One frequently overlooked way to enhance and optimize health with organically grown food is the use of herbs and spices – unprocessed and organic, of course. One amazing benefit of these herbs is that they’re very low in calories while being dense in vitamins and minerals. In the same vein, they’re thermogenic, meaning they naturally support your metabolism to help you burn calories.* You feel satisfied more easily, so you eat less.* Studies show that consuming certain herbs and spices before each meal can potentially reduce your caloric intake.* Due to their nutrient-dense status, they promote your overall well-being with antioxidants more potent than many fruits and veggies.* Herbs and spices promote health and well-being in your entire body, not just in a particular area.
This “whole person” approach is why I believe these spices and herbs can benefit you so greatly.
But I consider one particular spice the “granddaddy” of them all because its benefits are so amazing and far-reaching.
How This Ancient Spice Originated Thousands of Years Ago
India is the home of Ayurveda, recognized as an authoritative source of knowledge and truth in natural health promotion — with herbs and spices lying at the very heart of Ayurvedic practice. So it would make perfect sense to consider using herbs that were grown in India if you are considering Ayurvedic herbs.
One Indian spice in particular that caught my immediate attention was turmeric. It provides you with these whole-person benefits:
- Supports your healthy joint function*
- Promotes a healthy inflammatory response*
- Promotes your radiant skin*
- Helps improve your digestion*
There’s some debate about the timing of turmeric’s first use as a healthy spice, but one thing is certain. Thousands of years ago, people in India and China used the spice. In fact, some stories suggest usage dates back 10,000 years in India when they say Lord Rama walked the earth.
The ancient Polynesians carried turmeric with them on their incredible voyage across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Today, Hawaiians still use this spice — known to them as Olena.
While in China in 1280 AD, Marco Polo recorded information on turmeric in his diary:
“There is also a vegetable which has all the properties of true saffron, as well the smell and the color, and yet it is not really saffron.”
So, turmeric has been used as a substitute for saffron (an old world spice) in Europe for over 700 years.
One of the main healthy molecule in turmeric is curcumin (a curcuminoid), which gives turmeric its yellow color.
Western scientists first isolated the curcumin molecule in 1815, obtained its crystalline form in 1870, and determined its overall structure in 1910.
Curcumin can potentially benefit you by:
- Promoting your immune system*
- Helping you maintain your healthy digestive system*
- Supporting your healthy bones, joints, and overall skeletal system*
- Helping you maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range*
- Promoting your healthy blood and liver functions*
How Turmeric and Curcumin Provide Antioxidant Nutrients*
You probably know that antioxidants are important for your health. Antioxidants help your body neutralize free radicals and help you potentially slow down the signs of normal aging.*
Oxidation by free radicals can damage cells and organs — and thus impact your aging process*
Antioxidants are also key nutrients in:
- Supporting your memory function*
- Promoting your heart health*
- Supporting your immune system*
Turmeric’s antioxidants help protect your cells from free radical damage.*
The antioxidant content within turmeric comes from active compounds called curcuminoids.
These curcuminoids deliver antioxidants that may be:
- 3 times more powerful than grape seed or pine bark extract
- Strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical — considered by many to be the most reactive of all oxidants*
How Turmeric Enhances Your Outer Beauty*
Speaking of antioxidant nutrients and their potential to impact the aging process, some of the first aging signs you may see as you get older are changes to your skin.
Believe it or not, the organic ingredients found in turmeric can help promote your healthy skin.*
How, you ask?
Curcuminoids support important blood and liver functions, healthy joints, and your overall well-being, which in turn helps promote radiant, supple skin.*
Turmeric has been considered to be “skin food” for thousands of years in India and other cultures.
- Cleanse your skin and maintain its elasticity*
- Provide nourishment to your skin*
- Balance the effects of skin flora*
So, turmeric can act as your one-two punch against normal aging with its skin promotion and antioxidant capabilities — outer beauty plus inner purity.
A Triple-Action Cellular Booster and Adaptogen*
Another potential advantage from turmeric usage involves the smallest living things within you — your cells.
Turmeric can assist your cells in three ways, by:
- Helping neutralize substances that can cause cellular stress*
- Maintaining your cells’ integrity when threatened by occasional environmental stressors*
- Providing the antioxidants you need to help support your cells against excessive oxidation and free radicals*
Turmeric is also recognized as an adaptogen — helping to support your body against stress and providing immune system support.*
How This Ancient Spice Has Become Embedded in India’s Ayurvedic Practice
Turmeric, like other herbs and spices, is a principle herb in Ayurveda — India’s ancient holistic health system. Ayurveda means “knowledge of life” — with herbs lying at the very heart of Ayurvedic practice.
