I was impressed when turmeric lattes became mainstream. In India, we call it “haldi doodh” and it’s a popular beverage amongst the young, old and pregnant. Frankly, I never liked the taste, but my mother, like any Indian mother, convinced me it was the elixir of life.
The way people talk about turmeric is as though it’s the most significant contribution to the wellness industry. The bright yellow-y, orange spice comes from the root of the curcuma long plant, and has been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries.
Ayurveda, in general, is pretty on trend right now, and many are in awe of its holistic, alternative voodoo. It’s not all a gimmick, however, since there’s a plethora of scientific evidence to back it up. And while treatments and diagnosis have evolved over the millennia, Ayurveda’s core ethos and philosophy remain the same.
According to practitioners, the Ayurvedic benefits of turmeric are abundant. It’s an anti-inflammatory compound that’s been shown to reduce discomfort when dealing with arthritis. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation recommends consuming turmeric capsules of 400 to 600 milligrams up to the three times a day to tackle inflammation.
Besides alleviating achy joints, turmeric is an amazing mood-booster. A review of six studies published by the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association revealed that curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety within four to eight weeks.
While that sounds fabulous, picking the right turmeric capsule can be a task and a half. There are so many different kinds floating about, but you need one that’ll give you the most bang for your buck. Capsules with a higher concentration of curcumin are a clear winner, and they should contain at least 500 milligrams of the magic ingredient. But as with any drug or supplement, it’s imperative to buy from a reputable manufacturer. For reference, I use these ones.
Next, dosage. How much is the right amount without overdoing it? It depends on several factors. That said, it’s safe to consume at least one gram of curcumin a day. I’ve been doing so for the past week and can confirm that I’m still fully functioning.
Finally, I just want to reaffirm that this isn’t some Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop claptrap (but actually, I love Goop). Turmeric works, and I’m a dewy-eyed advocate.