Best Turmeric Supplements for Health and Healing

Turmeric Supplements

What is turmeric

What is Turmeric?

People are asking what is turmeric root, what is tumeric [sic], how to pronounce turmeric, and what are the best turmeric supplements? First of all, turmeric \TUR-mer-ik\ is spelled and pronounced with an “r” in the first syllable. Secondly, turmeric is technically not a root. What is commonly known as turmeric root is actually a form of underground stem called a rhizome.

Turmeric is the name for the whole plant, an herbaceous perennial that reaches about three feet in height, producing one large flower at the center of each stalk. It is also the name for the spice produced from this plant. The plump root-like rhizomes that grow underground are the source of the spice.

Turmeric rhizomes are similar to the more common ginger rhizome, and both are members of the Zingiberaceae family. To create turmeric powder the whole plant is pulled out of the ground and the rhizomes are boiled at 90-100 degrees Celsius for up to ninety minutes, then dried and ground.

Curcuma longa is turmeric’s proper botanical name. It is indigenous to southern Asia where it has been used for thousands of years as a culinary spice, food coloring, clothing dye and natural medicine.

Evidence indicates that around the 5th century BC turmeric emerged as an important element of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian system of natural healing that is still practiced today. At some point Polynesians transported turmeric on their ocean voyage to Hawaii where it became known as Olena. Today, ninety percent of turmeric powder comes from India.

How Did Europe Discover Turmeric?

The Travels of Marco Polo is a travelogue based on the recollections of Polo’s Asian voyages as recounted to his cellmate in a Genoese prison between 1296 and 1299. Polo had been arrested for commanding a Venetian galley in a war against Genoa. While imprisoned, Polo told tales of his travels to anyone who would listen and his cellmate Rustichello da Pisa wrote them down. The work was written in old French and due to several layers of translation, plus the possibility of errors in Polo’s memory, complete and total veracity is questionable. None the less, it is believed that Polo is a likely candidate for introducing turmeric to the Western world. The following quote, which is attributed to turmeric, is drawn from the text “There is a plant which has all the properties of true saffron, as well the smell and the color, and yet it is not.” Sometime later, Europeans began enjoying the benefits of imported turmeric, calling it Indian saffron. And due to turmeric’s much lower cost than saffron it quickly became widespread across the continent.

What is Curcumin?

Perhaps you are aware that turmeric is the key ingredient in curry, that is used to enhance the color of butter and cheese, or that it is the spice which gives mustard its signature yellow hue. But turmeric is far more than just a colorful and aromatic spice. Its golden orange pigment results from three chemical compounds which together comprise the curcuminoid complex:

    1. diferuloylmethane,
    2. demethoxycurcumin, and
    3. bisdemethoxycurcumin.

Curiously, the compound not containing the word curcumin, diferuloylmethane, is the one commonly known as curcumin, and the one most frequently studied for medicinal value. It is now known that the entire curcuminoid complex, as well as many other compounds found in the turmeric rhizome, act in concert to produce turmeric’s broad range of health benefits. So yes, curcumin is a key component of turmeric, but it is by no means the only beneficial component when evaluating the best turmeric supplements for health and healing.

What Does Turmeric Taste Like?

Some people think turmeric must taste something like curry. Well, sort of…but not exactly. Turmeric is a base ingredient of curry, but the uniqueness of curry results from adding various combinations of the following spices: coriander, cardamom, cumin, cayenne, caraway, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard seed, black pepper, fenugreek and ginger.

When used as a spice, turmeric provides a surprisingly pleasant aroma and flavor that, for lack of a better term, is somewhat earthy. You’ll just have to try it to understand. A number of delicious ways to sample the taste of turmeric can be found in the Recipes section of this blog.

But you don’t have to use turmeric as a spice in order to enjoy its many health benefits. Most people take their daily turmeric in supplement form as capsules or liquid extract. If you just keep scrolling down on this page you will see the results of our tests and trials. Here we present our findings regarding the best turmeric supplements and provide links to additional information on how to purchase.

