Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Like a wave, turmeric has inundated North America as the latest “superfood”, “miracle cure” and media darling! But why not? ....loaded with antioxidants and boasting anti-inflammatory powerhouse, curcumin, turmeric may be effective in fighting everything from high cholesterol to cancer. It has already been used for centuries in both India and China, as a means of improving the circulation in the body.
BUT.... there are some important things to keep in mind before going short-term, high-volume crazy for turmeric
Turmeric research is young
Turmeric has shown biological activities related to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and radioprotective effects. [1,2] Although there have been some promising research studies in many of these areas, the body of evidence is far from conclusive. So if you think that turmeric is a cure-all, there is just not enough evidence to say one way or another.
Curcumin is not readily available to the body
Whatever medicinal qualities curcumin (active ingredient in turmeric) may have, they are often limited by the simple fact that in most preparations it is not readily available to the body. This is mainly due to its poor absorption, rapid metabolization, and rapid elimination.  There is a partner that facilitates great absorption so read on!
Short-term, high-volume consumption will not maximize benefits
The tendency in western society is to jump on the bandwagon when there are positive reviews of a new herb. We take it for a couple of months until the next super-duper natural remedy comes along, then turmeric becomes a distant memory. This behaviour will limit any benefits you could potentially see.
What does this mean? (continued below...)
What Does This Mean?
So does that mean that turmeric is all hype and not worth considering as an addition to your diet?
Not at all!
There is no doubt that Turmeric is a wellness powerhouse with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle. By adding it to your diet in a thoughtful way, it can be of powerful addition to your diet.
So what's the best way to benefit from turmeric?
Be realistic about the benefits you can expect.
Consume small amounts of turmeric with black pepper and healthy fats to improve absorption. Evidence shows that when paired with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, availability of curcumin to the body can increase by 2000%. When paired with black pepper, you will not need much turmeric to gain the benefits.
Think of turmeric as a long-term preventative measure rather than thinking of turmeric as a magic potion or cure-all. The power of herbs and spices is in incorporating them into a daily healthy diet paired with exercise.
Turmeric tea and herbal blends are a great choices since turmeric is included in smaller amounts, especially those with black pepper!
Note: Turmeric in larger amounts can be of concern to people that have certain medical conditions (ie blood clotting disease, diabetes, or gall stones) or are taking certain medications. The information provided does not replace your relationship with your doctor. Please check with your doctor if you are unsure about consuming turmeric.
Amalraj, A., Pius, A., Gopi, S., & Gopi, S. (2017). Biological activities of curcuminoids, other biomolecules from turmeric and their derivatives–A review. Journal of traditional and complementary medicine, 7(2), 205-233.
- Nidamboor, J. R., & Nidamboor, J. R. (2018). Therapeutic Repertoire of Turmeric. Research & Reviews A Journal of Pharmacognosy, 5(2), 1-9.
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