What is raw turmeric?
Curcuma longa or turmeric belongs to the ginger family and is obtained from the rhizome or root of the plant which can be eaten raw or in powdered form. Raw turmeric contains 3 main polyphenols or curcuminoids; curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and desmethoxycurcumin. Amongst all these three, curcumin is found in the highest quantity, accounting for more than 70% of curcuminoids. Raw turmeric possesses approximately 2-5% of curcuminoids only if it unprocessed but most raw turmeric is completely devoid of the main active ingredient curcumin.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is a bioactive compound that exists naturally in the rhizome of raw turmeric just like Vitamin C found in citrus fruits. It can be extracted and consumed to obtain all the health benefits of raw turmeric but in a more specific and potent way. Turmeric rhizomes possess only 2-5% of curcumin which means in order to get a substantial and effective dose of curcumin we need to consume a much higher quantity of turmeric powder or whole turmeric. This is the main cause behind extracting or isolating only the active ingredient known as curcumin from whole raw turmeric.
- Curcumin is a phyto-chemical component of turmeric and is known to be more effective medicinally as it consists of polyphenols. It has anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemo-sensitizing and immune-modulatory properties. It works at the cellular and genetic level, prevents cancer cell proliferation and increases chances of cancer cell death.
- The main health benefits of curcumin are that it works as an anti-depressant, reduces effects of arthritis, fights cancer, manages diabetes, alleviates pain and inflammation, helps in blood clotting, reduces gastric problems like inflammatory bowel disease, helps in cholesterol management, reduces obesity and aids in detoxification by fighting free radicals. Overall, curcumin has over 300 health benefits.
Difference Between the Two and Their Effect
Preserva Teas- World's First Ayurvedic Curcumin Teas! We all are aware that turmeric is a raw and untreated spice with a long history of health benefits that is followed by Eastern medicinal systems based in China and India. Using turmeric as spice, a person will achieve some attenuated health benefits from its active component curcumin, which exist in a small amount in the whole rhizome. In fact, curcumin alone is responsible for most of the medicinal activities. The two main reasons for Curcumin to be superior to Turmeric are:
- Curcumin is a part of Turmeric, not an independent herb or spice. Since raw turmeric contains a small % of curcumin only, we cannot get enough curcumin as needed by the body by consuming raw turmeric. An exceptionally large quantity of raw turmeric would be required to get 1000 mg of Curcumin and it would not be possible to consume so much on a daily basis.
- Raw turmeric has some downsides, including having an upset stomach due to heat generated in the body, nausea and a bitter and astringent taste. Thus, it would be sensible to consume in turmeric in its simplest form as curcumin capsules to get all the health benefits. Curcumin is also known not to raise the internal body temperature.
- Compared to raw turmeric, the extracted, potent curcumin may be ingested easily and provides quick, clear and long-lasting benefits in a short period of time. Curcumin when combined with other ingredients in a capsule also has higher bio-availability than raw turmeric and is easily absorbed within the body.
- Most raw turmeric that we get in the market is devoid of curcumin. It has been processed to the extent that it contains none or just a minute quantity of curcumin. Most turmeric powder is also adulterated and contains a lot of food colouring. If the raw turmeric we were consuming was pure and contained curcumin, most people in India would not fall sick as it forms a part of their daily meals.
Due to a mixture of all the above factors the raw turmeric that we buy today may not have enough medicinal qualities. Raw turmeric also provides health benefits but comes with the drawback of consuming it in enormous quantities. Many different researches have concluded that curcumin is what gives turmeric its medicinal properties. Hence, start taking pro-active care of your health and include curcumin in your everyday routine.