The health benefits of turmeric are extremely well known, stretching back to ancient times. Turmeric has a long standing reputation as a potent medicinal herb capable of improving numerous health conditions.
Of all the medicinal herbs I've written about, turmeric always generates the most interest. This 'Health Benefits Of Turmeric' page has consistently been in the top handful of pages on this site since 2006!
So, why is turmeric so well known? Because, for hundreds of years it has been used and recorded for its anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.
Although turmeric has been used for many years in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine (primarily as a detox/cleanser) - it is only in the last several years that it has developed a growing popularity in the west, for its multi spectrum medicinal activity.
Turmeric is a relative of the ginger family - the botanical name of the Turmeric plant is Curcuma longa L.
Besides being used for its therapeutic activity, turmeric is also extremely popular as a food additive (spice). It has been used in Asian cookery for thousands of years.
Curry and other spice blends contain turmeric as a colouring/flavouring agent. It has a bitter - rather sharp but somewhat bland taste. What well-stocked kitchen doesn't contain a jar of turmeric?
So, let's concentrate on the extensive medicinal benefits of turmeric which is the reason you've come to this page.
The most effective part of the turmeric plant for use in herbal supplements and medical preparations is above/below ground roots (rhizomes).
Be Sure To Check That The Turmeric In Any Product You Use Has Come
ONLY FROM THE ROOT!
Rhizomes contain the highest concentration of curcumin, the bright yellow pigment which is the major active ingredient shown in studies to be responsible for turmeric's benefits and medicinal effects.
And there's more! Additional health benefits are observed through its pain suppressing ability. Most of the studies to date have been on animals however Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine has recorded the medicinal health benefits of turmeric in humans over a long period of time.
Studies suggest the most recognized health benefits of turmeric to be:
This study found:
"All fractions of the turmeric extract preparation exhibited pronounced antioxidant activity, which was assigned to the presence of curcumin and other polyphenols" (J Pharm Pharmacol. 2003 Jul; 55(7):981-6.)
To access the abstract of this study please click here
In India, researchers are focusing on the positive results of treating diabetic patients with curcumin to prevent diabetic health complications. Turmeric is also cited in Spanish research for its ability to decrease the impact of high-fat diets and to help liver function in breaking down fatty tissue.
As with any herbal extract it is important to take this herb according to label directions in order to derive the strongest (but safest) benefits of turmeric. Few side effects have been reported in individuals taking turmeric at recommended dosages.
If you are allergic to spices including turmeric or yellow food colourings you should avoid turmeric. This applies to any allergies you may have to any plants of the ginger family.
With large doses or long term use turmeric may increase stomach acid levels and possibly lead to heartburn, ulcers, stomach irritation or gallstones. Mild side effects can include skin rash or dizziness.
Theoretically, turmeric may increase the risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulants (blood thinners) or antiplatelet drugs - be sure to mention any herbs you take to your doctor as he may require you to stop taking them prior to surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with gallstones, obstructions of the bile ducts, stomach or intestinal ulcers, high levels of stomach acid, immune system diseases or liver conditions you should first talk to you physician before using this herb.
The benefits and side effects of turmeric are unlikely to be known by many doctors so it's IMPORTANT to find one who is familiar with herbal treatments or is prepared to research the issue for you!
DO NOT take turmeric health supplements if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Turmeric may stimulate contractions of the uterus and may cause irregular fluctuations in menstrual periods.
Turmeric benefits can be offset by its potential to react with some prescription drugs - so if you are taking any consult your doctor before taking turmeric in any supplement form.
When used in isolation, turmeric will not produce the same results for everybody!
So, if you wish to take it for the protective qualities it offers to your overall wellness it should be taken in combination with other well-known medicinal herbs, as an ingredient in a science-based, multi-nutrient vitamin/health supplement. This will ensure you receive the most efficacious results.
There's a multitude of choices when shopping for nutritional vitamin supplements containing turmeric and their quality is far from being equal!
In fact, due to the lax regulations and oversight governing the manufacture of dietary supplements, there are poorly formulated and poorly put together supplements out there that you need to avoid.
To help you avoid supplements that are: weak, potentially unsafe or offer very poor value for money, here are key criteria to follow when comparing and purchasing supplements.
P.S. It's important to know that herbal ingredients are particularly vulnerable to contamination!
It's extremely important that you check to see if ALL herbal ingredients in a supplement are STANDARDIZED!
Standardization is a strict process which guarantees the amount of the active ingredient in each herb. The active ingredient content can vary TREMENDOUSLY from one batch of herbs to the next!
I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that MANY companies don't use standardized herbal extracts in their formulas. And some companies include a few in the standardized form and then include others as non-standardized. Of course you can guess why! Non-standardized herbs are WAY less expensive.
This becomes part of the criteria for working out just how effective a given supplement is and how much VALUE FOR MONEY it gives you.
2. Self Manufacture - The Door Stays Closed!
What you want to see here is that a supplement company manufactures its own products with no sub-contracting out of ANY part of the manufacturing process.
One of the MAJOR quality control issues with contract manufacturing is that it can and DOES OPEN THE DOOR for adulterated ingredients to enter the manufacturing chain.
The truth is that there are significantly varying standards between contract manufacturers (CM's)! For people such as myself who have worked in the supplement industry, this is well known!
Nutritional supplement quality is dependent on:
The supplement manufacturing 'gold standard' in my opinion, goes to companies compliant with Pharmacetical GMP for areas such as: raw material sourcing, testing protocols and mixing and blending protocols.
