updated May 2016
There is a saying that goes, “A teaspoon of turmeric a day keeps cancer at bay!”
This Indian spice is one of nature’s most powerful healers.
The medicinal properties of turmeric have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease…and even Lupus.
Turmeric is also used to treat digestive and liver conditions, arthritis pain, irregular menstrual periods, heartburn, stomach ulcers and gallstones. It has natural anti-inflammatory qualities as well as blood-thinning properties that help rebuild brain cells and repair stroke damage.
Many uses of turmeric relate to the antioxidant or anti-inflammatory activities of curcumin, the primary active compound in turmeric.
This wonder herb can:
- Help relieve indigestion
- Prevent ulcerative colitis from intensifying
- Help reduce joint pain swelling, morning stiffness and rheumatoid arthritis
- Treat psoriasis
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce the proliferation of a wide variety of cancers, especially pancreatic and colon cancer
- Improve blood sugar levels by boosting the activity of insulin secreting cells in the pancreas. This lowers the chance that pre-diabetes will lead to diabetes
- Improve mental functioning in Alzheimer’s patients
However, curcumin capsules or turmeric supplements vary in quality, strength, and purity. So, in choosing the best turmeric capsule, read the label carefully. Look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids.
The standardization process ensures manufacturing consistency in the amount of curcumin from bottle to bottle. In other words, you won’t be shortchanged on the amount of this key ingredient. This is a significant factor in that many clinical trials and medical studies have shown the best results with turmeric supplementation in dosages containing 95% curcumin.
Products lacking the expected curcuminoids that are NOT recommended for consumption are:
- Advanced Physician Formulas Curcumin – less than 10% of labeled amounts
- Paradise Herbs and Essentials Turmeric – contains only 14.7% of labeled curcuminoids
The Best of Turmeric
The choice of which turmeric brand to buy can be daunting. Do you go for quality, price, brand recognition, or all of the above?
These turmeric products provide the best value (providing 500mg of curcuminoids at the lowest cost):
- Doctors Best® Best Curcumin C3 Complex®
- NOW® Curcumin
If you are interested in bioavailability, these turmeric supplements are recommended with bioperine (black pepper) to enhance absorption:
- Nutrigold® Turmeric Curcumin Gold®
- Life Extension SuperCurcumin with Bioperine
New research also shows that products that include BCM-95 may have even greater bioavailability (about 7 times of normal curcumin). Though more expensive, supplements with BCM-95 are a good value:
- Life Extension® Super Bio-Curcumin®
- Curcumin Extreme™
The good thing is that there are already a lot of curcumin supplements available in the market. These supplements have enhanced curcumin in them, which means your body will be able to absorb them better and keep them where they’re needed for a longer time. These are our favorite supplements that will help your body get the most benefit out of curcumin.
- Finest Nutrition Turmeric
- Jarrow Formulas® Curcumin 95
- Nature Made® Turmeric Curcumin
- Nutrigold Turmeric Curcumin Gold™
- Organic India® Turmeric Formula
- Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Turmeric Extract
- Progressive Labs™ Curcumin BCM-95®
- Puritan’s Pride® Turmeric Curcumin
- Solar® Turmeric
- Thompson® Turmeric Curcmin 300 mg
- Vitacost Turmeric
Take 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric, three times per day or as directed on the product label.
Curcumin or turmeric taken orally is best absorbed when taken with black pepper or piperine, a constituent of black pepper responsible for its pungency. When shopping for the best turmeric supplements, we recommend that the one you choose contains bioperine or piperine. Be patient when taking turmeric supplements: the full benefits may not be apparent for eight weeks.
Cooking with Turmeric
If you’re cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food. Ways to eat it: one of the easiest, fastest ways to get your daily turmeric is just to mix a small spoonful of the powder with some warm water, stir briskly, and drink. Yes, it actually tastes quite good, especially once you get used to it.
Or, sprinkle a spoonful or two on your cauliflower or broccoli, in your soups, seafood or meat. Almost any combination works with this amazingly tasty and healthy spice. To help you get on board with this trendy superfood, we’ve provided recipes on how to cook with turmeric so you can be sure to use it.
Turmeric is one of the world’s great antioxidants. Plus, nothing is more important than maintaining a healthy inflammatory response — and this spice helps your body do just that. It’s a great defense mechanism against cancer, joint pain, Alzheimer’s and Lupus….and so much more!
Taken in normal doses, turmeric should be safe for most people. But as with nearly any powerful herb, taking doses that are too high can produce ill-effects.
We are discovering that more and more disease processes appear to depend on inflammation to wreak their havoc on our brains, arteries and joints. The best turmeric supplements offer us a natural, safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent to help ward off and treat these diseases.
If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:
- How to Eat and Drink your Turmeric
- Turmeric: The Golden Goddess
- Osteoarthritis: Taking Care of Degenerative Joints