What is Turmeric Good For?

Thousands of empirical studies have shown that turmeric is more effective than many so-called “ethical drugs” across a broad spectrum of medicinal applications.  However, turmeric enjoys an enormous advantage over synthetic pharmaceuticals as there are no known harmful side effects. Turmeric is known to be safe when taken orally, applied to the skin or used in an enema.

Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant and Anti-aging

Turmeric is best known for its effectiveness in the fight against inflammation. But equally important is turmeric’s powerful anti-aging properties resulting from its function as a free radical scavenging antioxidant.

Turmeric is renown for its healing properties in treating fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, psoriasis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, jaundice, toothache, menstrual pain, bruising, urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, depression and various forms of cancer.

Honestly, the spectrum of known and studied medicinal applications for turmeric is too broad to list in this introduction. Over time we will be regularly updating this blog with more articles summarizing the established wisdom and empirical evidence backing turmeric’s naturopathic healing properties as well as helpful culinary tips.

How to Use Turmeric

In our opinion, turmeric should be used daily as a flavorful spice and natural medicine. How much turmeric to take per day is a personal choice. We cook with a heaping tablespoon of powder and take 1500 mg in capsule form. Turmeric can be the primary spice in soups, beverages or almost any type of cooked vegetable dish.

In the About section you can read how to use turmeric in a vegetable dish that cured the Turmeric Guru from a chronic autoimmune disorder. In the Recipes section there are articles on how to make turmeric tea, how to make turmeric paste, and how to take turmeric as medicine disguised as a dessert.

Because of its wide array of beneficial properties turmeric has become extremely popular among all manner of healthful living practitioners. It can be purchased online in many forms ranging from powders, supplements and extracts, to teas and juices. In support of your research on healthful living, the Advice section of this site will be releasing articles summarizing selected studies providing scientific evidence of this remarkable plant’s curative properties.

What are the Risks When Taking Turmeric?

One could be forgiven for thinking a quick trip to the local grocer could fulfill one’s turmeric needs. Yes, turmeric can be purchased in the spice section of your supermarket, but caution is advised as these products are inconsistent and difficult to research. Several lesser-known grocery store brands have recently been recalled by the FDA due to metals contamination.  Many of these white label brands have curcumin concentration insufficient for medicinal value and use fillers, binders, preservatives and other adulterative ingredients.

To maximize absorption and effect, turmeric must be ingested in proper form and quantity. For example, the medicinal efficacy of raw turmeric is actually not that high. Munching a turmeric rhizome, in addition to being a rather distasteful demonstration, would not provide health benefits comparable to high quality supplements, powders and liquids formulated for optimal concentration and bioavailability.

In rare cases of over consumption some users may experience nausea, stomach cramps, dizziness or diarrhea. If planning to undergo surgery one should curtail usage 14 days in advance as turmeric’s blood thinning properties could inhibit clotting.

The Turmeric Guru has been a daily user of supplemental and culinary turmeric for many years, and in this blog we will assist you in your quest toward enjoying the many benefits of turmeric, which we know to be true. But please understand that quality ingredients, proper formulations and clean manufacturing processes are critical if one is to safely and effectively use this miraculous plant on a regular basis.

How to Select the Best Turmeric Supplements

The good news is that procuring safe and effective turmeric supplements has never been easier. The ironic, not so good, news is that the vast array of formulations now available can make the selection process confusing, or even overwhelming. A plethora of turmeric-curcumin variations now exists, each claiming properties and benefits that are difficult to verify.

This is where the Turmeric Guru can be of assistance. While we do not claim to have tried them all – at least not yet – we have tried a lot! We sincerely hope this blog can help you in your investigative journey.

In this blog we have assembled a constantly evolving guide to the factors one should consider when choosing turmeric capsules, liquids or spice in powder form. We will summarize product features, user reviews, recipes, personal experience and objective empirical studies which should help you use your critical thinking skills and power of discernment to evaluate the many options available.

Based on an enormous body of scientific evidence and personal experience there is no reason why everyone should not be consuming some form of this amazing natural plant on a daily basis. The evidence of its preventive and curative properties is just too great to ignore.

