The yellowness of turmeric, known as the polyphenol curcumin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and on March 24 researchers published a new study showing the liver health benefits associated with curcumin in Gut, an international peer-reviewed gastroenterology and hepatology journal from BMJ (British Medical Journal group).

The researchers conclude that curcumin targets inflammation and may be the source for preventive therapies to ward off cirrhosis of the liver. To date, the current treatment includes a liver transplant or ursodeoxycholic acid and the long-term effects are unknown.

Traditional Chinese and ayurvedic medicine use turmeric for its anti-inflammation properties to treat a range of health issues including digestive disorders, liver problems, skin diseases, tumors and infections.

Turmeric curcumin is a root in the ginger family but the taste is quite sour and peppery, also described as pungent, bitter and astringent.

Perhaps best known as a poor-man's saffron because of the vibrant color, the spice can electrify any dish, traditionally curries, but even tea in Japan. If you're not a fan of curry, try spicing up your eggs with turmeric and roasted vegetables, especially cauliflower.

If you prefer your turmeric encapsulated, here is a list of four supplements recommended by Abacus Consulting Services and Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center:

Full study, "Curcumin improves sclerosing cholangitis in Mdr2 - mice by inhibition of cholangiocyte inflammatory response and portal myofibroblast proliferation":