Turmeric - The Wonder Spice
Studies have shown that turmeric has one of the strongest anti-inflammatory effects in the plant world.
Its medicinal properties and components (especially curcumin) have been the subject of more than 5,500 published reviews and biomedical research articles.
Inflammation in our bodies may range from inflammatory conditions of the skin (psoriasis, dermatitis), joint inflammation, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, to damage of the gastrointestinal tract and cancers.
What's good for the gut is also good for the skin, and turmeric helps cleanse your blood and heal damaged cells and tissues. Healthy blood brimming with nutrients also means less likelihood of developing acne or other skin complaints.
It's important that you always research what you buy when it comes to the origins of your Spices, or any food for that matter.
At Consumer Lab*, five different brands of ground turmeric were tested including three organic brands.
None were found to be contaminated with heavy metals, but interestingly all contained animal and insect fragments. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but here's what was interesting:
Some fragments were from species naturally found in the fields, but only the organic products contained evidence of stored product pests while the non-organic contained mainly field insects. It seems possible, therefore, that the non-organic storage and production facilities were treated with pesticides not permitted in organic foods, for which reason the organic turmeric would be the best choice.
Curcumin is an element of turmeric, and an ingredient that is added to curcumin to enhance its bioavailability is Bioperine, a black pepper extract which inhibits the metabolism of curcumin in the gut and liver, thus allowing it to pass unmolested into the bloodstream.
If you are taking curcumin that does not have an enhancer, taking it with a food containing fat may increase absorption.
Solgar Curcumin, Life Extension Super Bio Curcumin, and Doctors Best Curcumin were some of the many brands that scored well.
Do research your supplements though, as some formulas contained only about half the curcuminoids per capsule than others at a similar price.
*Consumer Lab.com is a subscription-based research website