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3 Science Based Ways to Instantly Increase Turmeric (Curcumin) Absorption

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How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted Benefits

I have already written about the amazing health benefits of turmeric and about the fact that turmeric may be the natural rival to dangerous depression medication. It is a true superfood that should be in any kitchen.

Turmeric’s Key Nutrient (Curcumin) Is Not Easy To Absorb

Curcumin is the active ingredient that you need to absorb from the turmeric itself.


While curcumin is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that it has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body.

“Bioavailability” is the ease with which any nutrient can make its way from the food you eat into your body.

In this article I will show you exactly how to greatly improve curcumin’s bioavailability in your body to super boost its miraculous health benefits!

Also make sure to read my article about cases you should avoid or limit the amount of turmeric you consume due to certain health conditions or taking certain medications.

How to Increase the Bioavailability of Curcumin in the Body?

Here are few suggestions that will help to greatly increase turmeric absorption:

1.    Mix turmeric with black pepper (piperine)

On my previous article about cooking methods and healing food combinations, I’ve mentioned that piperine, which is the key chemical in black pepper, aids the absorption of curcumin, which is the active ingredient in turmeric, and thus increases the amount of curcumin that the body can absorb. So if you are cooking with turmeric, be sure to add some black pepper to the food.

One study concluded that piperine can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.1

2.    Mix turmeric with fats

One of the main reasons behind the low-availability of curcumin in the body is due to its low solubility in water. Therefore you can mix turmeric with oils, such as coconut oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil etc. to improve its absorption.

One study found that mixing turmeric with oil in cooking greatly increased its absorption.

3.    Mix turmeric with quercetin

Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) that is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, red grapes, onions, green tea, apples and berries.

One study found that the combination of quercetin and turmeric greatly increases its medicinal properties. Another study suggests that the combination of curcumin and quercetin can increase the absorption of curcumin. It’s interesting to note that this was discussed in the context of using curcumin and quercetin for their anti-cancer activities.

Quercetin inhibits a certain enzyme that deactivates curcumin. Fruits with a dark red or blue color have the highest quercetin content. These include cranberries, blueberries and black plums. Vegetables that include quercetin are red leaf lettuce, raw kale, chicory greens, raw spinach, sweet peppers, snap beans and raw broccoli.

Don’t Expose Turmeric to Prolonged Heat

While turmeric can be added to many dishes, curcumin is moderately sensitive to heat, so don’t expose turmeric to prolonged heat. But certain types of cooking methods can actually enhance curcumin absorption. You can find more information in my article “Does Cooking Really Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?“.

Another effective way to add turmeric to your diet is by adding it to your smoothies.


Turmeric Drinks to Increase the Absorption of Curcumin

Here are some turmeric smoothie recipes with compounds that will help the curcumin to be better absorbed by the body:

Spicy Tropical Smoothie

The fat content in coconut milk and the black pepper help for better curcumin absorption. This spicy tropical smoothie also aids digestion due to the enzymes in pineapple (bromelain) and papaya (papain), so it’s good to drink this smoothie after a meal. You can read my previous articles about how to use pineapple as a medicine and 10 reasons to eat papaya.

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple or papaya chunks
1 banana
1/2 teaspoon each of ground turmeric, ginger and cinnamon (or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric/ginger, peeled and roughly chopped)
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Drink immediately to enjoy the most nutritional benefits.

Anti Inflammatory Smoothie

Chronic inflammation is linked to many diseases and is known to worsen their symptoms. The ingredients in this smoothie have anti inflammatory properties so you can use this smoothie as a natural alternative to anti inflammatory medications. In this smoothie, the green tea and the berries (with quercetin) as well as the coconut oil help for better curcumin absorption.

1 cup green tea
1 cup berries of your choice (such as blueberries, raspberries, cranberries)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon each of ground turmeric and ginger
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.


Green Smoothie With Turmeric

Here is another great recipe for green smoothie that combines the goodness of leafy greens that are packed with chlorophyll that helps to cleanse the body. Chlorophyll has also anti-inflammatory properties, as it also alkalizes the body, and can therefore be used to reduce the risk of diseases and inflammation processes in the cells. Here the avocado helps the body absorb the turmeric as avocados are full of healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids (you can read more about avocado in my previous article about 11 healthy reasons to eat avocados).

