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What is Turmeric?
Turmeric, also known as curcuma longa, is related to ginger and is used as a dye and spice in India as well as other Eastern countries. Indian doctors use turmeric to treat a vast array of medical ailments including ulcers, skin disease, sprains, the flu, and digestion issues. Inhaling the smoke of burning turmeric is said to calm those going through hysteria.
Turmeric has a reputation as a substance that is good for digestion, the heart, the immune system, muscle pain and joint pain. Turmeric capsules support the liver and strengthen the blood to promote overall well-being.
Turmeric works in part because it contains an active compound called curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory and might prevent and fight cancer. There is also evidence that it removes beta amyloid plaque in the brain.
The brain has a “waste product” of neurons called Amyloid. One in four people have an issue where amyloid builds up and interferes with brain function over the course of their lives. Turmeric can stop this from happening and promotes cognitive function as well as strengthening short-term memory.
There are many other benefits as well. Turmeric regulates cholesterol levels and can keep blood pressure levels within a healthy range.
Because of all of these reasons, many people take turmeric supplements. If turmeric is prepared improperly, the body will not absorb the benefits. In supplement form, agents like black pepper are added to guarantee that the body actually receives the beneficial effects.
Most turmeric supplements come in capsule form, and should be taken with a meal so the body can digest it properly. Some supplements can be taken any time, but most shouldn’t. It can take up to three months before the effects start to be felt, particularly in those with arthritis. It is most effective when taken in low doses over a long period of time.
Those taking certain medications might need to consult a medical professional before taking turmeric. It can raise the risk of bleeding in those who take blood-thinners. It can block the effects of over-the-counter products like Zantac. It can make diabetes drugs stronger and increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
People who are pregnant should not take turmeric supplements without consulting a doctor first. It should be kept away from children and stored in a cool, dry place. Turmeric might separate if left to sit, but that will not affect its potency.
Always speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Things to Look for in a Good Turmeric Supplement
An effective turmeric supplement will have turmeric, black pepper (or ginger) and little else. Check the label to see how much turmeric is present. It is recommended to take 800 mg a day. Some supplements contain 200 mg or less.
Top 10 Turmeric Products
1. Organic India Turmeric Formula
Organic India Turmeric Formula is made in India and contains organically-grown ingredients. It contains 370 mg of organic turmeric rhizome, 80 mg of turmeric extract and 50 mg organic ginger rhizome. It also contains an unspecified amount of vegetable cellulose. Most turmeric supplements use black pepper, but this one uses ginger instead, giving it a better taste but losing some of the absorption benefits. Organic India works with family farmers in India who use organic farmland to grow turmeric. The company lives by the philosophy of being “love and consciousness in action” and tries to make their products as environment-friendly as possible.
- 370 mg of organic turmeric rhizome
- 80 mg of turmeric extract
- 50 mg organic ginger rhizome
- They use ginger in the formula, a strong inflammatory
- Made right in India and shipped out
- Uses ginger, which is believed to be more effective than black pepper
2. New Chapter Turmeric Force
New Chapter Turmeric Force D takes a whole-food approach and captures hundreds of compounds found in turmeric rather than focusing solely on curcumin. The idea there is that by extracted turmerones and other compounds, those who take the supplement get the full benefits of turmeric rather than a less potent version.
It contains 320 mg of turmeric hydroethanolic etract and 80 mg of organic turmeric supercritical extract. It also contains Extra-virgin olive oil, maltodextrin, hypromellose and organic yellow beeswax.
New Chapter is based out of Vermont and focuses on using Non-GMO ingredients. They claim to have spent years researching the ideal capsules for their vegetarian formula. The company has testing done with third-party labs to improve purity and potency. They use ingredients taken from natural sources.
- 320 mg of turmeric hydroethanolic extract
- 80 mg of organic turmeric supercritical extract
3. Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength
Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength contains 406 mg of turmeric root extract, 36 mg of curcumins from total EtOH extract, 34 mg of turmeric root supercritical extract and 7 mg of black pepper fruit supercritical extract. It also contains non-GMO lecithin, vegetable glycerin, water, an chlorophyll vegetable cellulose for the capsule. Gaia Herbs is based out of North Carolina, was founded in 1987 and is a certified organic grower and manufacturer. They are 100% vegan, use liquid phyto-caps and are pesticide-free.
- 36 mg of curcumins from total EtOH extract
- 34 mg of turmeric root supercritical extract
- 7 mg of black pepper fruit supercritical extract
4. MegaFood Turmeric Strength For Whole Body
The MegaFood turmeric supplement contains a lot of other health blends in a addition to the turmeric. It contains 120 mg of vitamin C, 700 mg of a turmeric strength blend, 350 mg of a protective garden harvest fruit blend, 200 mg of holy basil leaf extract, 3 mg of bioperine black pepper extract, plant cellulose vegetable lubricant and silica. MegaFood was founded in 1973 and is based out of New Hampshire. They were one of the first companies to make while food supplements. They partner with the University of New Hampshire to continually improve the benefits of vitamin supplements.
- 700 mg of a turmeric strength blend
- 120 mg of vitamin C
- 350 mg of a protective garden harvest fruit blend
- 200 mg of holy basil leaf extract
- 3 mg of bioperine black pepper extract
5. Solgar Standardized Turmeric Root Extract
Solgar is the first on this list to put forth a product with a lot of additives that may dilute the overall effect of the product. This supplement contains 400 mg of standardized turmeric extract, vegetable cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, L-ascorbic acid, betacarotene, vegetable magnesium stearate, and silica. Solgar has been around since 1947. They use aqueous coated tablets to promote better absorption of the nutrients and package these supplements in recyclable glass bottles.
- 400 mg turmeric extract
6. Source Naturals Turmeric 1000
Source Naturals does have black pepper, but also has a lot of less-than-ideal ingredients. It has 1 g of curcuminoids, 150 mg of bromelain, 10 mg of black pepper fruit extract, stearic acid, modified cellulose gum, microcrystalline cellulose and silica. Source Naturals was founded in 1982 and pioneered the idea of creating immune support products. They are big supporters of Vitamin angels, a non-profit that is dedicated to reducing child mortality.
- 1 g of curcuminoids
- 150 mg of bromelain
- 10 mg of black pepper fruit extract
7. Solaray Turmeric Root Extract
Solaray makes a very simple, straightforward product. It contains turmeric and absolutely nothing else, not even ginger or black pepper. It contains 300 mg of turmeric root extract, “guaranteed 285 mg.” Solaray was founded in 1993 and is the main brand of the Nutraceutical product line. Their products are available in 60 countries over the world. They use colored lids for their bottles to identify what type of product is which.
- 300 mg of turmeric root extract
8. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Turmeric
Oregon’s Wild makes what is by far the most potent, straightforward turmeric supplement in the market. It Contains 825 mg of turmeric rhizome, 525 mg of organic turmeric rhizome, and 9 mg of black pepper fruit extract. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Herbal Supplements has been around since 1994 and are based out of Oregon. They are regularly inspected by the FDA and Oregon Tilth, a third party certifier.
- 825 mg of turmeric rhizome
- 525 mg of organic turmeric rhizome
- 9 mg of black pepper fruit extract
- Good Price
9. Bluebonnet Nutrition Standardized Turmeric Root Extract
Bluebonnet’s turmeric supplement has more ingredients than most. It has 400 mg of Turmeric root extract. It also contains kosher vegetable capsules, calcium phosphate, vegetable cellulose, and vegetable magnesium stearate. Bluebonnet was founded in 1991 and have won a number of awards from Whole Foods Magazine, Vitamin Retailer and Better Nutrition.
- Vegetable derived capsules for maximum absorption
- Use a water-based extraction method
- Kosher – free of milk, egg fish, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soybeans and tree nuts
10. Nature’s Answer Turmeric-3
Contains 200 mg of turmeric rhizome extract, vegetable glycerin, purified water, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower lecithin, citric acid, and canthan gum. Nature’s Answer is known for having a comprehensive herbarium and their deep studies of plants and herbs. They were founded in 1972 and are based out of New York.
- Liquid form provides more potency