Turmeric, which is distinguished by its beautiful orange colour, is not only an exceptional spice but also a plant cultivated and used since ancient times in certain regions of the world and in natural Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Its high nutritional value is partly due to its curcumin content, but not only. The numerous studies carried out on turmeric, which was once only the emblem of oriental cuisines, now make it a medicinal plant particularly prized for its many benefits.
Turmeric, the spice with countless benefits
Turmeric comes from a plant that grows in the south of the Asian continent, more precisely in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
In cooking, the rhizome (the underground part of the plant) is dried and then ground into powder to form a spice. But it is now common to find turmeric as a dietary supplement.
Formerly consumed exclusively as a simple spice or food coloring, turmeric has for several years now found its place among the most widely consumed food supplements in the world. Is it just a fad or is it really effective?
The many studies carried out on the subject have shown that turmeric has many real effects on the body. Provided you choose a quality product that is notably titrated in curcumin, its main active ingredient.
What is turmeric?
For centuries, turmeric, from its scientific name Curcuma Longa, has been used as a spice in the cuisine of South Asia, more precisely in India. Its colour and flavour give dishes not only height, but also freshness.
But beyond its culinary interest, turmeric is also a medicinal plant of choice. Used for a long time in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for its various virtues, it is now found in many food supplements, whether in solid or liquid form.
Origin of turmeric
Although it is difficult to date the first use of turmeric, traces of its presence can be found in the writings of Sanskrit literature, more than 2000 years before our era.
The history of turmeric is twofold: The plant is linked to a culinary past and also to a medical past. In cooking, turmeric is used to enhance the flavour of dishes, but also as a natural colouring agent and food preservative.
In medicine, it is used in traditional uses, in phytotherapy and for some other notable effects. But it is also considered to inhibit the development of several types of cancer.
The benefits of turmeric on the body
Main virtues of turmeric
- Powerful natural anti-inflammatory
- Contributes to joint protection
- Improves digestive comfort
- Maintains liver health and facilitates fat removal
- Anti-oxidant properties to combat oxidative stress
- Contributes to a good nervous balance
- Helps limit fat accumulation
The natural components of turmeric
Turmeric stands out as one of the most powerful antioxidant plants in the world. This property is mainly due to the presence of curcumin and curcuminoids in its composition. Curcumin is the major active ingredient in turmeric, often reduced to a spicy state after harvesting.
But the exceptional composition of turmeric is even richer than that. It contains essential oils (3 to 5%) such as turmerones (a powerful antioxidant), curcumens, but also zingiberenes and gingiberenes (the latter two are also found in ginger). These molecules make it a powerful medicinal plant. In addition, turmeric contains vitamins, including vitamin B6 in large quantities, but also many minerals.
Effects and use of crucuma
Turmeric, a unique antioxidant
Curcumin and curcuminoids are active and particularly powerful antioxidant components. Both are involved in the elimination of free radicals stored in our body. By acting against these harmful substances, the active ingredients of curcuma help to limit the ageing of the cells.
Free radicals are promoted by internal and external factors such as stress, pollution or the consumption of tobacco and alcohol. The active ingredients of turmeric help the body to detoxify and protect itself from external but also internal aggressions (acidity of meals, stress, etc.).
A powerful anti-inflammatory
Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine for a long time, not least because of its anti-inflammatory properties. The root of the plant is able to relieve pain caused by chronic inflammation such as tendonitis, lumbago, osteoarthritis and rheumatism. Turmeric is as effective in prevention as it is in relieving the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientific studies have demonstrated the regenerating properties of turmeric and the benefits of its use in the case of tendonitis or following an accident or sports injury. Turmeric and its curcumin increase recovery capacities and reduce muscle and joint pain. These substances are also said to improve blood circulation and thus healing.