1 cup coconut water or coconut milk (there are many reasons to drink coconut water)
1 compressed cup of leafy greens of your choice (such as kale, spinach, lettuce)
1/4 avocado
Green fruit such as pear, apple or kiwifruit
1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil (omit it if you use coconut milk or avocado as they provide the fat)
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Golden turmeric smoothie

This smoothie is rich in vitamin A which is vital for good vision, healthy skin, healthy immune system and cell growth. Here the coconut oil helps for better absorption of the curcumin.

2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup water or orange juice
1 carrot chunks
1 mango
Few melon chunks
1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Few dried apricots (optional)

Place the oatmeal in a blender and process until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender and process until smooth. For a thicker smoothie, let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

Morning Warm Lemon Water Tonic With Turmeric


I wrote in the past about the incredible health benefits of drinking lemon water, and while I’ve mentioned before that turmeric has low solubility in water, it can be taken with water too if its solubility is enhanced. Citrus fruits, such as lemon, are one of the primary dietary sources of quercetin. Some studies suggest that the bioavailability of curcumin can also be enhanced with warmth because warmth increases the solubility of curcumin in water (remember its solubility, not absorption) although prolonged heat is not good as mentioned before. You can read more information in my article on how cooking and heat affect turmeric and black pepper. This may be the reason why some recipes of “golden milk” use turmeric with warm milk.

1 cup warm (not hot) water
1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder or 1/2-inch fresh turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of cinnamon (optional)
A little honey, maple syrup, or stevia to sweeten

Add the turmeric to the warm water, add the lemon juice and honey and stir well. The turmeric will settle to the bottom of the cup, so you need to continue to stir the water as you drink, to get all the benefits of the turmeric. Make sure to drink while the water is still warm.

By boosting the bioavailability of this powerful spice, you also increase its benefits for every system in your body, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your long term health.

Anti Inflammatory Turmeric Dressings Recipes

Here I would like to share with you some great and simple dressing recipes which will give your salads, roasted veggies or other dishes the extra kick combined with the many health benefits of turmeric.

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Dressing


  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 -1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 avocado (optional) – if you want a thicker consistency


Mix well all the ingredients. If you use avocado, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference.

Golden Elixir Turmeric-Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • A little bit of chopped parsley (optional)

Mix well all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference.

Immune Boosting Apple Cider Vinegar, Nut Butter and Turmeric Dressing

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. nut butter like almond butter or peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric

Mix well all the ingredients until you get a smooth texture. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor according to your own preference. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Related articles:

Medical Resources:

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113 Responses to 3 Science Based Ways to Instantly Increase Turmeric (Curcumin) Absorption

  1. Debbie says:

    I am new to adding turmeric and black pepper
    To diet but I thought you needed to mix with olive
    oil for it to work properly.
    So do you mix tumeric with pepper and oil before mixing with applesauce. Many thanks for the help

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Debbie, you don’t need to mix everything together. You can either mix turmeric with oil OR mix turmeric with black pepper OR mix turmeric with quercetin. Each one of the three options increases turmeric absorption.

  2. Presy Asuncion says:

    Hi jenny, how much olive oil should be mix in a cup of turmeric/ginger tea?

  3. Ron Wilburn says:

    Just made the spicy tropical smoothie, it was good. Was thinking of using a cold banana to help the drink a bit more. I was wondering, though, how many to drink a day? One? And someone asked this before but it was not directly replied to, you say turmeric is best if used with some heat, and I know you don’t mean a lot of heat, however if one makes it in a smoothie obviously there is no heat at all, so does the turmeric not have value then? BTW, love your blog. Ron, Md

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Ron, When I say that some studies suggest that the bio-availability of curcumin can also be enhanced with warmth (not prolonged heat) because warmth increases the solubility of curcumin in water, you need to remember that we’re talking about solubility, not absorption. To increase the absorption it’s still best to add black pepper, or fat or quercetin. The turmeric doesn’t have to be warm. It can be consumed cold or at a room temperature as long as you add black pepper/fat/quercetin to enjoy its full health benefits. As per how much to consume, there are various references that talk about the daily recommended intake for turmeric, for example: The University of Maryland medical Center website mentions Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day, Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day (which is about 1/2 to 1.5 teaspoons). mentions: Powdered turmeric root has traditionally been used as a stimulant and carminative at dosages of 0.5 to 3 g/day. Dosages of 3 to 6 g/day have been investigated for protective effects against ulcers.

      • Ron Wilburn says:

        Perfect, thanks so much Jenny and that is what I’ve been doing. Thanks for clearing it up in my mind…and love your blog.

  4. Valerie Martin says:

    EVERY morning I mix vegetable juice (V-8 or Walmart brand) with turmeric, black pepper and a dash of Tabasco. I started out not putting the black pepper in but read that it should be taken with the turmeric, so I started adding it. My aches seems less and I feel much more alert since drinking this every day! I love the woodsy taste and smell of turmeric, so I don’t have a problem with it at all. Love it!

    • Scott Scott says:

      @Valerie Martin: I don’t like the taste of turmeric in my food, but I’ve found that putting 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a boiling cup of water mixed with a pinch of black pepper and a few drops of Tabasco makes a great spicy tea which I drink twice a day and keeps my hunger down too in between meals as I lose weight. Thanks for mentioning Tabasco, because it was your comment which brought me to this site. 🙂

  5. Doris Makapane says:

    Hi, Jenny, I have a problem of lipomas can turmeric help to stop further lipoma development?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Doris, I’ve seen several references about turmeric and lipoma. WikiHow website says that turmeric has been proven to effectively reduce the size of lipomas. They recommend mixing a tsp. of turmeric with a teaspoon olive oil to create a soft paste and apply the mixture to the lipoma on the skin. It is recommended to cover it with a bandage to prevent staining of your clothing. Earth Clinic website mentions turmeric as one of the herbs that can be taken orally to diminish fat deposits. If you decide to take turmeric in a concentrated form, like in a supplement, talk to your doctor as turmeric may interfere with certain medications. Other references talk about consuming apple cider vinegar (ACV) to shrink lipomas – a popular home remedy is to take 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water before going to bed (you can add honey to improve the taste). It takes couple of weeks to see results.

  6. Amy says:

    I’ve read that you need to take turmeric with both black pepper and some kind of oil, or oil but not pepper. Supposedly if you mix it with pepper but no oil, you won’t get any of its benefits. This bothers me, because I’ve been taking turmeric for over a year as a tea, by brewing up something herbal, and then mixing in a small spoonful of turmeric, black pepper, and ginger. Have I been wasting my time all along?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Amy, as far as I understand from other references I’ve looked at, black pepper even without oil is still fine to increase turmeric absorption. It can be either turmeric with oil or turmeric with black pepper.

  7. PHILIP JANSEN says:

    What about ground turmeric, half a juiced lemon, and a teaspoon of fish oil?

  8. John says:

    I have heard turmeric (specifically curcumin) dissolves better with fatty foods. Avocado has been mentioned but I also like it with cottage cheese. Is this also an optimal way to make the most of the absorption of the turmeric/curcumin?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi John, you can eat it with cottage cheese but don’t choose the low-fat type. Opt for the regular one.

      • John says:

        Thank you. While I prefer the low fat option, I have already bought the regular cottage cheese so that I have a better delivery system for my turmeric. I am glad to know I am on the right track. Thank you for your quick response

  9. Michelle Gribble says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I make a morning drink of tumeric with black pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger, cinnamon raw honey lemon juice in warm water everyday. sometimes I add coconut oil. Would I still be absorbing the tumeric without the oil.
    I add tumeric and avocado to every smoothie I make each day.
    Have just had shoulder surgery 3rd op in 3 years and haven’t taken pain killers since leaving hospital. I had Read how tumeric and cayenne pepper are great anti inflammatory & pain relieve. This certainly proves that recommend it rather than taking any drugs!!!
    Thanks for your info makes good informative reading

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Michelle, for turmeric absorption you can add black pepper OR coconut oil. You don’t have to add them both for turmeric absorption (coconut oil is good to add anyway as it’s also anti-inflammatory).

  10. sally says:

    How do you mix turmeric, black pepper and coconut oil together to put in capsules and how much thank you.

  11. Luttece says:

    Hi Jenny
    Which is the best way to make a turmeric smoothie or drink for breast cancer

  12. Jordan says:

    Hi. Quick question about your Golden Smoothie. You say “1 carrot chunks” and “1 mango.” Do you mean “1 cup of carrot chunks” and “1 cup mango”?


    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jordan, in the recipe I meant 1 carrot cut into chunks and 1 mango (I didn’t measure in cups), but you can put more or less than that. It’s a flexible recipe and you can adapt the quantities according to your own preference.

  13. Ruby says:

    Hi, I want to try turmeric powder with milk and lemon juice but will it work for me?
    I want to brighten and even out my skin tone. I have a dark complexion (african-European) and I also have eczema.

  14. Cindy Wilson says:

    Hello Jenny,
    Are there any conditions in which you should not use turmeric? I believe I read something about gallbladder issues but I am not sure.. Thank you!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Cindy, according to WebMD website, medications that slow blood clotting interacts with turmeric (see here). You can also find more information in RxList as well as the University of Maryland Medical Center. As I’m not a doctor, if you have any doubt of have a special condition, best to consult with a doctor to be on the safe side of things.

  15. mercy says:

    Wondering if tumeric will help with Granuloma Annulare or if you have any other suggestions. I am now being told that it can be a parasite which is ultimately causing the GA. I have also had Lichen Planus before. I am now with GA and it has been 18 mos.
    Any other natural remedies that can be helpful? Thanks for your time and energy to inform us.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Mercy, I don’t know much about GA, but there are few suggestions in WikiHow. Read also information by GA patients here.

    • Carol Schofield says:

      Hi Mercy, I had that too and took steroid shots to get rid of it…always came back. I had not heard that it was a parasite. I used Helichrysim oil on it , just dabbed it for a week and it left and never came back…Helichrysim is a really good oil for many things. I got mine at Spark Naturals. Good luck!

  16. Rachel says:

    So if I’m just taking turmeric capsules, not getting much benefit from
    The root ?

    • Jenny says:

      Some turmeric supplements also contain black pepper extract or piperine for better absorption. And even if not, take the supplements after consuming food that has some fat content in it or black pepper.

  17. Libbie Clase says:

    Thanks for all the info!! I love it,better reading than “Fifty Shades of Grey”

  18. Miriam says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I have about 500 grams of powdered tumeric and will make some capsules. How much black pepper can I mix with it??

    • Jenny says:

      I’ve seen one reference that said around 1% by weight. I had a look at supplements sold at Amazon and saw one product that indicated on its ingredients 500mg Organic Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – 5mg Black Pepper, which is 1%, so probably around this amount.

  19. Priya S says:

    Hi i just wanted to know whether turmeric and black pepper have to be cooked together or black pepper can be added to cooked food( with turmeric) and it will still have the same benefits.

    • Jenny says:

      I haven’t read anywhere that they both need to be cooked together, so I believe adding the black pepper to a cooked food with turmeric is fine. Please be aware that prolonged heating destroys curcumin as well, so if you cook the food for a long time, you may not enjoy much of the turmeric health benefits.

  20. coleen says:

    can I just mix a 1/2 tsp with water and drink that ? and can I do it at night ? will it affect my ability to fall asleep ? thanx so much

    • Jenny says:

      You need to add either a little bit of black pepper, or oil or quercetin to improve the turmeric absorption, as if you only mix it with water it’s bio-availability in the body is low. I’m not aware that turmeric can interfere with sleep.

  21. Miss desai says:

    Firstly, many claps.. Amazing article. I have a query. In the morning Can I take lemon water+ aelovera juice + turmeric +cinnamon ? Still do I need to add black pepper ?


