My motorcycle tour in India in 2015 was a feast for my senses including of course my taste buds. Most curry recipes contain the brilliant yellow spice turmeric. It has also been a mainstay of Indian Ayurvedic medicine where it is used for its antiinflammatory, antioxidant and immune supporting qualities.
The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which makes up about 5 per cent of turmeric powder. While the benefits of curcumin have been part of Indian healing for centuries it is now the focus of western scientific research. I have numerous clients who have benefited from curcumin often to calm tissue affected by inflammation.
A study titled “Curcumin: a new paradigm and therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of osteoarthritis.” (Henrotin, 2013) investigated the application of curcumin in osteoarthritis. The study concluded “curcumin represents a new paradigm since it is not yet a recommended intervention in osteoarthritis but should be considered based on its safety and efficacy.” The study outlines the impact of curcumin on antiinflammatory pathways including inhibiting inflammatory enzyme COX-2. This is the target of most anti-inflammatory drugs and while effective, these come with a range of often side effects.
I use a standardised extract of 95 per cent curcumin extract and have created a proprietary blend to improve curcumin absorption into damaged joints and tissue. The normal daily dose of 2 capsules daily gives 1000mg of this high potency extract. This is equivalent to about a tablespoon of raw turmeric. This is especially effective when combined with high potency grape seed extract. I use curcumin mostly for joint support, digestive support and wherever tissue is affected by inflammation.
The active ingredient in tumeric is curcumin, the brilliant yellow pigment. I find it fascinating that nature’s most potent healing compounds are locked into brilliant colour. The colours in fruit, vegetables and spices draw our attention to these marvellous compounds.
The brilliant yellow of curcumin is matched by the deep purples of active compounds in berries and red wine grape seeds. These are classified as polyphenols and I know of no other group of plant chemicals that have such a profound effect on our health.
I have just spoken with a client with a very painful hip. We introduced my curcumin product combined with magnesium before bed and she is now active again with much less pain .
Curcumin is multifaceted. It actively reduces inflammation by temporarily disabling inflammatory enzymes while reducing inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, without the side effects of drugs.
A clinical trial (Clin. Interv. Aging, 2014) compared a common medication with curcuminto treat knee osteoarthritis and concluded that curcumin was as effective as the antiinflammatory medication. I have many clients who are not able to tolerate medications for pain and turmeric supplements can really help. Curcumin though is no one-trick pony. It can also protect the chondrocyte cells that secrete and maintain cartilage. It does this through potent antioxidant functions magnified by adding quality grape seed extract.
Free radical damage of chondrocytes appears to be the main driver of osteoarthritis.
■ John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health Ltd. For questions or advice contact John on 0800 423559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Join his full weekly newsletter at www.abundant.co.nz