4 Health Benefits of Turmeric

inflammation joint support

Our in-house practitioner, Rob, has 20 years of experience practising nutrition and natural healing. He recently shared his thoughts on turmeric and its numerous health benefits! Read on to find out more from him...

 

The turmeric plant is grown in Indonesia, China, India, and other parts of the tropics. It is a member of the ginger family, so the dried aromatic root-like stem is ground up to form a fine powder.

Often used in cooking, turmeric is a main ingredient in curry powder! It adds an earthy flavour and deep yellow colour.  

The colour comes from the active ingredient, curcumin, which has been shown to have a positive effect on a variety of medical conditions.

Relief from joint pain

Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and can be taken orally and used topically as a poultice. If turmeric is applied to the skin, it can ease pain in muscles and joints.  

It has been found to reduce inflammation in shoulders, knees, and elbows, as well as the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Its antioxidant effect is approximately equivalent to that of Vitamin E and C! 

Can support brain health

Curcumin increases brain levels of BDNF, a growth hormone that encourages neurons to form new connections. This boosts brain function and lowers the risk of brain disease such as Alzheimer’s.

Protects heart health

It has been found that curcumin improves the quality of endothelial tissue (the tissue in blood vessels) which has a heart protective effect due to turmeric’s high antioxidant levels. 

Studies conducted in animals indicate that it may also help to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the tendency to thrombosis. It is also thought to be liver protective because of its ability to increase the secretion of bile and boost the production of liver enzymes.

May improve healing by reducing inflammation

Cortisone is a steroid used to treat pain and inflammation; it also occurs naturally in the body. If turmeric is taken internally it is thought to help stimulate the production of natural cortisone from the adrenal glands.

This indirectly assists the healing process because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin has been shown in animal studies to have the same properties as cortisone for acute inflammation. It is only half as effective in chronic cases but doesn’t cause the same side effects as injections of pharmaceutical cortisone. 

It can also be helpful for people with indigestion as it can inhibit intestinal spasm and prevent the formation of wind. 

How to supplement turmeric and curcumin…

Curcumin is best taken with black pepper due to its poor absorption. Black pepper contains Piperine which can increase absorption of turmeric by 2000%. These curcumin extracts from Vital Nutrients and 88Herbs both include Piperine. 

The recommended dose for turmeric is between 500mg and 1000mg of dried standardised root extract (containing 95% curcuminoids) per day. This product from Tesseract contains less than 500mg per capsule so you can adjust how many you are taking to suit your needs. 

Curcumin is fat soluble, consuming it with fat or in a liposomal form is preferable as it can help to increase absorbability, here are two liposomal options from Seeking Health and Amy Myers MD

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