Scientists often speak of discovering miracle drugs or miracle cures but rarely seem to make material progress beyond palliative relief. Perhaps the miracles we seek have been freely given to us by our Creator and reside in the multitude of miraculous plants with which we share this earth.

Key Factors in Determining the Best Turmeric Supplements 

  • Purity – Seek products that have been certified organic by an acknowledged organization like the USDA.  This guarantees the product has been tested and has passed rigorous standards of chemical-free cultivation and purity in manufacturing.  In Australia seek the NASAA Certified Organic and the Australian Certified Organic labels.
  • Strength – Although there is some disagreement over the actual benefit of the claim “95% standardized curcuminoids” or “standardized to 95%” it is believed to be worthy of consideration when making comparisons.
  • Bioavailability – Consider supplements formulated for higher bio-availability offering enhanced absorption. Black pepper and BioPerine (an all natural black pepper fruit extract) are commonly added for this purpose.  If improperly prepared, much of ordinary turmeric, whether in supplement or culinary form, will be excreted by the digestive system before it can be fully absorbed.
  • Composition – Seek products guaranteeing no GMOs, fillers, binders or preservatives.
  • Manufacture – Confirm the product is manufactured in the USA, Europe or Australia under certified Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to provide assurance of quality and purity.
  • Metal Contamination – The chemical composition of curcumin can be negatively disrupted by bonding with any freely available metallic ions.  Because of this property, curcumin products have occasionally been known to contain traces of metal contamination. Several white label supermarket brands have been recalled by the FDA for this reason.  Although this risk is not particularly high, it is better to be selective and safe than sorry. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid generic store brands.

 

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Product Name

Price

Rating

   Schwartz Bioresearch Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine  $$  4.8/5
   NatureWise Organic Curcumin Tumeric  $$  4.8/5
   Doctor Danielle Organic Curcumin with Bioperine  $$  4.7/5
  Nutrition Essentials Turmeric Curcumin  $  4.6/5
   Divine Bounty Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine Black Pepper Extract $$  4.7/5
 Incredipure Turmeric Curcumin Supplement w/ BioPerine  $  4.6/5
  VitaBreeze Turmeric Curcumin Complex with Black Pepper Extract  $$$  4.7/5
  Elite Choice Nutrition Organic Turmeric Curcumin Extract  $$  4.8/5
   Helix Health Source Turmeric Curcumin Ginger Capsules $$$  4.8/5
   NutriDime Turmeric Curcumin Ginger Capsules  $$$  4.6/5

Selected Mini-Reviews of Turmeric Supplements

Schwartz Bioresearch Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine

Features 

  • 95% standardized curcuminoids
  • 500mg organic turmeric-curcumin complex per capsule/1500mg per serving
  • 3.3mg of BioPerine per capsule to enhance bioavialability and absorption
  • All natural, no GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives or artificial colors
  • Made in the USA under GMP standards and third party tested
  • Vegetable based capsule using no animal products
  • No gluten, lactose, soy, wheat, nuts, iron, sugar
  • Money back guaranty
  • Doctor formulated

A number of online reviews by verified purchasers have confirmed this supplement is helpful in alleviating pain resulting from arthritis and neuropathy, as well as reducing visible and painful inflammation.

Users have praised this supplement for relieving constant shoulder pain suffered after undergoing major reconstructive surgery.  One claimed this supplement was the only thing that alleviated his pain and attributed vastly improved joint mobility to its use.

This supplement is also credited with reducing inflammation and pain resulting from osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by an individual who had been diagnosed with both.  The reviewer felt fortunate to have a doctor who recommended this particular supplement and gave it five stars. After about 3 months of use, pain and inflammation gradually disappeared.

Suffering from menstrual difficulties such as incapacitating dysmenorrhea or clots?  One customer’s testimony confirmed this supplement helps alleviate clotting caused by her menstrual period in addition to recurring pelvic pain which went away within two months of regular use.

Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine can also help with sports injuries, as one user claimed this product made a significant positive difference in his recovery from a running injury.

The Turmeric Guru has used this supplement to address various health issues including fibromyalgic pain and inflammation resulting from an autoimmune disorder.  In addition to this and other uses listed above users have commented on having success alleviating chronic migraine headaches and even allergies.

Overall, 8 out of 10 reviewers reported that Schwartz Bioresearch Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine was effective, especially in reducing inflammation and pain. Read our full review on Bio Schwartz Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine here.

 

NatureWise ORGANIC Curcumin Tumeric for Cardiovascular Support & Healthy Joints with Advanced Absorption

Features 

  • 95% standardized curcuminoids
  • 750mg organic turmeric-curcumin complex plus 70mg organic ginger per capsule
  • All natural, no GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives or artificial colors
  • Vegetable based capsule using no animal products
  • Gluten-free with BioPerine (black pepper fruit extract) for enhanced bioavailability
  • Made in the USA under GMP standards and third party tested
  • Doctor formulated

NatureWise Curcumin Turmeric is all natural and completely organic. There is nothing synthetic about it.  And even though third party testing isn’t required by the FDA, NatureWise does it to provide customer peace of mind and further support the brand’s trustworthiness.

People who use this product have stated they can feel a noticeable difference within a week or two of use.  Perhaps it’s due to the addition of ginger which, when combined with turmeric, delivers a powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory “one-two punch.”

Some users and reviewers have found this product helps in relieving stress, depression and acne.

Turmeric in general is known for improving joint flexibility and reducing joint pain primarily through reducing inflammation.  The Turmeric Guru can attest to this product’s effectiveness in this regard as it was used for an extended period in support of healing from a prolonged period of pain resulting from an auto-immune disorder.

Overall, many people credit NatureWise for addressing an array of ailments. The clear majority of users say they have recommended and will continue to recommend this product to other potential users.

 

Doctor Danielle Organic Curcumin with BioPerine

Features 

  • Formulated by Dr. Danielle Saunders, a biochemist and licensed naturopathic physician
  • 500mg organic turmeric-curcumin complex per capsule
  • All natural, no GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives or artificial colors
  • Vegetable based capsule using no animal products
  • Gluten-free with BioPerine (black pepper fruit extract) for enhanced bioavailability
  • Made in the USA under GMP standards and third party tested

According to one user who contacted Dr. Danielle inquiring whether her product contained 95% standardized curcuminoids, her response was as follows: “Thank you for contacting us regarding this question. Dr. Danielle’s organic curcumin has not been standardized to guarantee a certain amount of curcuminoids. Dr. Danielle believes that too frequently parts or constituents of a plant are isolated and used which takes away from the therapeutic powers of the herb itself. She does not believe that it is only the curcuminoids that help with the healing process but sees Curcuma longa as a whole synergistic in its effects. Simply, from her own clinical practice she sees the entire rhizome to be beneficial and effective. Dr. Danielle spends countless hours ensuring that the raw materials that go into her vitamins and dietary supplements are of the utmost quality so that her patients and consumers can get the maximum benefits from them.”  The Turmeric Guru tends to agree but we will continue to report standardized curcuminoid percentage if disclosed by the manufacturer.

Many users found that this product was the only thing that provided safe relief from arthritic joint pain.  Reviewers have even reported being able to cancel and completely avoid previously contemplated knee surgery after regular use.

At least one review claimed two capsules per day in place of a prescribed pharmaceutical anti-depressant caused a gradual elevation in mood ultimately resulting in complete elimination of depression. This was supported by another user who reported a marked elevation in mood since taking the supplement.

After taking two capsules per day a 57-year-old customer found the tendinitis in his elbow had completely subsided.

One customer credited Dr. Danielle’s organic curcumin supplement along with a low-carb, low-sugar diet for significantly reducing pain and inflammation resulting from an undiagnoseable source.

One user recommended this supplement for curing an inflamed and overloaded lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the body’s excretory system at the cellular level.  In our modern lifestyle of ever present toxins the lymphatic system is easily overloaded and many people fail to recognize this as a possible source of health issues.

This turmeric curcumin supplement not only helps with recent injuries, it also helps with nagging old ones. One customer noticed that after three weeks of supplementation even long lingering pains from years past were greatly reduced.

Even though he/she found this to be effective, one customer commented that the price was a bit high compared to other supplements which were found to work just as well.

One user complained about the inconsistency in capsule color, saying his first batch had a deep golden color while a second purchase had a pale yellow color.  If this is ever experienced the company encourages customers to contact customer service for an exchange.

Overall, the Turmeric Guru recommends this organic supplement as worthy of experimentation even though the price per dose is a bit higher.

 

Nutrition Essentials Turmeric Curcumin Supplement

Features

  • 95% standardized curcuminoids
  • 500mg turmeric-curcumin complex per capsule
  • All natural, no GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives or artificial colors
  • Vegetable based capsule
  • Made in the USA under GMP standards

One customer started taking this supplement for back pain and found this did not only relieve her back pain but also helped lower cholesterol and strengthen her immune system.

Several users noted benefits with respect to mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.

After using the supplement for about two weeks one user noted a significant decrease in overall body pain after his intense workouts.

Since turmeric curcumin is an anti-inflammatory it comes as no surprise that most user reviews reduced joint pain from arthritis after only a few weeks of use.

Taking turmeric curcumin supplement in two doses every day helped one customer who previously used Naproxin or Advil regularly for joint pain. His comments explicitly asserted that this is more effective.

Nutrition Essentials Turmeric Curcumin beat cortisone shots and other anti-inflammatory drugs in helping one customer relieve bursitis after just a couple of days use.

If you are suffering from eczema this turmeric supplement might be worth a try as one customer commended this product for greatly improving her eczemic skin condition.

A number of reviewers commended this product for effectively aiding in addressing multiple complications resulting from various allergies.

Despite all the positive reviews, one user was unable to get any results after taking it for a few weeks and suspects that the BioPerine did not help with bioavailability or absorption.

The Turmeric Guru has tried to confirm claims by certain advertisements that this product is certified organic but has not been successful in doing so.  This is a low cost alternative which the Turmeric Guru has used with no ill effects.  It is therefore included in the top ten supplements as a recommendation for budget conscious consumers seeking a basic product at low cost.

 

Divine Bounty Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine Black Pepper Extract

Features

  • 95% standardized curcuminoids
  • 750mg organic turmeric-curcumin complex per capsule
  • All natural, no GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives or artificial colors
  • Vegetable based capsule using no animal products
  • Gluten-free with BioPerine (black pepper fruit extract) for enhanced bioavailability
  • Made in the USA under GMP standards

After two weeks of taking one capsule per day, one customer noticed he no longer had to take other medications for his hip arthritis. He no longer experiences pain in that area even when engaging in strenuous activities that would usually cause pain.

One researcher found the formula of Divine Bounty’s supplement to be potent for treatment of different kinds of inflammation, digestive problems, and even depression.

Many users were grateful for the relief this product provided against knee pains, back pains, and overall joint pains from arthritis.

One customer no longer needs as much of his other medication for fibromyalgia since taking this supplement from Divine Beauty.

If you are someone who is very active and does a lot of weightlifting, you might want to try taking this supplement for reduction of muscle pain as a number of users have verified its effectiveness in this area.

Turmeric Powders

What is turmeric

Turmeric powder is used primarily as a savory and healthful spice in a wide array of culinary applications, but it can also be blended with water or plant oils to produce a paste for external use in treating rashes, wounds and other skin irritations. I purchase my turmeric powder by the pound and use at least one full tablespoon every day in various recipes.  You may read about my daily dietary regimen in the About section of this blog.

