Curcumin is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in the spice turmeric. Turmeric, on the other hand, is the root of a plant which is scientifically known as Curcuma Longa and that's probably where curcumin gets its name from. Raw turmeric is often uses in South Asian countries, although in India the powdered spice is more common. After the turmeric root is harvested it is cleaned, cured and then dried. Later, the dried root may be sold as it or ground into a fine powder. In India, it is often referred to as Indian saffron, yellow ginger, yellow root or kacha haldi.
Just like spinach is rich in iron and lemons are full of Vitamin C, turmeric is a great source of curcumin. A turmeric root typically contains about 2 to 5% of curcumin. Curcumin belongs to a family of chemicals that are known as curcuminoid and which have a bright yellow colour. It is this compounds that lends the distinctive colour to the spice. Curcumin was first identified as a compound back in 1815. Since then, there have been several studies conducted to learn more about its abilities. It is believed that curcumin works on multiple functions and processes at the same time which is why it has been touted to cure everything from pain and inflammation to fighting tumours and promoting brain health.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb and recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time: it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight.
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day and it would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods. Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.
The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
Some great benefits are:
- Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
- Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the Body
- Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases
- Curcumin Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
- Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer
- Curcumin May Be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
- Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplements
- Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression
- Curcumin May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases