Read this post to discover:
- The incredible (and unexpected!) benefits of turmeric
- Why turmeric requires no black pepper or fats for full absorption (and the confusion with its famous compound)
- The mysterious meaning of turmeric to the ancient cultures
I first discovered turmeric as a serious health tool back when I was studying to become a Nutritional Therapist.
It’s the plant with all the research - there are over 13,360 published studies on turmeric that go back 74 years. We had an assignment on its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects and it even came up in a cancer lecture.
This was powerful stuff.
But the question was, how do I incorporate it into my food to get the amazing array of benefits? (discover more on these below👇) I really didn’t want to have to eat curry twice a day, for me it would have to mix into smoothies, my plant milks and porridge like my other superfoods…
Supermarket Spice Jars VS Lab-Made Curcumin Supplements?
I started out with cheap spice jars from the supermarkets and health food shops, but I found myself wondering, is this really a high-quality product that’s going to do anything? The taste was so harsh and taste-wise there was no way it would ever work for me as a drink!
Reading more into it, I discovered that a harmful dye Metanil Yellow is commonly added to turmeric powders, so any good effects would be countered by this nasty stuff that’s a neurotoxin and has been linked to cancer.
Then there was the lab-produced option, should I go for a curcumin (an extract from turmeric) supplement? But my training taught me that whole plants are far better for the body than isolating a single compound or nutrient because these things work together synergistically in our bodies.
Curcumin is an incredibly powerful phytocompound in turmeric, but does that mean the rest of the plant does nothing? NO! There are hundreds of beneficial components in turmeric, and more that have yet to be discovered.
But Are Lab-Made Curcumin Supplements Actually Well Absorbed?
I read a lot in the studies that the bioavailability of isolated curcumin supplements (your body’s ability to use it) was very low and scientists had discovered unique ways to help by slowing down the metabolism of it in the body with added fats and piperine – an extract from black pepper.
…However (and this is the awesome part) - having whole turmeric powder renders these added ingredients completely unnecessary because it is an easily digestible whole food!
Turmeric already contains its own fat – turmeric oil - to assist digestion and bioavailability, plus the other compounds it’s packed with, such as alpha-turmerone, beta-turmerone, demethoxycurcumin, cyclobisdemethoxycurcumin (and many more that I can’t pronounce) are just as powerful as curcumin, so why wouldn’t you want to eat those too?
Another downside to taking an isolated curcumin supplement is that production methods mean they contain synthetic ingredients and may have high levels of preservatives. Not something I want in my body thanks!
>> Read on to find out about how ancient civilisations have revered turmeric <<
Finally Finding A Powerful “Best-Tasting” Turmeric
That’s why, when Organic Burst founders Katya and Dimi discovered an amazing pure and powerful source of turmeric – an authentic Sri Lankan heirloom variety – I was finally able to ‘turmerise’ my foods and make some ridiculously epic smoothies!
…It’s so fragrant, mild and almost sweet tasting, which means I can eat more and get more benefits!
Here’s how one Burster described it:
“Just received your Turmeric and it’s FANTASTIC…Best tasting turmeric I have ever used/tried. Full earthy flavour with sweet citrus notes and no hint of bitterness.”
- Saba James, on Facebook
You should try it too and fall in love with a Golden Milk Latte *drowns self in turmeric milk*.
“The Golden Goddess”
The benefits and taste of turmeric are only half the story, it’s not only an incredible superfood for the body, but it is spiritually sacred too.
In ancient India turmeric was believed to be a physical manifestation of the Divine Mother - a botanical embodiment of compassion - and used in ceremonies to signify fertility and spiritual purification.
In the ancient language of Sanskrit, turmeric has many names: “Gauri” - “the one whose face is light and shining”, “Kanchani” - “The Golden Goddess” and “Aushadi” - “Herb”.
The word “turmeric” takes its roots from the Latin “terra merita” - “meritorious Earth”, meaning the one “deserving reward or praise”.
It’s easy in the modern Western world for the pace of life to become so hectic that you don’t feel connected or mindful, so enjoying something simple like sipping on a special tea with turmeric can actually increase your spiritual awareness and increase feelings of positivity and gratefulness.
Turmeric has been prized medicinally for 6,000 years in the ancient medicine systems such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well in as Sri Lankan, Arabic and Ancient Greek medicine. The benefits we go into below are the combination of this traditional use and the scientific studies that have come since…
>> Read on for what turmeric can do for your physical and mental health <<
THE TERRIFIC BENEFITS OF TURMERIC
Here is my roundup of some key studied and revered benefits of turmeric. There are in fact so many incredible effects that I believe everyone may benefit from taking it daily.
…A real Golden Jewel!
1. CLEARING BREAKOUTS, CALMING INFLAMED AND IRRITATED SKIN
Turmeric has been found to reduce redness, soothe itching, irritated and flaking skin according to a 2018 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
In a review of curcumin’s action on the skin, the journal BioFactors (2013) covered numerous benefits of the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions of turmeric, including ability to fight pimples and supporting the skin’s natural ability to regenerate.