Also that they use '3-D blenders' for their blendings. 3-D blenders are common in the pharmaceutical industry but extremely rare in the supplement industry due to their cost. There are some supplement companies out there that do this but they are very few in number. So few in fact that you could easily count the number on just one hand.
Because these standards help differentiate professional companies from their competitors, you will find that they clearly refer to their manufacturing standards and protocols on their website. If you can't find any information on this topic you should take it as a red flag in my opinion. If there is no clear information on a company's website, that tells me a company has things they don't want you to know.
When it comes to your safety and the manufacture of premium grade supplements, pharmaceutical level manufacturing for any of the areas I've mentioned above is a significant advantage. Please take the time to check. Your family's safety may depend on it and of course, we all want the best value for money that we can get.
In summary, regardless of whether your supplement company voluntarily employs any manufacturing standards consistent with pharmaceutical GMP, they MUST be FDA cGMP compliant. cGMP is the regulatory standard for the manufacture of herbal nutrition supplements and all natural vitamin supplements in the USA and Australia/New Zealand.
A further addltional safeguard, which I am always pleased to see is: HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) accreditation.
The HACCP standard is endorsed by the US F.D.A. and many governmental regulatory bodies worldwide. It involves science-based controls for efficiency, hygiene and risk reduction in manufacturing processes. This is a worldwide quality system for the food industry but is also used in the pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement industries.
4. No Artificial Anything
If your supplement company doesn't have a 100% money back guarantee, ask yourself WHY! Or if they have some CRAZY CONDITIONS attached (like deciding if the supplement is helping you AFTER JUST 1 or 2 MONTHS!), ask yourself WHY!
The Xtend-Life company which manufactures the health supplement I use, offer a full one year period for their 100% money back guarantee. I haven't seen such a generous offer from any of the other market-leading supplements. Why Not! That's a fair period of time to know if a product is working for you or not.
6. The Number Of Inactive ("Other") Ingredients
Inactive ingredients are known in the industry as 'excipients'. On supplement labels they are often referred to as 'Other Ingredients' but in a recent trend certain companies are now listing them under the heading 'Ingredients'.
Excipients offer no medicinal benefit to you but some must be there to help in the manufacturing of the supplement tablet. The industry's leading super supplements all vary in the number of excipients they include however it is safe to say they are all below the one dozen mark. The issue we must check on then is just how many excipients are included and to estimate whether the supplement company is deliberately including too many to reduce costs.
Cost-cutting measures are usually well hidden from supplement consumers and it takes informed industry insiders such as myself to bring them 'out' so that you can make well-informed purchasing decisions.
For example one of the most well known multi-ingredient vitamin and mineral supplements in Australia, Asia and the USA/Canada contains 64 excipients in their women's version and 49 in their men's formula. This company does a lot of advertising and has developed excellent brand awareness as a 'quality supplement'. If you are a health conscious and a dedicated supplement user, you will know the name of this supplement for sure. Its name begins with the letter C.
What's more the women's version contains iron at 100% of the established daily value. Iron is a pro-oxident, the opposite of an antioxidant. Too much iron oxidizes LDL cholesterol which makes it more toxic and more likely to end up in the arteries.
My position is that iron should not be taken as an additive, including by women, unless they have been medically diagnosed with a deficiency. Only vegetarians and women who have heavy menstrual bleeding are likely to need iron. If a deficiency has been established, extra iron can be taken through an isolated iron supplement.
'Total Balance' from Xtend-Life is a health supplement which I believe has set a new standard in the supplement industry.
Total Balance is NOT a multi vitamin/mineral supplement!
Comparing a multi vitamin/mineral supplement formula with the Total Balance formula is like comparing a yacht with an ocean liner!
It's a highly sophisticated, science-based multi-nutrient health Supplement!
The bio-scientist who created Total Balance (Prof. Dr. A Munem Daoud PhD., MSc., ND,)(now deceased) was one of the world's most renowned scientists with both a pharmaceutical and natural substance background. As just one notable example, NASA had him creating natural brain formulas for their astronauts!
Wouldn't you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your supplement has been created by one of the world's most RENOWNED EXPERTS in supplement formulation?
Total Balance will provide you with the maximum health benefits of turmeric!
Total Balance Women's Premium contains 18 standardized extracts (including turmeric)
Total Balance Men's Premium contains 15 standardized extracts (including turmeric)
Of course Total Balance meets every one of the criteria listed above and much more. The different versions (regular and premium) contain:
Which support every organ and system in your body, including both your skin and brain. If you would like to read further information about Total Balance you can use the following links to jump to the TB product pages on the Xtend-Life website.
Total Balance Unisex (teens / post menopausal women)
Total Balance Children's Version
Total Balance Unisex Premium
Total Balance is the only health supplement available today which contains the 'specialized ingredients' needed to defy:
ALL FIVE OF THE PRIMARY CAUSES OF AGING:
The Total Balance formula is cutting edge. It contains key ingredients from all nutrient categories:
This is the health supplement that my family and I use. I began with Total Balance in 2000.
We have all had FANTASTIC health results. Strengthened immunity is the most noticeable benefit for me while for mum it was a normalization of her cholesterol level and reduced blood pressure. Dad achieved a significant improvement in his arthritis (in his hands).
If you are interested in learning more about Total Balance this link will take you to my in-depth review: Total Balance Review
High-quality human studies are therefore needed to conclusively confirm turmeric's effectiveness especially for major conditions like Cancer, AIDS, Heart Disease and so on.
Turmeric is a unique herb which should always be included as a standardized herbal extract in science-based, multi-ingredient health supplements aimed at enhanced full body protection and overall wellness.