Curcumin is the principle compound of turmeric; it is a very bright golden yellow color. This compound comes from the rhizomes, underground stems, of Curcuma longa or turmeric.
The yellow compound, curcumin, is also responsible for the yellow in curry and in American mustard.
A member of the ginger family, this spice has been used traditionally in India and China for diabetes and bronchitis.
Curcumin is a very powerful anti-oxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies of Curcumin Benefits
- Helps alleviate pain from osteo- arthritis. Reduces joint pain and swelling.
- Good cancer protection against breast, colon, prostate and skin cancers.
- Decreases inflammation in ulcerative colitis, IBS, and Crohn’s disease.
- Reduces risk of heart attack and strokes.
- Helps control blood sugar.
- Protects you from cognitive problems and may decrease your chances of Alzheimer’s.
How to Supplement with Turmeric’s Curcumin
A full specturm Turmeric with 300 plus mg of Curcumin is recommended with Black Pepper or Piperine in capsules.
Piperine is a compound of black pepper which should be taken with turmeric since it helps the body absorb the curcumin. If this spice, pepper, is not taken with turmeric; your body will not be able to break down the benefits.
You can take a liquid extract of turmeric or powdered turmeric, like supplements or use the root itself.
Some practioners, like Dr. Andrew Weil says he believes whole turmeric is better than the isolated curcumin compound.
My Turmeric recommendations:
I use all three forms, but generally take a powdered supplement daily for joint pain. Also I sprinkle the powder in soups, stews, eggs or salads.
At our house we also cutup the turmeric root and add it to our smoothies along with ginger root. It is great for controlling inflammation and pain.
Do be careful when using this root or powder, the yellow curcumin will stain your hands and counter; or anything you use with it. I generally wear gloves so my hands are not so yellow!
You can take 1 tsp. of powdered turmeric daily with no problems; this is great as a preventative and I found it is mild in taste as compared to curry.
This supplement may take 2 months to be effective, since it is all natural, it is not as fast as pain drugs. Still, it is better; there are fewer, if any, side effects.
New Research Studies
Topically, turmeric salve helps with skin disorders, bruising and bites.
New studies are now proving that curcumin can aid in controlling cancer in 3 ways:
- angiogenesis or tumor growth
- metastasis or spread of cancer cells
- apoptosis or death of cancer cells
Turmeric is a great ally against cancer. The cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, says turmeric is especially effective in the colon, where your cells are more vulnerable to free radical damage. It is a great preventative spice to stop cancer growth in the colon.
Another research shows that turmeric binds to iron, making it unavailable to cancer cells, cancer cannot live without iron.
Possible Negative Reactions:
Do not use if you have gallstones or liver/bile dysfunction. Confirm amounts with your doctor, if you are taking a blood thinner.
Extended use or excessive amounts could cause stomach upset for some people or skin rashes.
Curcumin could interfere with some chemotherapy drugs. For other chemo drugs, the reverse, the Curcumin can boost the drugs effectiveness. Contact your doctor if on chemo.
Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant help individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. Cindy is a true believer in eating healthy greens and herbs to prevent illness and disease. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses.