Turmeric has recently been acclaimed as a super herb due to its many health benefits and outpouring of current research. It acts on many areas within the body including the cardiovascular system, liver, cognition, inflammation, skin, digestion and there are even early studies on cancer. However, we are now starting to understand the limitations of this herb. For example, turmeric needs to be taken in significant amounts for a therapeutic action but can cause irritation when taken in large amounts. It is a spice of course! That being said, curcumin, which is known as the active component within turmeric, can be isolated and taken in larger amounts. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed and can still cause irritation to the digestive lining. It also has a limited range of actions and has been shown that when curcumin is isolated from turmeric, it can become a pro-oxidant (Molecules, 2015). These points have led to various debates as to the best way to optimise turmeric to provide the most benefit.
Living Alchemy are specialists in activating herbs for therapeutic action. We have been researching and developing a form of fermented turmeric that answers all the questions posed by this herb and creates a form of activated turmeric unlike any other.
In creating a turmeric supplement, the first important point is to keep turmeric whole. By separating and isolating the active compounds (yes, there are more than just curcumin), the other important nutrients are not available to compliment the absorption and action.
Secondly, we needed to transform the whole turmeric to optimise it and we do this through fermentation. However, the form of fermentation is critical to the end result. We use a fermentation process similar to traditional kefir and kombucha fermentations that involve 35 strains of micro-organisms. This process is done in an environment that allows nature to do its thing – convert natural foods and herbs into their full potential. We have been researching the end product and have been amazed by the results.
One major advantage is the increased bioavailability. It’s as good as it could possibly be without the need of artificial enhancing methods or adding other ingredients such as black pepper or black pepper’s isolated compound, piperine.
Particularly interesting is the difference fermentation has made to the active compounds within whole turmeric. We have seen the increase in most of the curcuminoid levels including curcumin itself. But, more importantly we have seen the change in one specific curcuminoid called “tetrahydro-curcumin.” This curcuminoid has recently gained a lot of interest with researchers as it appears to complement curcumin by working on a more cellular level. It has been shown to be far more effective than curcumin in arthritic conditions, brain trauma, mitochondrial conditions, methylation conditions and on cancer cells (as an anti-tumour action). Tetrahydro-curcumin is about to become the new super compound in health research. Although only found in minute levels within whole turmeric, our fermentation process increases this compound by almost 1000%.
Living Alchemy is now able to offer a complete, whole turmeric that’s highly bioavailable, features a huge increase in active compounds and is delivered as a living food matrix the body intuitively works with and utilises. We call it Turmeric Alive.
If you are a health professional and would like to see more of our fermented turmeric research or research on our other fermented foods and herbs, please contact us at: [email protected]