Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years, with great success. A growing number of people are now turning to natural remedies, instead of drugs. Or, they’re trying to wean themselves from their dependence on pharmaceuticals. (However, this must always be done with a doctor’s help.)
Turmeric has become increasingly popular, because of its wide ranging health benefits. It’s well known for its ability to help control inflammation, the underlying cause of disease. This spice also contains anti-cancer compounds. A turmeric extract has even been explored as adjunct treatments in clinical cancer trials.
Turmeric Supplements or Curcumin?
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So it’s no surprise that sales of supplements containing turmeric have skyrocketed.
Some of these capsules, however, don’t contain whole turmeric. Instead, they’re made from one of turmeric’s active ingredients which is known as curcumin.
Curcumin has been widely studied. It’s been shown to be effective against colon cancer, at least in a laboratory setting. This compound can also reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, according to other published reports.
Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin vs Turmeric
However, there are likely many more healthy substances present in whole turmeric, in addition to curcumin. So, if you take the isolate, instead of the entire herb, you could be missing out on a lot of other good stuff. Just because one active ingredient has been identified, and studied, doesn’t rule out the possibility of many more beneficial components.
Online health expert Dr. Andrew Weil, MD published an article on turmeric vs curcumin. He’s an advocate of the whole herb, noting, ” I believe whole turmeric is more effective than isolated curcumin for inflammatory disorders.”
Turmeric vs Turmeric Curcumin
If you’re shopping for turmeric, you’re likely to come across many brands labeled “turmeric curcumin.” These are curcumin, an isolated component, with the word “turmeric” attached.
This appears to be all part of a larger trend to take medicinal herbs into the laboratory, in order to extract a single part, and then sell the synthesized isolate as a natural supplement. In fact, because of this practice, it can be difficult to find whole turmeric supplements.
I was able to locate only a small number of supplements with whole turmeric, instead of curcumin. One of them I’m is called Zyflamend and I’m very familiar with it. (Zyflamend also contains nine other herbs, besides turmeric.)
Where to Buy Turmeric Supplements
I took Zyflamend for a long time to help keep my painful nerve inflammation in check. It seemed to work well for me. So, naturally, I’m more than happy to tell my readers about it. I don’t think it was the turmeric that helped me, because I don’t notice pain reduction with turmeric alone. Instead, I think it was mostly the tulsi/holy basil, and some of the other herbs in this formula. Tulsi seems to zero in on my pain.
The reason I stopped taking Zyflamend is because my body does not seem to need it any more. But I do take other natural remedies. (For me, all of my remedies stop working if I don’t rotate them. So Zyflamend is currently out of the rotation.)
Zyflamend contains whole turmeric, along nine other medicinal plants. Herbalists often recommend multi-herb formulas, such as this one. It’s believed that combining multiple herbs together creates a positive synergy.
Using Turmeric as Anti Inflammatory
Turmeric is one of the herbs I use in my kitchen, to control my nerve inflammation. This holistic approach is allowing me to live practically symptom free, without pharmaceutical interventions. (However, the benefits I see from turmeric are minimal. I don’t think it’s the best herb for me. Other people, though, report much better results. I think that’s because we’re all different and we all need different types of remedies.)
But in my natural medicine cabinet (actually my kitchen cabinet) you will find organic turmeric powder. For best results, it should be consumed with a little bit of fat, which helps your body absorb the beneficial nutrients, compounds and enzymes. It should also be taken with a little bit of black pepper. (I make sure to use organic black pepper.)
So, if you plan to use turmeric, you can either take it in capsule form or add it to your dishes, along with pepper. (Some brands already contain pepper, or a pepper extract.) Here is the brand of organic turmeric powder we use in our house.
As I mentioned earlier, turmeric is just one ingredient in my health maintenance plan. (And it’s one that my own body doesn’t seem to really need. But I still write about it because I know turmeric has the potential to help others.) I use a number of other herbal supplements, essential oils and homeopathy. Most importantly, I’ve cleaned up my diet. Removing unhealthy foods from my kitchen has done great things for my health.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take herbal supplements, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.