By Dan Stahl
Turmeric is an ingredient found in curries, soups, mustard, and the golden milk lattes you see all over Instagram. But what is turmeric, exactly? And what are the turmeric supplement benefits you need to know about?
The short answer: turmeric is a powerful plant with various health-promoting properties. Turmeric is in the same family as ginger, which you might guess at first glance. Both have ridged brown stems extending like knobby fingers, but cut them open, and the difference is dramatic. Ginger’s whitish-yellow pales next to turmeric’s golden orange. If you’ve seen curry powder, then you know the hue we’re talkin’ about.
Turmeric is also a popular supplement, and here at ASYSTEM, we’re huge fans of Turmacin®, a water-soluble derivative of turmeric and the pure/potent ingredient in our new Radical Relief line. Turmacin® makes the most of the anti-inflammatory and the joint-health-promoting properties of turmeric for max recovery after a tough workout. Clinical research shows that it reduce inflammation & pain, and it’s both natural and easy for the body to absorb. Win-win.
More generally speaking, “turmeric is touted for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties,” says Stephanie Middleberg, registered dietitian and founder of the New York City health and wellness practice Middleberg Nutrition. That’s why people tap into turmeric supplements for everything from muscle soreness to anxiety…
The Health Benefits of Turmeric
- It’s Good for Your Heart. Studies show turmeric reduces the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol, says Middleberg. Example: Turmeric lessened subsequent heart attack risk in coronary bypass patients in an American Journal of Cardiology
- It Reduces Signs of Aging. People also use turmeric topically for more youthful skin. “Studies show that topical turmeric application reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Middleberg. “Antioxidants, such as those found in turmeric, provide electrons for free radicals to interact with, sparing the body’s cells from damage.” (Also helpful on that front? The ASYSTEM Performance Skincare System.)
- It Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain. As we mentioned earlier, turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties can help mitigate workout-related muscle inflammation, and historically, it’s been prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for rheumatism, a condition marked by joint pain and inflammation. The west is catching on, as studies reveal its power against arthritis.
- It May Boost Your Mood. Trials of turmeric’s ability to counter depression and anxiety are promising. In 2019, scientists noted that curcumin might curb depression when used as an auxiliary treatment. (Depression has been linked to chronic inflammation, says Middleburg. It’s unclear which causes which, but they appear to be mutually reinforcing.)
- It Could Help Fend Off Alzheimer’s. Turmeric’s psychological benefits could extend to neurodegenerative diseases, too. The herb may prevent and potentially improve Alzheimer’s disease, says Middleberg. Indeed, a research team treating three Alzheimer’s patients with turmeric observed they “improved remarkably.” All three initially exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy. Two had cognitively declined to the point of not recognizing their family. After taking daily turmeric powder capsules for 12 weeks, the severity of everyone’s symptoms decreased, as did the burden on caregivers. A year in, those oblivious to family members regained the ability to recognize them. This is a very small study, of course, but…damn.
How to Add Turmeric to Your Routine
Well, ASYSTEM’s Radical Relief Anti-Inflammatory Pills have your recovery covered with the optimal dose of Turmacin®. Take twice a day to reduce inflammation and joint pain and improve the mobility of your joints.
Turmeric is incredibly easy to cook with, too; just make sure to include an absorption-enhancing ingredient in your recipe. Combined with black pepper, absorption of the good stuff increases by 2,000 percent, Middleberg says. Fat also facilitates absorption, so use olive oil if you’re cooking or enjoy one of those golden milk lattes with coconut oil or full-fat milk. Cheers.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.