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Product

Price

Rating

Health Ranger Select Organic Turmeric Powder  Health Ranger Select Organic Turmeric Root Powder  $$$  4.9/5.0
   Terrasoul Superfoods Turmeric Powder (Organic)  $$  4.8/5.0
   Indus Organic Turmeric (Curcumin) Powder Spice Pack  $$  4.6/5.0
   Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Root Powder  $$  4.8/5.0
   Organic Turmeric Root Powder by Organic Wise $$$  4.9/5.0
   Healthworks Turmeric Root Powder (Curcumin) Raw Organic  $$  4.7/5.0
   Organic Turmeric Root Powder (2lb) by Anthony’s, Certified Gluten-Free & Non-GMO  $  4.7/5.0
   Spicely Organic Turmeric Ground  $  4.6/5.0
   Be On Organic Turmeric Root Powder  $  4.9/5.0
   Organic Turmeric Root Powder with 5.8% Curcumin By Iza Organics  $$$  4.9/5.0

Selected Turmeric Powder Mini-Reviews

Turmeric is an extremely common spice in Middle Eastern, South Asian and especially Indian food. It has a deep golden-orange hue and slightly earthy flavor that provides a exotic perk to almost any dish. However, turmeric is much more than just a flavoring and coloring agent. Turmeric’s curcuminoid complex is a powerful antioxidant with a multitude of beneficial properties, not the least of which are the reduction of inflammation and the fight against age-inducing free radicals. Turmeric is rich in iron, potassium, vitamin B6, fiber and, of course, curcumin. Research has shown that curcumin performs better than Vitamin C in rebuilding and maintaining the human immune system. In this blog we discuss the importance of thorough analysis and precautionary measures which should be taken before purchasing and ingesting turmeric powder, and have compiled reviews of some of the best turmeric powders for easy reference.

Health Ranger Select 100% Organic Turmeric Root Powder

Health Ranger turmeric powder is sourced from organic farmsteads in India and tested clean by the Health Ranger’s multi-million dollar private laboratory that is independently audited, inspected and accredited by the International Standards Organization (ISO) under 17025 laboratory requirements, the gold standard of international laboratory accreditation.  This is one of the very few independent science labs in America, meaning they receive no funding from government grants, academia or powerful corporate interests. When participating in a laboratory testing competition involving hundreds of labs Health Ranger’s lab was given the Certificate of Excellence with a 100% acceptable data designation, the highest awarded.  It is the Turmeric Guru’s opinion that this is the most rigorously tested turmeric powder on the market. If the risk of encountering heavy metals in your turmeric powder is a primary concern then we recommend this product as your first choice.

Health Ranger Select Organic Turmeric Powder

Features

  • USDA-certified organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Kosher-certified
  • Low heavy metals verified A++

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Turmeric Powder

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Turmeric Powder is dried with care at low temperatures to preserve color, flavor, nutrition and curcumin content. Unlike other companies that use co-packers, Terrasoul imports directly, lab tests and packages its own product to ensure quality. Direct communication with the company has confirmed that the product is tested for heavy metal contamination.  You can call the company yourself and they will confirm lot-specific lab test results.

Features

  • USDA-certified organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Non-irradiated
  • Gluten-free
  • 3% – 5% curcumin content
  • 30-day 100% money back guarantee

Indus Organic Turmeric Powder

Indus Organic’s Turmeric Powder is sourced from Alleppey in southern India. Indus Organics works directly with small farmers from all over the world to grow organic products using sustainable farming techniques in bio diverse environments. Indus Organics products are traceable to the farm of origin to ensure safety and authenticity. All Indus Organic products are shipped from its warehouses located in Northern California. The company claims to be conscious of offering a fair price for the products purchased directly from the farmers.

Features

  • USDA certified organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Non-irradiated
  • Gluten-free
  • Manufactured at allergen-free US facilities
  • claims 3-4% curcumin content

Starwest Botanicals Organic Turmeric Root Powder

Starwest Organic Turmeric Root Powder is claimed to be selected from the highest quality rhizomes sourced directly in India.

Features

  • Certified USDA organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Manufactured and tested in US facilities

Organic Wise Organic Turmeric Root Powder

Features

  • Certified USDA organic by the Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Imported in smaller batches for guaranteed freshness
  • claims 6.5% curcumin content