Turmeric is popular nowadays as a diet supplement. Literature is full of discussions about this superfood especially about that substance curcumin found in turmeric. Does it really work as a natural body healer?
From my review of the literature and experiences by others, there is no question that Turmeric helps with many health conditions. However, the efficacy can be determined by a host of factors.
Turmeric Absorption in the Blood
When Turmeric is taken by itself, there is increase in turmeric in the blood within an hour of taking it. But when you consume it together with a pinch of black pepper, the curcumin in your blood soars significantly. That means, black pepper helps in improving the absorption of turmeric’s curcumin into the blood. All things equal, taking turmeric with black pepper is much better than taking turmeric alone. This concept called bioavailability is explained in Dr. Greger’s blog.
Turmeric Heals Prostate Cancer
A research report by the NCBI, “Curcumin and Cancer Cells: How Many Ways Can Curry Kill Tumor Cells Selectively?”, revealed that curcumin can cause cancer cells death without killing normal body cells. This makes it a good alternative to chemotherypy!
This finding is supported by the experience of Kevin McNamara who reported about being healed of prostate cancer with Turmeric, exercise and no medical intervention. He mixes turmeric root in freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. He adds black pepper and coconut or extra virgin olive oil into the juice. It’s hard to imagine how this tastes but if you want to be healed, taste is immaterial. Aside from juices, he adds Turmeric powder in curries, salads and stir fries.
Amount of Curcumin in Supplements and Powders
The amount of curcumin in turmeric pills or powders you take can affect effectiveness.
Some turmeric supplements and powders may contain very small amount of curcumin. Some manufacturers add plenty of fillers such that curcumin becomes insignificant. So when buying these, check the amounts in the bottle.
To get the most curcumin, take the root or make your own powder from the root.
What Kind of Turmeric is it?
There are two popular kinds of Turmeric: the yellow turmeric and the white turmeric. You can distinguish them easily from the color of their roots.
The yellow pigment in the yellow turmeric is due to curcumin. Curcumin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
White Turmeric also contains curcumin but to a lesser extent compared to yellow turmeric. White turmeric is often use as spice. It is also a great anti-inflammatory remedy especially for those with asthma.
What form of Turmeric are you taking?
Fresh root is always best, if you have access to it from your local grocery store. You can also grow this in your backyard for a fresh supply of turmeric root.
If you do not like the taste or are too busy to prepare juices and foods with this ingredient, you can take the ready-made tea, powders and supplements in liquid or capsules.