Curcumin is the nutrient from the plant that gives the strong yellow colour.
In both Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine there are many health benefits of turmeric.
Recently turmeric has been said to provide temporary relief from the pain of arthritis and to help reduce joint inflammation associated with arthritis. Research shows it also :
- improves digestion
- fights alzheimer's disease and cancer
- purifies the blood
- supports the liver
Many say it should come from an organic source. Some say the benefits are diminished somewhat by heating it and recommend mixing it with yogurt or coconut milk.
People who sell the capsules say this is the only way to get enough.
It makes sense to me to start with whatever is the simplest way for you and see if you get improvements but my favourite idea is what the Okinawans do (and they have the longest lifespan on the planet).
Okinawans, who live longer than any other group of people, drink turmeric tea.
Here's a recipe:
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- add it to three cups of boiled water
- simmer gently for ten minutes
- take off the heat
- Strain liquid through a very fine strainer to remove all of the powder from the tea
- add honey or maple syrup if you want it sweeter
- some add freshly squeezed lemon juice or ginger
Here are good quality turmeric capsules.
Turmeric root has been used medicinally in China and India for thousands of years.
The active components are thought to be the curcuminoids, primarily curcumin, which is commonly available worldwide as a standardized extract.
This article reviews the pharmacology of curcuminoids, their use and efficacy, potential adverse effects, and dosage and standardization. Preclinical studies point to mechanisms of action that are predominantly anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic, while early human clinical trials suggest beneficial effects for dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, uveitis, orbital pseudotumor, and pancreatic cancer.
Contraindications: Has potential to trigger biliary colic in individuals with gallstones. (Clinical Utility of Curcumin Extract Gary N. Asher, MD, MPH; Kevin Spelman, PhD)
Wood, R. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Arbiser JL, Klauber N, Rohan R, et al. Curcumin is an in vivo inhibitor of angiogenesis. Mol Med 1998.
Asai A, Nakagawa K, Miyazawa T. Antioxidative effects of turmeric, rosemary and capsicum extracts on membrane phospholipid peroxidation and liver lipid metabolism in mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 1999.
Balasubramanian K. Molecular Orbital Basis for Yellow Curry Spice Curcumin's Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2006.
Clinical Utility of Curcumin Extract Gary N. Asher, MD, MPH; Kevin Spelman, PhD