Turmeric, beneficial for the digestive system
Scientists have demonstrated the benefits to the digestive system. In particular, the plant helps to fight against gallstones, liver disease and other diseases related to liver function. The root of the plant therefore helps promote digestion by increasing bile secretions. Turmeric offers a certain intestinal comfort on a daily basis and can be perfectly combined with the consumption of aloe vera juice in order to optimize its effects.
Moreover, the plant is also able to act against the effects of drug or food poisoning. Its effects are also beneficial in the fight against constipation, inflammation of the intestine, gastroenteritis, digestive pain or infectious diarrhea. Turmeric is often part of dietary rebalancing programs, because of its ability to participate in the destocking of fats via the liver and to rebalance the intestinal flora.
Effects on cholesterol
Turmeric has a beneficial effect on blood circulation (1), which helps limit the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Finally, various independent studies have demonstrated the ability of turmeric to lower LDL cholesterol levels (known as bad cholesterol) and control blood sugar levels (2). Through the increase in the enzymatic activity of cholesterol, curcumin promotes the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids in the liver and thus helps to reduce bad cholesterol (3).
Role of turmeric on cognitive functions
Turmeric and its components have beneficial effects against certain memory disorders and various degenerative diseases (4). In particular, the root of the plant can be useful in the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the spice is able to drain heavy metals from the body and cleanse it by removing amyloid plaques. These are protein clusters that deposit on and damage nerve tissue.
Turmeric and sport
Turmeric is an antioxidant that can be interesting for physical recovery after exercise or as a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be used in prevention or in case of pain, inflammation or injury. It will support the body in its efforts to recover and heal, which can be decisive in the practice of sport and in the repetition of physical efforts.
Studies on turmeric and cancer
The properties of turmeric in cancer prevention have been studied since 1985 (R. Kultan “Potential Anticancer Activity of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)”). The results of experiments carried out on mice in vivo and in vitro have demonstrated the action of turmeric (and curcumin) on the development of certain tumours.
Subsequently, numerous studies were also conducted on the inhibitory effects of turmeric and curcumin on the development of several types of cancer. The results obtained during these studies led organizations (including the American Cancer Society) to openly recommend curcuma as part of cancer prevention or as part of chemotherapy.
Increased energy levels
Although this does not generally correspond to the first effects sought when it is consumed, turmeric, due to its beneficial action on the digestive system, is capable of increasing the body’s energy levels.
Indeed, our digestive system is energy-consuming and can take up to 90% of our physical energy. By improving our digestion and the general functioning of the digestive system, turmeric can therefore also indirectly increase energy levels and therefore our vitality.
Where to find the best turmeric?
If you want to know how to choose a turmeric-based food supplement, here are the main criteria to consider:
- The quality of turmeric (composition, origin, certification)
- Its curcumin content
- Its association with other substances allowing the assimilation of curcumin
The market for turmeric supplements has been in full swing for several years. Studies agree that an effective powdered turmeric extract should have the highest curcumin content. It is therefore not uncommon to find extracts with a curcumin content of between 50 and 95%. Simple turmeric powder is not the most effective according to the desired effects.
However, in addition to the curcumin content, a good turmeric extract must be an easily assimilated extract in order to be truly effective. Although most manufacturers have decided to associate turmeric extract with black pepper, this association is not without risk since black pepper also weakens the intestinal wall.
This is why Natura Force offers a unique formulation and an association with hemp oil powder, which improves the bioavailability of curcumin without side effects. Hemp oil powder is rich in vegetable omega 3 and significantly improves the assimilation of curcumin by the body and allows to take full advantage of the effects of the plant.
The association turmeric / hemp oil
Hemp oil is one of the richest vegetable oils in omega 3 (AAL: Alpha-linolenic acid). Particularly nutritious, it is rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Indications and dosage
According to the latest recommendations of the ANSES, it is recommended for an “average” person (60 kilos with average physical activity), to consume 180 mg of Curcuma Longa extract (with high bioavailability) per day. Preferably to be consumed with a glass of water, during or outside of meals.