Turmeric, a medicinal plant with multiple uses
Turmeric (curcuma longa) is a perennial plant from South Asia, part of the zingiberaceae or ginger family. It is also known as curcuma, Indian saffron and haridra. It is particularly valued for its underground rhizomes from which the eponymous yellow-orange spice is obtained. Widely used in Indian cooking, this spice has gradually been adopted by all the world’s cuisines because of its taste, preservative, colouring and nutritional properties. On top of that, turmeric is excellent for our health. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian systems of medicine including Ayurveda where it is recommended for stimulating digestion and combatting digestive problems.
Curcumin, a powerful antioxidant with multiple properties
As a result of its therapeutic potential, turmeric has been the subject of numerous scientific studies which have succeeded in isolating several active compounds. These include curcuminoids of which curcumin is the most abundant and most widely-documented in the scientific literature. Curcumin is known to be a potent antioxidant – in other words, it fights the oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. This is why turmeric is sometimes described as the ‘longevity spice’ as its antioxidant power helps combat cellular ageing. Scientists also believe it has cholesterol-lowering, liver-protective and anti-inflammatory effects.
Turmeric benefits digestion
Though often little-known in Europe, turmeric’s digestive benefits are highly-prized in Asia. It is known to promote digestion by increasing bile secretion. The World Health Organization has also recognised its potential to alleviate dyspepsia, a term used to describe digestive problems including bloating, feelings of heaviness, stomach ache, nausea and loss of appetite. A number of studies have also shown curcumin to have anti-inflammatory properties which may be particularly useful in combatting inflammation of the digestive system. Researchers believe it could be especially effective in cases of gut inflammation, gastritis and ulcerative colitis. Turmeric or curcuma thus appears to be a valuable aid in relieving everyday digestive pain and facilitating digestion.
Therapeutic potential of turmeric
Given its many properties, scientists are investigating its use in the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases. While results are still awaited, there is evidence to suggest turmeric may have a role in treating certain cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies are also underway on the plant’s anti-cancer properties and potential for preventing some forms of cancer.
Super Curcuma, formulated for better absorption
Boasting multiple medicinal properties, turmeric is much more than just a culinary spice. As outlined in our blog article on the health benefits of turmeric, this plant offers numerous advantages for our wellbeing. Though curcuma’s benefits are due to the presence of curcumin, this molecule is generally poorly-absorbed by the body. In order to increase uptake and absorption of curcumin, our turmeric supplement Super Curcuma has been formulated in vegetarian capsules from a patented extract of Curcuma longa called Meriva®. In line with our commitment to excellence, this exclusive extract is 29 times more bioavailable than standard products. Furthermore, some studies show that curcumin absorption is enhanced by taking other medicinal plants such as ginger. Though known as an aphrodisiac, ginger is traditionally used to combat digestive problems.
Available from the SuperSmart catalogue, Super Curcuma is offered at a dose of 1-2 capsules a day, a dose which will enable you to capitalise on turmeric’s benefits, but can nonetheless be adjusted in line with your needs and the advice of your therapist.
|Daily dose : 2 capsules
Number of doses per pack : 30
|Amount per dose|
|Meriva® (Soya phospholipids, extract of Curcuma longa)||1 000 mg|
|Other ingredients : maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide.
Meriva®, Indena, Italy.
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