Turmeric reigns supreme for good reason: this bright yellow herb has a rich history of use in supporting overall health and vitality. It promotes healthy inflammatory function and provides antioxidant support too. Turmeric is the go-to supplement in most people’s medicine cabinets to help them maintain a healthy, active life.
That’s why Turmeric is Gaia Herbs’ #1 best-selling herb. With over 30 years of experience in the natural products industry, they receive numerous questions, and one question that pops up regularly is “Why take a Turmeric supplement if you can just add it to food?”
That’s a great question and the answer requires you to understand the nuances of producing herbal supplements versus adding a “superfood” to your diet.
Cooking with Turmeric
As a food, Turmeric usually comes in a dried powder, and its bright yellow color is one of the most recognizable in your spice rack. Turmeric has a mildly bitter flavor and is well-known for its use in curry powders and in the popular beverage Golden Milk. Adding fresh or dried Turmeric to food is suitable for daily maintenance, just like eating leafy greens every day is recommended for long-term health.
Okay, now it’s time for the “but.” Cooking with Turmeric is wonderful, but it doesn’t offer the same support that a supplement does.
Using Turmeric Supplements
To achieve a daily serving in food – recommended by researchers as up to 3 grams of dried powder or whole root – you would need to consume 1 ½ teaspoons of Turmeric every day. This amount would be daunting for almost anyone to ingest on a daily basis.
In addition, the fat-soluble active components of Turmeric, including its essential oils, need to pass the blood-brain barrier to offer support. However, in culinary uses, these essential oils are not preserved as cooking only releases their aroma and flavor, and the potency of dried Turmeric diminishes over time.
For most people, a Turmeric supplement is the way to go, as it provides a concentrated, potent serving.
Choosing Turmeric Supplements
When choosing supplements, there are a few things to consider. Turmeric’s bright yellow color comes from Curcumins, which are also among its most active constituents. However, those constituents are not easily absorbed into the bloodstream on their own. Gaia Herbs includes Black Pepper in all of their Turmeric formulations because in studies the Piperine (Black Pepper’s active component) has been found to increase the bioavailability of Curcumins by up to 2,000%.*
Because Curcumins are fat-soluble, they are often extracted using toxic solvents, some of which may still be present in the final product. You should choose supplements that are concentrated and extracted without the use of these toxic substances such as the Turmeric used in Gaia Herbs products, which is safely extracted using only alcohol, water, and carbon dioxide.
The award-winning Turmeric Supreme line from Gaia Herbs contains seven condition-specific products that support your body’s unique needs including: Extra Strength, Joint, Pain, Pain P.M., Heart, Allergy, and Immune ASAP.
Turmeric is a tasty addition to any savory dish, but when it comes to supporting the body, concentrated extracts found in supplements are better absorbed by the body and offer additional benefits.
Find Gaia Herbs’ full Turmeric Supreme line in the wellness department of your local Earth Fare!
* Shoba G. Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta Med.1998 May
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.