    • Jenny says:

      Lemon contains quercetin. Quercetin is one of the components that helps turmeric absorption. In this case, you don’t need to add black pepper.

  22. Jancy Thomas says:

    According to to Health Guru Dr.Andrew Weil Whole turmeric is better than curcumin isolated from whole turmeric as far as the bioavailability of curcumin is concerned.
    Secondly, curcumin is absorbed by the intestine in presence of Piperine present in Pepper. Regarding Pepper I would like to take Green Peppercorns instead of black pepper.
    Green Peppercorn is softer, more flavoursome and natural looking. Though both black and Green Peppercorns are made from the same berries their methods of processing is different. To know this difference just open the link below and watch the video:

  23. Amanda says:

    Am I the only one who just bites the bullet and eats a raw root every day before a meal? I hate the taste, but natural HAS to be the best way to absorb it. Then I immediately eat to drown out the taste. Whatever I’m eating usually has some kind of oil and some black pepper in it, so I assume I’m getting the most benefit out of the turmeric.
    And I donate blood regularly and my iron levels are always through the roof, so the turmeric must not be hurting that. Although I’m post-menopausal, so that might be why my iron is high.

  24. Michael says:

    Hi.I have learned so far that heating turmeric root powder increases the potency of the curcumin, as in making Golden Paste where the powder is simmered in water first for a short time. What I am understanding from you is that it only needs to be heated to absorb into the water but is not necessary if not using water? So, heat is’nt the factor here in releasing more curcumin? I’m trying to come up with a powdered blend that does’nt clump when frozen and assumed heating was the recommended method for potency. So if I’m understanding correctly any method of increasing absorption (oil,pepper,quercin)is acceptable and water is’nt needed at all? In short, heating the powder is not necessary for potency, correct?

    • Jenny says:

      You are correct – Warmth is not necessary to aid absorption. It aids solubility.

      • BFraz says:

        What is the difference between absorption and solubility?

        • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

          Solubility in chemistry means the ability of a given substance (in this case curcumin) to dissolve in a solvent (in this case water or oil). In this case curcumin has a low solubility in water but higher in oils. However you can increase it’s solubility in water by warming the water. On the other hand, absorption in pharmacology is the movement of a certain drug or component (in this case curcumin) from the site of administration to bloodstream. The active ingredient needs to be introduced via some route of administration (oral, topical, etc.) and in a specific dosage form a tablet, capsule, solution and so on. Both solubility and absorption affect the bio-availability of a certain substance, which is the proportion of a substance that enters the blood circulation when introduced into the body so it is able to have an active effect. A study published on January 2015 explains the connection between solubility and absorption. The study mentions that the usefulness of curcumin could be minimized because of its poor oral bio-availability. Only a small amount (22 to 41 ng/mL) was detectable in plasma even when 8 g curcumin per day was given orally. Here we are talking about ABSORPTION, and the route of administration is oral. In order to increase its bio-availability in the body, the study suggests to heat a solution of curcumin in water to increase the SOLUBILITY of curcumin before oral administration to patients.

  25. Phyllis says:

    I am curious about how long you have to take the Tumeric mixture before you start to feel the benefits? I just started taking for arthritis.

  26. MS says:

    Hi ,

    I am from south India. We used to put turmeric almost all the currys from ancient days. But for making curry we have to heat the curry with turmeric and other spicy powders. Then is this wrong way to use the turmeric in our diet?

    • Jenny says:

      Turmeric is moderately sensitive to heat, so it’s best not to expose it to prolonged heat. As I mentioned in the article, there are studies that suggest that the bioavailability of curcumin can be enhanced with warmth because warmth increases the solubility of curcumin in water (remember its solubility, not absorption) and in the case of this study the turmeric was heated for 10 minutes.

  27. Addie Chang says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I have started using fresh turmeric after reading your articles, this is how i make my turmeric tea: infused sliced fresh turmeric, pandan leaf , green tea and black pepper in a pot of hot water for overnight. not sure if this is the right method?
    for fresh turmeric, do i need to peeled the skin off?
    Addie Chang

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Addie, you can infuse the turmeric in hot water overnight or you can see another recipe for turmeric ginger tea here. You don’t need to peel the skin off if you wash the turmeric thoroughly (same for ginger).