Turmeric has multiple uses within Ayurveda, including blood cleansing and maintaining healthy skin.*
In Ayurvedic terminology, turmeric includes the following:
- Verdana sthapana — promotes your healthy nervous system and helps you with occasional discomfort*
- Sangrahani — supports your absorption of vitamins and minerals*
- Anulomana — helps you in purging out wastes and building healthy blood*
- Rakta stambhaka — promotes the wellness of your circulatory system*
And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ayurvedic turmeric uses.
What does this mean to you?
Simply, turmeric has been used in Indian culture for thousands of years for a multitude of health-promoting reasons.* An estimated 500 million Indians still use the spice today.
What Are Your Best Sources for Turmeric?
So by now, you might be wondering about potential sources of turmeric.
Well, you may already know you can find it in the spice aisle of your local grocery store. I don’t recommend using your local grocery store, due to the quality of their herbs and spices.
Even though there may be some good spices available there, it’s very difficult to verify their purity and potency.
Also, the turmeric powder you buy in your store is a spice. It doesn’t necessarily come from high-quality organic herbs — and is not produced using certified organic processes, causing you to risk missing its healthful benefits.
What’s more… with store-bought turmeric powder, you’ll probably just use it once in a while to cook with — not on a daily basis to consistently take advantage of the benefits it offers.
So, what other options do you have?
I recommend searching for a high-quality, organic-based turmeric supplement.
But there are some things you should watch for when choosing a turmeric supplement.
Avoid Unnecessary Fillers and Additives
When I did my own research on available turmeric supplements, I found a surprising array of choices.
Besides curcumin and curcuminoid ingredients, I found products with questionable ingredients like fillers and additives.
One ingredient, magnesium stearate (also known as stearic acid), is a potentially toxic metal additive from pill production.
Another ingredient I found in many turmeric supplements, Dibasic Calcium Phosphate (DCP), may even inhibit the absorption of essential minerals within your system.
There are others you may find as well, but the bottom line is… you don’t want or need these ingredients in your turmeric supplement. Some pose potential health risks — and all are unnecessary.
Use This Checklist to Find Your Highest Quality Turmeric
To take advantage of all the great benefits turmeric has to offer you, I created a checklist on what you should look for in a turmeric supplement.
Whatever you do, don’t settle for second best.
Here’s my checklist to help you find the best turmeric source:
- Contains certified organic turmeric – Includes a turmeric extract standardized to at least 95% curcuminoids
- Comes in supplement form — Don’t rely on your typically low-quality and unpredictable local grocery store spice. Additionally when you heat the spice during cooking many of the beneficial properties are lost.
- Avoids fillers and additives — No need for questionable “other ingredients” in the formula
- Provides a vegetable capsule — Avoid gelatin-based capsules whenever possible
14 Ways This Ancient Herb Can Help You Spice Up Your Life (and Your Health*)
I’m excited to tell you about all of the health benefits that my certified organic-based Turmeric formula can offer you.
But first off, I’m sure you might have noticed that we offer two different curcumin formulas on Mercola.com. The other supplement, Curcumin Advanced, is highly concentrated and formulated to maximize absorption into your blood. However, my Turmeric formula is another option to reap the benefits of curcumin, for those who prefer the nutrient in its whole, organic form and is a powerful strategy to optimize your colon health.*
My new Turmeric supplement offers all of the same benefits as before, in a revised formulation under the Mercola name.
Now, let me summarize fourteen ways my certified organic-based Turmeric can spice up your whole person:
- Supports your antioxidant protection against free radicals*
- Helps promote your healthy skin*
- Supports your overall eye health*
- Provides you immune system support*
- Aids your skeletal system and joint health*
- Encourages your healthy liver function*
- Helps you maintain healthy cells with support against free radicals*
- Balances the health of your digestive system*
- Aids you in support of healthy blood and your circulatory system*
- Helps you maintain normal cholesterol levels to support your cardiovascular system*
- Assists your neurological system’s healthy response to stress*
- Promotes a healthy female reproductive system*
- Helps you maintain blood sugar levels already within the normal range*
- Promotes a healthy inflammatory response*
One of the most exciting aspects of turmeric is its promotion of a healthy inflammatory response.
A lot of people don’t know that inflammation doesn’t just affect your joints, but your entire body has an inflammatory response. When this response is overactive it can contribute to a wide range of health problems. This makes turmeric an important supplement not just for joint health, but for overall wellbeing.
Millions of people use turmeric on a daily basis in their lives today. In India alone, up to 500 million people use it in one form or another every day.
Isn’t it time you gave your body what it deserves?
It’s All About the Sustainability
I constantly search all over the world for ingredients and manufacturers that use completely sustainable processes. That includes:
- Minimizing or eliminating agricultural chemicals
- Preserving natural resources
- Improving farmer quality of life
- Sustaining economic vitality
- Enhancing the environment
I strongly believe in working with the land, not against it, and the turmeric I use enhances soil biodiversity, water retention, and production. The turmeric is sourced from its indigenous area, resulting in reliable production and clean, high-quality ingredients.