Written by: Natalie Ledbetter, DAcOM, MSN, MSNA, CRNA
Most people on our planet today are full of inflammation and inflammation is thought to be at the root of many diseases and many signs of aging. There is an ancient herb that has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. This ancient herb is turmeric.
Many people today have heard of the supplement curcumin that is extracted from the turmeric root. Curcumin supplement manufacturers extract the curcumin from the turmeric instead of offering a supplement that contains all the ingredients in turmeric. One problem with this approach is that curcumin alone is not absorbed through the GI tract and if not absorbed, it cannot do its job.
In order to combat the problem of absorption, manufacturers added black pepper or piperine in an attempt to increase absorption. It does increase absorption but can cause irritation of the GI tract. When the entire turmeric root is used it not only provides a greater therapeutic effect than just using one isolated compound but the additional compounds in the turmeric enhance bioavailability so there is no need to add piperine.
Turmeric has many benefits and is said to:
Support joint health
Support a healthy GI tract
Help with detoxification
Promote a healthy microbiome
Support the immune system
Strengthen the lining of the blood vessels
Slow the process of plaque formation in the brain
Turmeric and curcumin can cause side effects and these may include:
Reduced blood clotting
Possible loss of pregnancy due to uterine contractions
Stomach pain (usually with curcumin and piperine)
Too much heat in the body due to imbalanced yin and yang
If you are interested in using Turmeric for its many health supporting benefits, be sure to purchase a brand that has been third party certified and is a high quality professional grade product.
Brands we trust include:
Allergy Research group
Designs for Health
There are probably other high quality reliable brands available, we just have not reviewed them yet.
The recommended dose for a turmeric supplement is typically 500 to 2000mg a day. It is recommended that you cycle on and off this supplement to allow your liver a rest and to prevent an imbalance in your body.