  28. Kathy says:

    I put half level teaspoon turmeric & the same amount of cinnamon into 3 or 4 tablespoons of natural Greek style yogurt every morning, it is absolutely delicious & i hope the fat helps to absorb. Honey could be added if you have a sweet tooth.

  29. Michael says:

    Hi Jenny. I have been taking turmeric capsules along with other supplements on a daily basis. To aid in absorption, couldn’t I use coconut milk to ‘wash’ down the supplements and aid in the absorption of the turmeric? It would be a lot easier and less time consuming than mixing coconut oil into some kind of drink. Thanks


  30. Cristel says:

    I have been mixing the turmeric with cayenne pepper, is that also efficient for the absorption of turmeric? Thank you!

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Cayenne pepper does not contain the piperine that is in black pepper, so it will not aid turmeric absorption.

  31. Ren says:

    I have been diagnosed with Mugus anemia with on going examination. Will the turmeric and ginger help subside the deterioration that the protein is causing in the Blood?

  32. Charlescmt says:

    In the past I have taken high grade turmeric WITH the various absorbtion enhancers in large doses for extended periods of time. Did not do jack for inflammatory pain or any of the other issues I have which it is reputed to help. Same results for friends who have done the same. Just another new age scam. Yes, I know there are “scientific studies” showing it works. Blah Blah Same kind of studies that simultaneously show Soy to be good for us and bad for us, eggs are healthy, eggs are unhealthy, saturated fat etc etc Save your money

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Not everything works for everybody. Since I know other people who have benefited from turmeric, I believe it still worth a try. Let other people decide what to spend their money on. After all, wouldn’t it be a good idea to try first turmeric before going straight away to other drugs? You’ve got nothing to lose.

  33. Patricia G Rupell says:

    Do you know if adding turmeric to salmon oil would work? We would like to start giving turmeric to our two yellow labs and we already put salmon oil in their food. Would love to just add the turmeric to the oil. Thoughts?

  34. Gloria Johnson says:

    Have been making tea using turmeric root. Peeling skin. Grating up root, 4-6 tablespoons, and putting in 48-64 oz of water. Hard to measure because of grating. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Allow to sit. Sometimes adding stevia. Refrigerate. Drink from this for several days. Am I basically on course? Looking for maximum benefit-have joint pains, would like to loose 20 pounds, blood pressure, and Type 1 Diabetes, generally controlled. Any suggestions? Drinking about 6-8 oz/day. Will now start to add black pepper.?? A dash or 2 per glassful? Like your suggestion for smoothie. More effective or just adds variety to the routine?

  35. Katie Appleby says:

    Hi Jenny, great article, thanks so much! Could you please give me your feedback on my morning routine:
    Cup of warm water with ACV and lemon
    Green smoothie:
    Kale, celery, spinach, avocado, spirulina, turmeric, black paper and water.
    What is your professional opinion? Am I going overboard or is this combination along the right lines? Do you have an suggestion to optimise?

  36. Mohammad SN Qaderi says:

    I am drinking turmeric+lemon water+ cinnamon+ Black pepper+ Ginger (all powders)+ crushed Garlic(one clove)+ honey. warm it in microwave oven for a minute. But instead of olive oil or coconut oil, I include ground flaxseed (one table spoon) Oils (coconut and flaxseed is not found fresh in market.
    Is it ok? Flaxseed has oil in it.

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Hi Mohammad, in order to increase turmeric absorption, you can use black pepper OR oil. You don’t have to use both of them as each one of them increases turmeric absorption. In your case you already use black pepper so you don’t have to add oil. Also microwaving destroys nutrients in the honey so instead use warm water (not too hot) and then add the ingredients.

