TURMERIC (Curcuma longa) is a root/rhizome that naturally grows in India and Southeast Asia. It has been a part of the culinary and medicinal tradition of India for thousands and thousands of years. Its bright yellow color has been used as pigment for dyes and coloring. As a culinary spice, turmeric is a major part of Indian curry, and contributes substantially to the flavor of Indian and Middle-Eastern foods. Perhaps the most important function of turmeric, though, is its benefit to the health of the body, both humans and animals alike.
Turmeric contains three molecules amongst its many constituents that are called curcuminoids, and they are what brings the yellow color to this plant’s rhizome. These curcuminoids have dozens of scientifically-established biomedical activities. The curcuminoids will enter the cell, and ultimately travel to the cell’s nucleus where they stimulate the DNA to produce molecules that have an anti-inflammatory action in the cell, by blocking other molecules that are pro-inflammatory, which is to say they reduce inflammation.
Wherever there is inflammation, pain is sure to follow, thus we see turmeric having the ability to reduce chronic pain, especially when it is combined with another herb from India, a resin from a tree, known as Frankincense, or as it is called botanically, Boswellia serrata. Another effect of the turmeric is to directly act on the cancer cell to tell it to stop multiplying, and to die.
The country of India, which consumes turmeric daily in huge amounts, has less Alzheimer’s disease than western countries and other countries where turmeric is not eaten in large quantities. The anti-inflammatory effect of the turmeric on the brain may help to reduce those protein tangles that occur in the brain resulting in the condition of Alzheimer’s diesase.
The biggest issue with turmeric, though, is that it is very poorly absorbed from the GI tract when taken orally. Basically, you need to take large quantities of turmeric in order for a small amount to be absorbed to have a benefit. This is what happens when turmeric is part of the daily diet. When the turmeric is cooked with oil, and black pepper, it makes it more absorbable, especially when eaten with a fatty meal. This is why we are able to see the benefits of taking turmeric on a daily basis, and it is why we are learning as much as we can about the biomedical benefits of turmeric, based on the results we’ve seen in the Indian population.
Pharmacology to the Rescue!
Pharmacological technology has applied itself to making the curcuminoids in turmeric more absorbable orally, by attaching other molecules to the curcuminoids which makes them better absorbed. Currently there are at least 4 recognized technologies to increase absorption that are being used in commercially available products. One technology uses black pepper, which contain piperine, which has been found to increase the absorption of the curcuminoids by interfering with the liver’s metabolism of the curcuminoids. Piperine will increase the absorption of curcuminoids by 1.5%. Another technology uses curcumin essential oils to increase absorption by 9.5%. Attaching a molecule of a phospholipid, such as is found in lecithin to the curcumin complex will increase the absorption substantially to 19.2% higher than the curcumin alone. The patented turmeric using this technology is called Meriva™.
A recent and very promising technology has improved the absorption of curcumin over crude turmeric by 45.9%!!!! The patented turmeric using this technology is called Curcuwin™. Not only does this technology deliver more curcuminoids to the blood stream than any of these other technologies, but it also delivers more of the most anti-inflammatory curcuminoid of the three curcuminoids to the blood stream than any of the other turmeric absorption technologies currently available in commercial products.
Uses for turmeric:
Pain and cancer are the two highest callings for curcuminoids, as well as chronic inflammation. Turmeric is not a drug, and its effects may take several weeks to a month for best effect. I always put my cancer patients onto turmeric, as well as my patients who have chronic pain and inflammation. As mentioned earlier in this article, combining turmeric with boswellia and/or phytocannabinoids from medical cannabis and hemp will work together synergistically to product a better effect for any condition you are using the turmeric.
How do we dose the turmeric? This is dependent upon which absorption technology you are using. If you are using the Meriva™ or Curcuwin™ technologies, they are both 20% curcuminoids, and studies in animals have found an effective dosage to be 4 mg of total curcuminoids per kilogram of body weight daily.
If your pet weighs 10 pounds you would give 18 mg of curcuminoids or 90 mg of Curcuwin or Meriva. If your pet weighs 25 pounds you would give 45.5 mg of curcuminoids or 227 mg of Curcuwin or Meriva. . If your pet weighs 75 pounds give 136 mg of curcuminoids. 100 pounds = 181 mg curcuminoids or 909 mg of turmeric. You can round up (preferable) or round down to match the potency of the product you are using.