A few years ago this ancient golden spice—began to take center stage in the natural supplement world.
In fact, its supplement sales now top more than $300 million per year in the U.S. alone. That’s a seven-fold increase from just 10 years ago!
I suppose we can credit some of this surging popularity to the excellent research into the spice’s benefits, including a brand-new study showing it can help significantly reduce pain and fatigue in sedentary men and women.
I’ll get into the details of that study in just a moment. But first, let’s back up to discuss some of the other remarkable benefits of this amazing golden spice…
The list of benefits of this amazing “multi-tasker” continues to grow
Our golden spice, turmeric, is probably the world’s most versatile healing spice. It belongs to the botanical family called Zingiberaceae, which also includes ginger. And, like ginger, it has a myriad of health benefits…
In fact, it’s been featured in more than 6,000 scientific studies and has been shown to have more than 600 health benefits, including helping to fight:
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia
- Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
As more scientific findings trickle in, I tend to think of turmeric as a natural “adaptogen”— meaning it helps the body respond to stress and achieve “homeostasis,” or internal balance.
Adaptogens are well-known—and commonly used—in Chinese and Indian medicine. (In traditional China medicine, the classic adaptogen is ginseng. In traditional Indian [Ayurvedic] medicine, ashwagandha is probably the best-known adaptogen.)
And, thankfully, modern research here in the West is finally starting to confirm what they’ve known for thousands of years in China and India: Adaptogens are universally good for whatever ails you…
Benefits continue to mount
Much of the modern research into turmeric focuses on curcumin—the active compound that gives the spice its golden-yellow color. And I often recommend taking curcumin (along with ashwagandha and boswellia) as part of my ABCs of joint health. These ancient extracts reduce inflammation, which is the first step in achieving long-term relief from joint pain.
Well, now, a new analysis looked at the effect of curcumin not only on pain, but also fatigue in more than 100 sedentary men and women.
The study participants took 180 to 400 mg of a curcumin supplement for at least two days and up to four weeks.
It turns out, curcumin supplementation across the board:
- Reduced inflammation
- Relieved muscle pain after physical activity
- Slashed fatigue
- Improved performance during physical activity
- Cut the amount of time it took muscles to recover following physical activity
The researchers said they believed the participants experienced these impressive benefits as a result of curcumin’s positive effect on inflammation. (Remember, chronic inflammation is the hidden culprit behind most pain—and even chronic disease.)
In fact, they believe curcumin works like a natural COX-2 inhibitor…except without the nasty side effects of so-called anti-inflammatory COX-2 inhibitor drugs.
It’s also important to note that the people in this analysis experienced these benefits by taking as little as 180 mg of curcumin per day. So, imagine the results you’d get by taking 400 to 500 mg per day. (That’s the amount I recommend!)
For even better results, again, I always suggest taking curcumin together with ashwagandha (winter cherry) and boswellia (frankincense). (I recommend 400 to 500 mg of each.) When taken together, these three remedies work synergistically to offer magnified benefits.
You can also look for ways to add ground turmeric to your diet…
For example, curry is a traditional dish made with turmeric. But you can also sprinkle some ground turmeric into your applesauce, oatmeal, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, stews, and teas.
In the end, it appears that supplementing with turmeric (curcumin) is an easy way to boost energy, reduce pain, and slash fatigue after exercise. Even among sedentary adults!
Of course, spending a lot of time sitting, without getting up, isn’t good for your health—no matter how much turmeric you take. So, tune back in to Thursday’s Daily Dispatch for some tips on how to reduce your sedentary time by adding short bursts of activity into your daily routine.