Turmeric is a spice traditionally used in India, but has grown in popularity recently due to the herb's potential medicinal benefits. Benefits which come from compounds called curcuminoids the most important of them being curcumin. Curcumin is almost like the "active ingredient" in turmeric, it is a strong anti inflammatory as well as possesses antioxidant properties as well.
This all seems pretty great, right? The issue is that the curcumin content of turmeric itself tends to be very low, meaning the benefits of using turmeric as a spice will be minimal. The easiest way to take advantage of turmeric is through supplements that have been concentrated to contain higher levels of curcumin. To assist in absorption into the bloodstream, many of them will also contain piperine, or black pepper extract.
Some studies have even shown turmeric to be as effective in reducing inflammation as some over the counter drugs. What we always try to mention is that it will not work quite as immediately as an NSAID pain reliever, and that the herbal supplement may take more time to really take effect. Once it has though, it can really compete.
So it can help with inflammation, but what about the antioxidant properties? The chemical structure of curcumin has the potential to neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the cells. Curcumin has also shown to boost antioxidant enzyme production in the body itself, for even more free radical protection.
We carry a few different products with Turmeric or Curcumin, but here are a few of our favorites, in no particular order.
This powdered turmeric from MegaFood is a convenient option for anyone who wants to mix it into a shake. It contains a packed 500mg dose of Turmeric, but also Holy Basil, an herb that is also believed to help with inflammation, as well as BioPerine black pepper extract for increased absorption into the bloodstream.
Vibrant Health Maximized Turmeric 46x delivers 500 mg per capsule. 46x means these products are 46 times more bioavailable than 95% curcuminoid standardized extract of turmeric.
New Chapter's Zyflamend is a potent combination of herbal ingredients that is formulated to help reduce whole body inflammation. Containing turmeric along with quite a few others, this product has a formula that puts it in the top of it's class for herbal anti inflammatory products.