Turmeric is one of the best-known spices on the planet, commonly used in Asian food as the primary spice in curry dishes.
Though it doesn’t just provide a fragrant, warm taste in your favorite spicy dishes - it also has some pretty impressive health benefits, particularly as an anti-inflammatory!
Turmeric is often supplemented for conditions involving pain and inflammation but is also thought to ease symptoms of hay fever, depression, and various other ailments.
So, what we all want to know is what is turmeric? How do you take it? What is the optimal dosage? And most of all, how long does turmeric take to work?
Read on to find out all you need to know!
What is Turmeric?
You may be familiar with turmeric - often referred to as golden spice. It comes from a plant that grows in Asia and Central America and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine - the traditional Indian system of treatment.
You may be more familiar with the type of turmeric you see on the shelves in supermarkets as the spice you add to dishes.
More so these days, you can also find turmeric in the form of capsules, oils, teas, and tablets.
Let's look a bit closer at the health benefits of supplementing with turmeric! But first, a quick note on curcumin.
A Quick Note on Curcumin
Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, which is thought to be the component that possesses the powerful biological properties - the part that gives turmeric numerous proposed health benefits.
But is there really a difference between supplementing with turmeric over curcumin?
Curcumin and the curcuminoids (other compounds found in turmeric) are extracted to produce supplements that typically have a higher potency than turmeric, though it is yet to be established how significant this may be.
Research has suggested that even though curcumin may have more potent effects, particularly as an anti-inflammatory, turmeric also has its unique benefits that curcumin alone may not provide.
So, what exactly are these proposed benefits?
What Are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?
Turmeric is one of the most researched spices, and for good reason! Turmeric and its active compounds are thought to provide a variety of health benefits, such as:
Reducing Pain & Inflammation
One of the best-known benefits of turmeric is its potential ability to ease pain and inflammation, particularly when associated with joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Research has suggested that turmeric supplementation is effective in reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as pain, as well as improving physical function and reducing inflammation.1
This is one of the main reason’s turmeric extract is a key ingredient in Performance Lab Flex, a supplement that helps lubricate joints, relieve pain and stiffness, and reduce inflammation.
Reducing Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety
Some research has suggested that turmeric supplementation appears to be more effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety over an 8-week period when compared with a placebo.1
The mechanism behind this is not yet fully understood as research is still in its youth, but the initial findings seem promising.
Studies have suggested that turmeric appears to lower triglyceride levels (fat in the blood).
One study in particular showed that after supplementation, a small reduction of high cholesterol and a small increase in “good” cholesterol was found in individuals with high cholesterol.1
Not only is turmeric a good addition to the diet regarding adding a warm spice to your meals, but it is also thought to aid digestion when taken as a supplement.
As turmeric is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, this may have a positive effect on keeping your digestive system healthy.
Research in this area is still in its early days, though there is speculation around turmeric playing a specific role in gut inflammation and gut permeability, as well as for easing symptoms of digestive conditions.
There is currently no official consensus on effective doses of turmeric, however, studies typically used doses between 500-2,000 mg per day. This is often in the form of a curcumin extract.
However, effective doses from 250 mg have also been noted, particularly when combined with black pepper extract which is thought to improve the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin.
The main thing to note when it comes to optimal doses of turmeric is that it is very much dependent on the supplement and what you may be taking it for.
Performance Lab Flex is a supplement containing 250 mg of turmeric, though this is combined with other ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, which are all compounds that are beneficial for joint health and easing symptoms of pain and inflammation.
Other supplements, particularly if it’s solely turmeric or curcumin extract, may have different dosage guidelines to optimize the effectiveness of that specific supplement and what it’s typically being used for.
Turmeric: How Long Does It Take to Work?
Another slightly grey area here as the research findings around the time it takes to work are mixed, largely depending on what symptoms or ailments are being reviewed.
For symptoms of depression and anxiety, study trials typically last for a few months. In a few particular studies, symptoms of depression were reduced after 2-3 months of supplementation.1
For inflammation, research has showed improvements over a period of 8 months of supplementation.1
On the other hand, symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as pain, were improved after 6 weeks of supplementation.1
To reiterate the above statement, as the research is not yet conclusive in areas around dosages, it largely depends on the specific supplement you may be taking.
Additionally, everyone is unique and responds differently to supplements and medication. This is an important factor to consider, as something may work quicker for one person compared to another.
Turmeric is definitely a supplement to consider if you are seeking improvements in joint-related symptoms of pain and inflammation.
While turmeric or curcumin appear to be effective as solo supplements, the best way to take turmeric for joint pain is to combine the remarkable spice extract with other ingredients to help enhance the time It takes for you to see desired results.
Our top pick would be Performance Lab Flex, which combines turmeric with the following ingredients:
- Boswellia serrata
- Glucosamine sulfate
Flex provides joint lubrication, shock absorption, ligament and tendon support, and relief from achy, stuff joint - essential for supporting overall joint health and easing daily movement!
- Patel. K. Curcumin. Examine.com. 2021