Turmeric (Curcuma longa, also known as yellow ginger, turmeric or saffron root) is a ginger plant native to Southeast Asia, India and the tropics which is used both as a spice and as a medicinal plant. The rhizome of the turmeric plant contains the main active ingredient curcumin, which is responsible for the intense yellow colour, and its derivatives, the so-called curcuminoids. Outside of its cultivation area, turmeric is mainly known as a colouring component of curry, but it is also enjoying increasing popularity in its pure form.
Do you want to take turmeric in the most effective way possible and are still not sure which product is best for you? In the following article, you will find all the important information about the different available turmeric products: From the ingredients and dosage forms to the most common areas of application to the most frequently asked questions and answers about this unique traditional medicinal plant.
What can turmeric specifically do for you?
Whether it is used to stimulate digestion, support weight loss or as a supplementary measure to protect the blood vessels through anti-inflammatory measures: The many possible uses of turmeric are the subject of ongoing scientific research. Where effectiveness has already been proven by appropriate studies. If you want to take advantage of the positive effects of the turmeric root specifically for yourself, it is advisable to purchase a high-quality product from controlled cultivation. This is the only way to be sure that the active ingredients contained actually correspond to the information on the packaging and that no unwanted additives have been added.
- Anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation: Oxidative stress and - often unnoticed - inflammation are two well-known risk factors for many tissue-damaging processes in the human body that can lead to various chronic diseases. There are two beneficial and mutually dependent events: Oxidative stress describes a metabolic situation in which there are many highly reactive oxygen compounds that cause cell damage. Among other things, this leads to inflammation, which combats damaging influences for a short time, but in turn, leads to tissue damage in the long term. Turmeric is used supportively to reduce the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidative stress and to support the balance of the body's own immune system. Studies have shown that taking turmeric preparations with high bioavailability for a limited period of time can reduce these undesirable reactions.  
- Positive effects on mood and psychological well-being: Turmeric can help overcome low moods and regain psychological well-being after phases of depressed mood, stress and/or inner restlessness. Middle-aged people who take turmeric supplements over a long period of time and in a sufficiently high dosage, seem to achieve the greatest benefit. However, other age groups can also benefit from taking turmeric.
- Support in maintaining the cognitive abilities: The positive properties that an intake of turmeric has in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation also support the maintenance of cognitive functions. Inflammatory reactions, especially in old age, often lead to a decrease in cognitive abilities or promote reactions that lead to blood vessel damages and restrict blood flow. The preventive use of turmeric-based preparations can help reduce such occurrences and support the maintenance of or even slightly improve cognitive abilities. 
Buying Turmeric - What should you look for?
Turmeric is available in many different dosage forms. As a natural product for refining food, you can purchase it as fresh or dried roots or use it in powder form. If you want to take turmeric for a specific reason - for example, to promote health - you should, however, use a product with clearly identifiable ingredients. This is only guaranteed for products that have been manufactured under controlled conditions and do not contain any unwanted or even harmful additives. When buying turmeric preparations, always take a closer look at the manufacturer and the origin of all ingredients.
You can find a summary of the other criteria you should consider when making your purchase decision below:
- Products and dosage forms
- Ingredients and dosage
- Ingestion and tolerance
- Additives and allergens
- Price-performance ratio
- Satisfaction guarantee
Products and dosage forms
If you want to buy turmeric, there are basically two different dosage forms to choose from: Turmeric powder or turmeric capsules.
Turmeric capsules: The capsule form is very popular - No wonder, since its advantages are convincing at first glance: Easy dosage, easy intake of the recommended daily dose thanks to a correspondingly adjusted amount of active ingredients per capsule and a pleasant coating that makes the capsules easy to swallow. It is also important for vegans to know that the turmeric capsules available, are absolutely free from animal ingredients. Finally, the capsule form also ensures that the active ingredients have an excellent shelf life.
Turmeric powder:Turmeric in powder form allows an independent dosage, provided that you purchase a product that contains precise information on the ingredients. However, taking such a preparation is a lot more complicated than taking an accurate pre-dosed preparation. Turmeric powder is also the classic form of use for seasoning dishes - but you should still make sure that you do not consume excessive amounts of the yellow spice because a strong overdose can lead to stomach and intestinal problems.
Ingredients and dosage
Turmeric preparations contain the concentrated active ingredients of the turmeric root: Curcumin and curcumin derivatives. Additives that increase the bioavailability of these active ingredients make sense and are therefore purposely added. Capsules are often made of plant cellulose, which is also completely harmless. However, good products do not contain any other additives, e.g. to achieve a longer shelf life or to stretch the product. When it comes to the dosage of turmeric, you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions or ask your doctor before you buy turmeric.
Ingestion and tolerance
Turmeric is harmless to the health and there are no known side effects even with higher doses. However, you should avoid very large amounts, as these can lead to undesirable effects. If you take turmeric in capsule form, you should always drink sufficient amounts of water with it. As a result, the capsule dissolves more easily in the stomach and reaches its destination faster.
Additives and allergens
Turmeric from controlled cultivation contains no allergenic substances and no unnecessary additives. Useful additives such as rice extract, which allows an optimal filling quantity, or substances that increase bioavailability, are unproblematic. However, intolerance reactions to any substance are possible. If you notice such a reaction, stop using the product and inform your general practitioner.
Quality has its price. This of course, also applies to dietary supplements. A product that is offered at an extremely low price should therefore arouse your suspicion. Therefore, always look into the manufacturer and the ingredients before buying turmeric!
High-quality manufacturers offer a satisfaction guarantee for their products: This way, you are not taking any risks when buying something online - if the product does not meet your expectations, you will get your money back.
Questions and answers about turmeric
Do you still have questions about turmeric? Below are answers to some common searches online.
Where can you buy turmeric?
You can get high-quality turmeric products in specialized online shops. Look for a provider who provides detailed information on the origin, areas of application and ingredients of the products they offer and for one who gives you a satisfaction guarantee. Individual products are also available in pharmacies or drug stores.
How do I best dose turmeric?
Follow the manufacturer's instructions or your doctor's recommendations if you take turmeric as a ready-made preparation. It is better to refrain from deliberately overdosing - this is useless and in extreme cases can even lead to discomfort.
How long should I take turmeric?
The same applies here: Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Usually, it should be taken for several weeks to achieve the desired effect. If in doubt, contact your doctor treating you about the optimal duration of intake.
Can I use Turmeric to lose weight?
Turmeric can help the body lose weight with its digestive, anti-inflammatory and metabolism-stimulating effects – however, turmeric is not a miracle cure: Exercise and a balanced diet are essential for healthy weight loss.
Turmeric Studies and references
- Rehberg C Kurkuma – Wirkung und Anwendung
- Panahy Y et al. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcuminoid-piperine combination in subjects with metabolic syndrome: A randomized controlled trial and an updated meta-analysis. Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec
- Lu Yet al Curcumin Attenuates Oxaliplatin-Induced Liver Injury and Oxidative Stress by Activating the Nrf2 Pathway. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2020 Jan 9
- Xiao Y et al. Curcumin Inhibits Acute Vascular Inflammation through the Activation of Heme Oxygenase-1. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Sep 20
- Al-Karawi D et al. The Role of Curcumin Administration in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Mini Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Phytother Res. 2016 Feb
- Tabira T, Kawamura N. A Study of a Supplement Containing Huperzine A and Curcumin in Dementia Patients and Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018
- Mirhafez Sret al. Effect of Phytosomal Curcumin on Circulating Levels of Adiponectin and Leptin in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2019 Jun 1