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Curcumin: Unlocking the Healing Power of Turmeric

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

by Ed Taylor

The turmeric plant, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a unique and incredibly valuable herb. Its use in ancient, traditional medicine is well-known. It is a part of the ginger family, and its most distinguishing feature is the bright orange-yellow rhizomes, or underground stems, that grow beneath the soil.

The plant's long, broad leaves are a vibrant green, lending an attractive appearance to the garden landscape. They grow upright, adding a sense of order and symmetry to the plant's overall structure. We typically have plants with leaves that are 5 feet tall.

Below ground, the rhizomes, which are the main source of culinary and medicinal turmeric, possess a robust and earthy scent. When cut open, they reveal a stunning golden hue, a sign of the rich curcumin content that gives turmeric its numerous health benefits.

The turmeric plant also produces beautiful flowers that grow in spikes, displaying soft shades of pink and yellow. These flowers, though not as famous as the rhizomes, add to the aesthetic appeal of the plant.

What is Curcumin?

Turmeric rhizomes contain over 100 beneficial compounds. However, the most well-known of these is curcumin, a compound that makes up only 2-5% of the total weight of turmeric. It is one of three “curcuminoids” in turmeric. This small percentage, however, packs a potent punch, with extensive health benefits and regenerative properties.

Potential Health Benefits of Curcumin


Anti-Inflammatory: Curcumin is the primary anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health problems. Curcumin can inhibit the pathways involved in inflammation. There are hundreds of studies showing that it can be more effective than NSAIDs.


Antioxidant Boost: Curcumin along with the other phytochemicals and enzymes in turmeric neutralizes free radicals and enhances the body's own antioxidant enzymes. It is the free radicals that can cause so much damage to our bodies. The really good news is that studies have shown that there are no toxic effects from taking up to 6 g/day orally of curcumin


Heart Disease Prevention: Curcumin improves vital heart functions, reducing the risk of heart-related issues. Scientific studies published by the US National Institutes of Health indicate that curcumin can have a cholesterol-lowering effect when taken consistently. In addition, studies suggest turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke


Brain Function Support Turmeric/Curcumin may support cognitive function and mental health. A recent

study published in a scientific journal stated that "There is growing attention on the usage of curcumin to prevent or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases". The people who took curcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not.

In memory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 per cent over time. In addition, those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood, and their brain PET scans showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those who did not.

While there is still much research that needs to be done in this area, researchers are encouraged at the potential benefit that curcumin can provide in terms of Brain Function Support.


Cancer Prevention and Treatment


Studies have documented curcumin's abiliy to reduce inflammation and might help in fighting certain types of cancer. To explain how it works, imagine curcumin as a control switch for many of the body's defense mechanisms. It turns down or off certain things in the body (like specific proteins and signals) that can promote cancer growth. By controlling these elements, curcumin helps to keep the body's cells in check and may reduce the chance of cancer developing..


Digestive Health


Our gut microbiome is a key determinant

of whether or not we can effectively break down the food we are eating and properly absorb and utilize the nutrients. Many research studies have suggested that curcumin positively impacts intestinal microbiome by supporting a balance of “gut” microbes. Indeed, a research article in Nutrients in 2020 reports that there is a significant symbiotic relationship

between curcumin and intestinal microbes.


Can I Take Just Curcumin?

It is not advisable to take curcumin by itself, even if you could get it. Standalone curcumin is almost surely a product that has been synthesized from the chemical components. Because turmeric contains so many beneficial compounds, why would you want to throw them all out except for one? We also recommend that you use only turmeric products that are fermented to really boost its benefits and probioics. This will help your body absorb it naturally without having to “trick the liver” with something potentially harmful like “piperine”.

So What is the Deal with Black Pepper/Piperine?

The subject has gotten much attention on the internet. A much more in-depth review of this subject will be posted on our blog. The “popular” opinion is that you should add black pepper to your turmeric in order to increase its bioavailability in the intestines. However, there is compelling scientific evidence that adding black pepper has EXACTLY the opposite effect.

We do not add black pepper or piperine to our turmeric products because many of our customers ask us not to do so. They now understand that it may negatively effect their liver function. If you are using one of our fermented products, you will get the best absorption with the probiotics created during the fermentation process. This is a great boost to your body.



The FDA has ruled that curcumin is GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) but here are conditions where caution is needed:

  1. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Do your own research and have an informed conversation with your physician about this.

  2. Gallbladder Issues: Do your own research and have an informed conversation with your physician about this.

  3. Diabetes: Monitoring is needed as curcumin may lower blood sugar.

  4. Blood Thinners: Avoid if you're on anticoagulant medications. -

Bottom Line

Curcumin's astonishing potential in regenerative healing spans numerous conditions, from inflammation and heart health and cancer prevention. The key to success is two-fold:

1. Treat turmeric and curcumin as food. Incorporate it into your daily eating. Click here to see some of our recipes that might inspire you.

2. Consistency is the key. Consume your turmeric/curcumin EVERY DAY!

Curcumin’s impressive profile as a natural healing agent highlights the value of traditional wisdom in modern healthcare, bridging the gap between ancient remedies and contemporary science.

If you have read this far, good for you. If you would like additional information on any of the above topics, please let us know. We are happy to provide you with whatever information we have which might be helpful to you.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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