  37. Shantee Maharaj says:

    I use turmeric daily over the past few months when cooking and sometimes in my tea. Generally about 1/2 teaspoon with black pepper and olive oil or butter. However, the turmeric is staining my teeth. I brush and rinse thoroughly after my meals and sometimes swish around baking soda with a little water as a rinse but the problem persists. Does anyone have a solution? Thanks

  38. Brett Wright says:

    I recently purchased a small bag of dried turmeric root and eat them in medium sized portions (approx. 1 inch sticks). The taste is really not bad and has a palatable flavoring. I do not chew the root but allow it to rehydrate and it breaks down over time; similar to eating a piece of hard candy. Since I am not ingesting the entire root readily, I was wondering if the absorption rate would be greater. It takes about 25 – 30 minutes to consume each piece by allowing it to break down. I was wondering if any of it gets into the blood stream through the tongue?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Yes, it gets into your body through the tongue, but remember that if you don’t pair the turmeric with something that increases its absorption, its bio-availability will still be low. So maybe before consuming the turmeric root eat something with black pepper or oil to increase absorption while you consume the root.

  39. Carol Houghton says:

    There are two groups on Facebook, Turmeric Users and Turmeric Users UK. I have been making Golden Paste which is excellent for humans and pets. 1 cup of turmeric powder simmered for 7-10 mins adding a little more water if necessary. Turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup of coconut oil or olive oil and 1 1/2 tsps of freshly ground black pepper. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. If you don’t think you will use it in this time it can be frozen in smaller portions. some people are buying silicone coffee beans moulds and freezing it in 1/4 tsp sizes for their dogs.

  40. Joan says:

    I use 1/2tsp turmeric mixed with applesauce every morning. Am I taking this properly? Thanks.

  41. Scott says:

    I have been suffering from an impingement of the shoulder bursa and while receiving the first cortisone treatment the second wasn’t followed up quick enough and I have regressed back to the starting point so with another cortisone scheduled I am now taking what I can to help the inflammation process with Iberprofen and I have just bought Lamberts 10000mg turmeric tablets. Clearly to get best out of this I need to mix for the best absorbion and I have celadin fatty acid soft shells which I have been taking. With one hard tablet and one soft shell I was thinking of breaking the turmeric tablets down to help go through the system with the celadin soft shells. Thoughts, recommendations and advice welcome.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Scott, you may want to check the turmeric supplement label if it contains piperine. Many turmeric supplements contain piperine to aid in turmeric absorption. As for breaking the hard tablet, here are some things to consider: I have read that tablets have been considered to be the least efficient of dosage forms to break down, but it does not generally hinder absorption provided the tablet is manufactured properly. Tablets require greater digestive capability, but properly manufactured tablets will break down adequately in the vast majority of people, usually within 30 minutes. The exception to this is people who have low stomach enzyme activity for whatever reason. Also the elderly, in general, tend to have more difficulty digesting tablets. When tablets are compressed too tightly, for example when a company tries to make an ultra high potency supplement into a normal sized tablet, this can cause incomplete digestion, even in those with good digestion.

  42. Wendy says:

    You say in this article “While turmeric can be added to many dishes, the curcumin is extremely sensitive to heat, and roughly 85% is destroyed when turmeric is boiled for 15 to 30 minutes. So another effective way to add turmeric to your diet is by adding it to your smoothies.” I have read other places that the most effective way to get the benefits of tumeric IS by cooking it. I have seen several “tumeric tea” recipes that call for boiling it for app. 10 minutes, then mixing with black pepper, honey, etc… So, which is the best way to get the benefits? Uncooked in a smoothie, or is boiling for 10 minutes okay? Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Debbie says:

      I unfortunately, don’t care for the taste if turmeric OR pepper. LOL! What about putting it into a gel cap mixed with black pepper?

      • Jenny says:

        Yes, you can do that.

        • margo kelley says:

          I ordered Curcumin2K w/ Peperine (& I use coconut oil for everything)from:
          Stop Aging Now, LLC. 4938 Hampden Lane, # 109, Bethesda, MD. 20814.
          They come in 1330 mg capsules, but to save cash, I take only one a day. Look for it online. Or email: [email protected]. Good luck. Hope this helps.

