygen species resulting in damage to the tissues and organs in the body. Free radicals are produced due to various sources like different infections, mental stress, cardiovascular illnesses, excessive exercise, aging, exposure to different environmental pollutants, radiations, use of certain drugs, during cooking (consumption of smoked foods and use of oil and fat), smoking, use of alcohol.

This oxidative stress in our body produces chronic and uncontrolled inflammation which may eventually end in several illnesses like Diabetes, Arthritis, Obesity, Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Cardiovascular diseases, Psoriasis, and different kinds of allergies.

Anti-inflammatory mechanism of curcumin

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) shows remarkable anti-inflammatory action and hence helps in the prevention of many of the illnesses. Usually, the inflammatory response is triggered by our defence system in response to external or internal disturbances in the body. In most of the conditions, it is mediated by the activation of inflammatory cytokines i.e. Tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α). Research studies on curcumin have indicated that it blocks the activation of (TNF-α). It also blocks the enzymes that initiate inflammatory response in the body. This prevents the event of inflammation and further damage to the cells and tissues.

anti-inflammatory curcumin

The beneficial effect of curcumin on various inflammatory diseases

In addition to the above-mentioned disease, curcumin also helps to fight off the inflammation in the following conditions.

Ulcerative colitis

It is an inflammatory bowel disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the large intestine causing ulcers and sores in the inner lining. Curcumin has shown remarkable benefits in this condition by reducing the inflammation of the bowel and plays an important role in the healing of the ulcers and sores.

Rheumatoid arthritis

It is a longstanding inflammatory condition that mainly occurs due to the improper functioning of our immune system. It not only affects your joints but also eyes, heart, blood vessels, and skin. Curcumin blocks the inflammation in joints and improves the quality of life.


Pancreatitis is a much-emerging disease nowadays. It occurs due to the inflammation of our insulin-producing organ pancreas. The long-standing and uncontrolled disease may end up in irreversible diabetes in patients. Curcumin blocks several inflammation causing chemicals and reduces the severity of the disease.

In this way, the anti-inflammatory potential of curcumin is much beneficial in multiple health conditions. It acts at the root level and eradicates the causative factors for a disease.


  • References
    A Detailed Insight of the Anti-inflammatory Effects of Curcumin with the Assessment of Parameters, Sources of ROS and Associated Mechanisms; Pranay Wal , Nikita Saraswat, Rashmi Saxena Pal, Ankita Wal, Madhvi Chaubey;
  • Anti-inflammatory curcumin inhibits AID expression within cycling human B cells (96.21); Haque S, Lee H, Waqas B, Chiorazzi N, Mongini P; American Association Immunology; 25(1): 1-5; 2010.
  • Anti-inflammatory action of curcumin and its use in the treatment of life-style related disorders;