This means turmeric is perfect for recovering from breakouts too!
If you're new to turmeric start with 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Burst Turmeric per day or 2 capsules (1/2 serving size). Increase to 1-2 servings daily over 2-3 weeks.
Pimple-Fighting Face Mask Hack: Mix 1tbsp Organic Burst Turmeric with 1-2tbsp melted coconut oil to form a thick paste. Spread on your skin with a brush and leave for 15 mins before washing off with warm water. You can apply this topically onto the pimples too.
*If you have oily skin, use aloe vera gel instead of coconut oil.
2. STRONG THICK HAIR AND HEALTHY SCALP
The calming effect on the skin also goes for the skin of the scalp.
Nourishing the scalp includes improving the health of the hair follicles, so you can notice hair starting to grow thicker.
By helping reduce any dryness, flaking and/or sore patches, hair can grow better and will fall out less.
Help thinning, flat or lifeless hair by nourishing your scalp. Try 1-2 servings Organic Burst Turmeric daily.
3. BRIGHTER, WHITER TEETH WITHOUT ANY CHEMICAL BLEACHES
Along with charcoal, turmeric is an unlikely, yet very popular, natural way to whiten teeth. Many wellness experts are fans because it avoids using harmful bleaches.
In fact, turmeric is protective of your oral health: The Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology published a study in 2012 where researchers found that curcumin reduced plaque, gum irritation and bacteria.
Dip a wet toothbrush in a little turmeric, brush, rinse, then follow up with your usual paste/powder. *Make sure to wash the sink right after due to turmeric’s bright yellow colour.
4. HELPING PMS, BLOATING AND CRAMPS
No more monthly misery! The scary emotions, painful cramps, breakouts and bloating can all be helped with turmeric. Curcumin was found in a 2015 study published in the Journal Neuropeptides to reduce PMS symptoms by 61%, even from the first month of treatment.
The Indian Journal of Biochemistry & Biophysics (2009) and the Journal Phytotherapy Research (2011) also found curcumin helpful in alleviating menstrual cramps.
In the Complementary Therapies In Medicine Journal, 2015, researchers explained these effects were down to the positive effect of curcumin on neurotransmitters and its anti-inflammatory effects.
For PMS support, increase your daily dose to 2 servings at least 7-10 days before your period & throughout it.
5. INNER STRENGTH AND POSITIVITY WHEN OVERWHELMED
Having your turmeric can make you feel happier, get your spark back and approach life with positivity - according to 14 different studies we have reviewed. In 2016 Phototherapy Research published a study that concluded “curcumin administration reduces depressive symptoms in patients”.
In 2014, the Journal of Affective Disorders published a study which found that curcumin was significantly more effective than placebo in improving several mood-related symptoms.
Giving you the tools to cope when overwhelmed with situations, to be calm and confident and to adopt a positive mindset is so important. Since in today’s stressful Western society wellness is just as much about our mental health as about physical.
Ready to respond to life’s challenges with a determined “raaagh, I’ve got this”?
Inner strength hack: For immediate relief when overwhelmed, have 1tsp turmeric in a glass of warm almond milk, or 4 capsules with water.
6. PROTECTING AGAINST THE EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES AND FRIED FOODS WHEN EATING OUT
Turmeric is one of the most antioxidant-packed foods that exists and provides incredible protection from free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable compounds that steal electrons from our healthy cells in order to stabilise, causing damage in the process. Antioxidants come to the rescue by ‘quenching’ the free radicals with their extra electrons, protecting our cells. Phew!
Reasons you might be exposed to free radicals include eating food that has been cooked in oxidised vegetable oils (heat-damaged oils) - used in most food outlets unfortunately. Thankfully a study in 2010 attributed turmeric’s compound curcumin to reducing the effects of oxidised sunflower oil.
Traces of chemical pesticides in virtually all non-organic food mean we’re getting our fair share of free radicals almost every time we eat, but numerous studies have found curcumin to protect against their negative effects.
Eating out hack: take 1 serving turmeric before and after your meal to combat the damaging effects of pesticides and fried foods.
7. BOOST YOUR RESISTANCE TO BUGS
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, turmeric provides an incredible immune system support, helping protect us from bacteria, viruses, and even fungal infections. We found 14 different studies that have concluded that turmeric's power compound curcumin can protect against oral infections, harmful bacteria in food, yeast infections, warts, recovering from wounds and more.
Resist bugs by supporting your immune system with 1 serving of turmeric daily. Increase to 2 servings when you’re feeling weak or under the weather.
Coming up in Part 2:
- 7 More Life-Changing Effect of Turmeric That Everyone Can Benefit From
- How to choose the best turmeric and what to watch out for when buying
- Our 9 favourite ways to enjoy turmeric daily (super simple and yum!)
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Nutritionist at Organic Burst