      • katherine says:

        i have found that fresh turmeric doesnt have the bad taste that the powders and such have so i dont know if you have tried that but you might if you havent

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Wendy, I will clarify the issue as at the beginning I had problems myself getting the grip of it: from what I’ve researched, and I’ve mentioned it under the recipe of warm lemon water with turmeric, some studies suggest that the bioavailability of curcumin can also be enhanced with warmth because warmth increases the solubility of curcumin in water (remember its solubility, not absorption) although prolonged heat is not good. So warming up for a shorter period of time is fine, but prolonged heating of 15 minutes or more, is not good (roughly 85% is destroyed when turmeric is boiled for 15 to 30 minutes). So you can use it in teas, and I have a recipe for ginger turmeric tea, but you simmer it for a shorter time (not more than 15 minutes).

  43. Margret says:

    You say: “Quercetin inhibits a certain enzyme that deactivates curcumin” Doesn’t that mean one should avoid mixing turmeric with quercetin? I can’t clearly read if your are recommending this mix or not.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Margaret, I will clarify – there is a certain enzyme that deactivates or disables curcumin. Quercetin prevents this enzyme to do it’s (negative) work, so the result is better absorption. So the bottom line is that it is good to mix quercetic with turmeric.

      • Carrie says:

        I totally read that the same way, deactivate seemed like a bad thing, so I am glad that Jenny clarified with her bottom line! Thanks, just found out I have arthritis, 58 y.o., I swear it happened overnight! Doc think Osteo kind, but had blood work done today to rule out other types or problems. Bummer for sure! So I also do a daily smoothly after my hikes each day. I bougt turmeric root today and will add to my smoothie tomorrow, already was doing ginger root. Stated Ola Joint packets, powder that I add. My fingers are starting to look bumpy at the end joints, this has all just happened, wrists, elbow, and the places that it starts. So my plan is to do everything possible from now on. I was already super healthy, now I am just tweeting, so these posts are very helpful. Thank you

        • fred mactavish says:

          hi Carrie,just a little food for thought, have you any neck pains or issues with your upper back,,there is a school of thought that sometimes there is a connection with pinched nerves that connect to our hands and could be the cause of hand malfunctions like arthritis

  44. Ivona says:

    Hi! How do you guys drink morning warm lemon water with turmeric , on empty stomach or after breakfast? Thank you.

    • Jenny says:

      It is recommended to drink it first thing in the morning before breakfast.

      • Nuzy says:

        can i. Drink. It after breakfast? If no then whats the reason behind it?

        • Jenny Hills says:

          I’ve seen various opinions as to why it is better to drink it first thing in the morning (such as providing additional enzymes and helping to produce adequate stomach acid to aid digestion and to get the most nutrients out of your food). However, I believe that drinking lemon water even after breakfast is better than not drinking it at all.

  45. Cindy says:

    After drinking warm lemon water, how long should you wait before eating or drinking anything else?

  46. Judy says:

    I recently harvested my turmeric crop and am not sure how to dry it. Some sites recommended boiling the root for about 30 mins. then drying and powdering it. Wouldnt boiling it destroy the curcumin? So my do I prepare my fresh turmeric for long term storage.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Judy, from the research I’ve done there are several options (I haven’t tried any of them as I use ground turmeric):
      1. You can freeze turmeric like ginger but the consistency changes in a similar way to the way ginger freezes (it becomes mushier, but the taste is still good). It’s recommended to freeze it in small sizes so you only defrost what you will use at one time.
      2. Another method is to peel the turmeric roots and pack them in a jar with vodka (some people also store their peeled turmeric root in honey). If stored in the fridge, they should last for a year or more.
      3. Preparing powder using the traditional method of sun drying – suitable for hot climate. See more details here –
      4. Using electric food dehydrator – not sure exactly how it works as the time depends on the water content, but from what I’ve seen the drying temperature is relatively low (104°F – 135F, or 40-57 Celsius, or something in this range, depends on the product).
      5. Fresh turmeric can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. Wipe dry the roots if they are damp, then wrap with a paper towel before placing in a zip lock plastic bag.

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