Sakara Glossary is your go-to place to learn the foundation of optimal health and wellness — we give you the 411 on the minerals, vitamins, and concepts that are integral to a healthier, more conscious, sexier life.
Turmeric (Turr-murr-ick), noun
Origin: India, and South East Asia
Curcuma longa (perennial member of the Zingiberaceae family)
What CAN’T turmeric do for you!?
Turmeric is almost unbelievably magic in it’s healing powers. It’s incredible compounds are unique to any other root on Earth, making for a mind, body, and soul nourishing life experience that’s been put to use for over 4,000 years by practitioners of Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda. A daily dose of turmeric keeps the mind agile, the body breathing, and the soul soaring. It is the anti-inflammatory herb your DNA + RNA are crying out for, and simultaneously, a free-radical fighting antioxidant — the ancient secret for modern-day anti-aging and full body nutriment. Here’s how…
The primary active compound in turmeric is called cucurmin. Cucurmin is what makes turmeric so distinctly yellow (careful when handling the raw root — it can stain!), and is where all of turmeric’s healing powers reside. Cucurmin is the key to beating inflammation, which science now knows is the initial pathway to all Western disease. Not only does cucurmin lower inflammation, but prevents it by penetrating your very molecules to specifically interact with the inflammation therein. Scientifically, cucurmin blocks a molecule named the NF-kB (which is responsible for turning on the genes of inflammation) from traveling into the nuclei of cells. NF-kB is notoriously believed to play a major role in many chronic illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, IBS, pancreatitis, and cancer. Therefore, the key to fighting inflammation, and keeping disease at bay, lies in attacking the source of inflammation at the most molecular level. Enter: a lifetime daily dose of turmeric.
Unfortunately, on it’s own, cucurmin is poorly ingested into the bloodstream. When turmeric can be complexed with other substances, such as black pepper and healthy fats, cucurmin’s bioavailability is increased, and has been — this way — proven to linger longer in cells, rather than immediately being excreted. Turmeric is a fat soluble root, therefore it’s best to take with a gulp of almond milk, or mixed through salad with avocado and hemp seeds (or, baked into a Sakara Cleansing Turmeric Sweet Potato Muffin). Also, don’t forget the peppercorns — cucurmin’s bioavailability improves 2,000% (!) when accompanied by black pepper, which is attributed to pepper’s inhibition of an overworked intestinal metabolism.
And, get this: cucurmin can aid in the creation of new neural connections, as it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Meaning, turmeric quite literally makes you smarter. The creation of new neural pathways aids in the creation of vivid memory (or, higher awareness), the storage of more vivid memory, and retention of foreign concepts. Learning a new language? Up your cucurmin game. Not only does turmeric work wonders for the brain, but also for the heart. When used in hospitals on 121 heart disease patients, those given turmeric were shown to experience a 65% reduced risk of having a heart attack during the entirety of their hospital stay. For current cancer patients, turmeric aids in killing off cancerous cells by inhibiting the growth of toxic blood vessels in cancerous tumors, and again, bye-bye inflammation.
All in all, turmeric is a must to keep in every home's cabinet, spice drawer, fridge or counter top jar. It can be found in pure root form at most any health food store, as well as powdered. We love Organic India's quick turmeric pills to be taken with almond milk and 3-5 black peppercorns. Sprinkle the powder into cooking rice and quinoa, bake it into muffins and cakes, or blend it into home-made nut milk for a delightfully golden aura -- just like that of your newly high-vibin' golden cells and neural pathways.