Turmeric is a key ingredient in Jamu, the ancient Indonesian herbal medicine. Since the scientific community in European and American started taking an interest in this rhizome in the last 20th century, Turmeric has become one of the most studied herbs. The key nutrient in Turmeric that has been shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and potential anti-cancer properties is Curcumin. Unfortunately, the health benefits of Curcumin when ingested, cannot be fully realized because of poor bioavailability, meaning that Curcumin is quickly broken down and metabolized by the liver and intestinal walls before it can work its magic where it is most needed.
The good news is that there are simple tricks to improve Curcumin’s bioavailability – tricks that can be done daily and easily as a part of your regular diet:
1.Mix it with fat
Curcumin is fat soluble. By combining or dissolving it with a fat, it is better absorbed into the bloodstream (1). It’s easy: Combine Turmeric with a heart-healthy oil in a vegetable stir fry. Or add it to your smoothie together with coconut milk or full-fat kefir.
2. Fresh Turmeric vs. dried Turmeric
Dried Turmeric powder is more widely available than the fresh rhizome, but fresh Turmeric actually has better “built-in” bioavailability (2) because it contains about 10% fat content.
3. Heat it up
Bioavailability of Curcuma Longa (scientific name, in case you were curious!) is even further improved, when Turmeric is lightly heated in oil (3), which is why Turmeric is ideal to incorporate into your daily cooking, whether it is a stir fry or a curry sauce, increasing its solubilty and enhancing absorption. Even something as simple as steeping it in hot water as a tea could do wonders.
4. Add a dash of Black Pepper
Black pepper contains piperine, which blocks the body from rapidly metabolizing Curcumin. In fact, consuming fresh black pepper together with Turmeric, can improve bioavailability of Curcumin by 2000% (4).
5. Combine it with Quercetin-rich fruits & vegetables
Quercetin is an antioxidant that gives certain fruits and vegetables their dark, blue-ish color. Research shows that Quercetin blocks an enzyme that would metabolizes Curcumin, thus making it more bioavailable (5). Quercetin-rich foods include blueberries, red grapes, red onions, green tea but also red apples.
In Skincare – Proven Effective
Turmeric has a long tradition in Indonesian beauty rituals as well, most famously in the Lulur bridal spa treatment. While it is an age old recipe to boost skin radiance and luminosity, there is a growing body of recent scientific evidence that underscores topical Turmeric’s benefits in helping prevent and reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, acne, and signs of premature aging such as irregular skin tone and sun damage. When we at JUARA craft formulations, we draw our inspiration from Indonesian tradition, but we also ensure that we select botanicals that have been tested for efficacy and safety according to today’s standards.
Several of JUARA products are formulated with Turmeric, including our
Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum, Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, Radiance Vitality Oil, Sweet Black Tea & Rice Moisturizer and Miracle Tea Complete Eye Creme, but also in body treatments such as our Kartini Body Oil.