What's so special about turmeric?
You may know turmeric as a spice commonly used in Asian cooking that gives curry its yellow colour. However, what you may not know is that it also has a number of health benefits and medicinal uses. In fact, it has been used as a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years.
Turmeric roots, or more specifically its rhizomes (the thick, root-like stores found underground) contain a chemical compound called curcumin, which is part of a group of compounds called curcuminoids. Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties, as well as the ability to reduce cholesterol.
Turmeric’s antioxidant properties help neutralise ‘free radicals’ – atoms that cause damage to healthy cells, cell membranes and DNA. This, combined with its potent anti-inflammatory properties, means that it can be an effective treatment for chronic pain, joint pain, arthritis and IBS symptoms – one study showed that daily turmeric supplements reduced IBS prevalence by up to 60%.
There is also evidence to suggest that it may be an effective treatment for depression, with one study showing that taking 1g of curcumin a day can significantly improve mood within 4 to 8 weeks.
Turmeric also helps boost blood flow, which in turn benefits heart health, liver health and skin quality.
So what’s the best way to get more turmeric into your diet?
The levels of turmeric used in daily cooking in the UK generally aren’t high enough to have a medicinal or health effect, so we recommend taking a turmeric supplement or tea, which provides a concentrated form of the rhizome.
However, you need to be careful about which turmeric supplement you take. Some only contain the extracted curcuminoids, which, whilst proven to be effective in treating a number of health conditions, are not the only important part of the turmeric root. The rhizome contains over 200 compounds that all work together to create the amazing health benefits and medicinal uses of turmeric.
That’s why we believe that the best supplements and teas are the ones that use the whole rhizome, not just and extract of the ‘important’ chemicals.
We're such big fans of turmeric, we've created our own Turmeric supplement, which you can view here.
However, we also love the Pukka ‘Turmeric Revolution’ range. For stiff and sore joints after exercise, try Turmeric Active and Turmeric Active 35 Oil. For something a bit stronger, try Wholistic Turmeric or Turmeric Lifekind. Turmeric also tastes great, so for a delicious and health-boosting tea, try Turmeric Gold tea.