Spice or supplement? What’s the best way to tackle inflammation?

Spice or supplement? What’s the best way to tackle inflammation?

Comparing turmeric and tablets

For thousands of years, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, treating everything from sore muscles to liver function. Adding the spice to your cooking where you can seems easy enough, but in order to get any of the therapeutic effects, you’d need to consume at least one or two tablespoons of the powder a day. That’s not an easy task for everyone, which is why taking one or two supplementary tablets is a more achievable solution for some people.

What’s the secret?

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. The problem is that there’s only a small amount within the spice, and it gets metabolised and eliminated from the body too quickly to absorb much of it – this is why you have to eat a lot to reap any benefits.
Supplements contain a form of curcumin that isn’t processed as quickly, so that it can be absorbed and circulated around the body more effectively, increasing the anti-inflammatory effect. The CuruWin® found in Good Health Turmeric Extra Strength has been clinically proven to be 46 times more absorbable than standard turmeric.

What exactly is inflammation?

Essentially, inflammation is your body’s immune response to infection, irritation or injury. Sometimes this is beneficial, only lasting a few days and promoting healing – this is known as acute inflammation. However when uncontrolled, chronic inflammation can last much longer, causing severe health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, dermatitis and rhinitis. Curcumin is a potent inflammation blocker, helping to regulate the body’s response. 

How curcumin fights inflammation – a note from our naturopath, Vanessa:

Curcumin works on inhibiting the body’s key inflammatory mediator (NF-kB). I like to think of this as the drill sergeant in command of a company. The NF-kB is responsible for signaling and regulating many other inflammatory pathways in the body, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2). Pharmaceutical drugs that block or inhibit TNFα are now being used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, arthritis and many other diseases.

Good Health Turmeric Extra Strength with CurcuWIN® is more powerful and suited to conditions that need extra support and comfort. This combined with a high quality, Boswellia extract, has been clinically shown to start working in seven days. Turmeric Extra Strength is a powerful and comprehensive anti-inflammatory formula with multiple benefits for multiple health conditions. Although this formulation will help with many health conditions, Boswellia and Artemisia are both particularly suited for joint pain and chronic inflammation such as arthritis.

What about the other spices in the family?

In light of turmeric’s astounding health benefits, it’s not surprising to note that the other members of the family are also superstars. Renowned for its ability to settle the stomach, ginger also helps to eliminate intestinal gas and soothes the intestinal tract. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cardamom also has a lengthy list of benefits, from treating mouth ulcers to depression. Most commonly, it’s used for heartburn, intestinal gas and spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, urinary problems, liver and gallbladder issues, colds coughs and sore throats. Now that’s a successful family.

If you do enjoy cooking with turmeric, it’s more effective raw, so try sprinkling it over your meals for that delicious spicy kick. But while there are many benefits of the spice, not all are equal. The curcumin content of the turmeric found in supermarkets is not high enough (around 3-5%) for you to reap the benefits. We suggest taking a good quality supplement that contains around 95-98% curcuminoids if you really want to feel the rewards that turmeric is famous for.

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