Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a distinctive orange-yellow color. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, considered by many as an antioxidant.*
Traditionally, turmeric has been farmed in India and other parts of Asia. It is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of climates and soil types. However, with increasing demand for turmeric supplements, the crop is now grown in many countries worldwide.
Turmeric is typically harvested by hand and then dried and ground into a powder. The powder can be used as a spice in cooking or made into supplements. The process of making turmeric supplements usually begins with extracting curcumin from the turmeric root.
This is typically done using a process called liquid-liquid extraction. The extracted curcumin is then purified and concentrated to create a standardized curcumin extract. This extract is then mixed with other ingredients to create a finished supplement.
The chemical composition of turmeric is complex. Curcumin is considered to be the most active ingredient in turmeric and is responsible for its potential antioxidant properties.* Curcumin is a polyphenol, a type of phytochemical found in plants. It may play a role with free radicals.*
One of the challenges with using turmeric as a supplement is that curcumin is not well absorbed by the body. To overcome this, there might be several methods to help enhance bioavailability.*
One popular method is to use a phospholipid complex to create a liposomal delivery system. Liposomes are microscopic spheres made of phospholipids (the basic building blocks of cell membranes) that could help encapsulate the curcumin, making it potentially more easily absorbed by the body.*
Another popular method is to use a combination of turmeric and black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which has been shown to potentially increase the absorption of curcumin.*
Turmeric supplements are available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, and liquids. They can also be combined with other ingredients, such as ginger, boswellia, and ashwagandha, to create a multi-ingredient formula that may help support specific wellness properties.
As with any supplement, it's always important to check with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications, or have any health condition.
In conclusion, turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine. Its active ingredient, curcumin, may have potential antioxidant properties to help support wellness.
As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a turmeric curcumin supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.