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How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super-Boosted Benefits

Elizabeth Renter
September 17th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 6:10 pm
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turmeric in bowl1 263x164 How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted BenefitsWhen we talk about eating foods for their specific health benefits, many people think simply eating the food is enough. For instance, if you struggle with inflammatory bowel disease and have read that turmeric is effective in healing many digestive issues, you may simply get a turmeric (curcumin) supplement to start taking. But you would be overlooking one crucial fact about turmeric that could mean the difference between simple consumption and full-absorption. That fact: turmeric is fat-soluble, and you want to be able to absorb is magnificent food to experience all of the health benefits it has to offer.

When something is fat-soluble, that means it dissolves in fat. Without fat, the active component in turmeric, curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits.

In order to make the most of turmeric, you must take it with a bit of fat.

With curry (where turmeric is most popular), your body is able to make the most of the curcumin because there is usually some oil in the recipe. We can learn from this by trying to take turmeric as part of a healing synergistic whole—one healing piece of an overall healthful meal.

But even when curry isn’t on the menu or when you simply want a “hit” of curcumin, you can use it’s fat-soluble qualities to ensure your body makes the most of it.

Read: Cancer Doctor Explains How to Get the Most from Turmeric

Golden Milk Tea, sometimes referred to as only golden milk, is an ancient way of experiencing the benefits of turmeric with helpful fat included. While there are many recipes for golden milk, they usually involve dissolving a paste of turmeric and water into a small cup of milk and coconut oil. Remember to use high-quality organic turmeric in the milk preparation. Also, as NaturalNews reports, you can prepare the paste in advance and keep it in your refrigerator for weeks.

Other ways to get the most out of your turmeric:

  • Sprinkle some on an avocado
  • Dissolve it in a tablespoon of coconut oil before adding it to a smoothie
  • Stir it into olive oil and then toss in fresh vegetables
  • Consume turmeric or curcumin with black pepper. “Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine,” says nutritionist Stacy Kennedy.

A little fat plus a little turmeric equals a whole host of health benefits. From reducing blood pressure and inflammation to preventing Alzheimer’s and treating depression—making the most of this beautiful root could have immeasurable positive effects on your health.

From around the web:

  • Philip

    I copied and pasted this recipe just as I posted it to friends and shared it on fb…
    ~ There is a powerful mixture I would like to share with You !
    *** This is a recipe that is powerfully anti-cancer as well as a powerful treatment for Alzheimer’s, Aspergers Autism, Arthritis, Parkinson’s disease…..and a multitude of other ailments !
    Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory, as well as a great anti-depressant …in fact, Turmeric has more benefits for the body that almost any other substance on Earth !

    These are the ingredients :

    * Cayenne pepper
    * Ground Black pepper
    * Coconut oil
    * Blackseed
    ** ( optional extras when cooking :- Garlic & Ginger
    Here’s a quick glance at the individual ingredients…
    *Cayenne Pepper and Turmeric are the King and Queen of all spices, and are a most powerful medicine !!!
    *Turmeric is fat-soluble, (requiring fats for it to dissolve in), and Coconut oil is THE perfect oil for this – and for the body ! ~ Btw, it is also the only oil that does not degrade with high temperature cooking/frying,
    * Coconut oil has numerous and incredible benefits for the body !
    *Blackseed has been called ‘ The cure for everything, except death’ Eaten as a seed, or even better in oil form, Blackseed, aka Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa) has a multitude of benefits for the body and helps with virtually every condition !..adding 10% of the quantity of Turmeric in Ground Black *Pepper will boost the effectiveness of the Turmeric by 2000% !
    The Piperine in the Black Pepper will help carry the Turmeric further through the digestive tract, thus making it more effective, for longer. Also, adding pepper to most natural medicines, will take them through the digestive tract a lot further, and so, you get even more benefit from that particular plant medicine !
    * Cayenne Pepper is one of the best boosters for the immune system…and a few drops of Cayenne Pepper in water – applied * under * the tongue – can stop a heart-attack immediately !!! ~ Many people in the US carry a small bottle of Cayenne Pepper in water with them, for this very purpose !

    The simple recipe is :

    * One tablespoon of Coconut oil
    * Two teaspoons of Turmeric
    * One quarter teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
    * Two teaspoons of Blackseed
    * A sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper ( increase quantity as you go along)
    ** If you are cooking this mixture longer, you can add Garlic and Ginger !
    This mixture can be added to any soup, or virtually any dish. It does not require cooking, just warming !
    It is dee-lish and has a combined benefit for the body that is powerful against any condition, and of course, as a preventative !
    Below are some links to illustrate the incredible abilities of these ingredients ! *** Please investigate for yourself ***
    ~ Be Well ~ I Love You ~ Philip ~

  • b

    I have used tumeric and the pepper. After about two wks I had to stop taking it each time. My pain was horrible. I had to go to the doctor to be put on medication from the pain. Thought this was just a fluke. Tried the tumeric again and am in the same position now. Same thing happened with my mother. Be careful…

  • Ali

    Excellent article and excellent comments!

  • Thomas Olson

    I took half a can a beans with half a can of mushrooms. Warmed it up, added in turmeric, lots of pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and for the fat I used flax seed. I liked it a lot. It was quick and cheap. I would put too much of these spices in though. Powerful stuff typically gets toxic easily.

    • dannyR

      Unground flax seed isn’t going to provide significant oil-carrier for the turmeric. Really, the stuff should be stirred into a teaspoon of your favorite oil first.

  • Jane Thynne

    Does anyone else find that turmeric makes their heart race?

    • Irene Howard

      It makes me sweat, like a hot flush or flash…but it doesnt last…

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  • Zac

    Heating a good amount in coconut oil to let it infuse is a good way to start prepair ing it, add a little Himalayan rock salt and you have a golden start to manny recipes, le lesser the heat the better. ;)

  • shobitha

    I take one teaspoon of turmeric along with dry ginger powder everyday..will this combination help better absorption of turmeric by the body?

    • Irene Howard

      Black Pepper and oil are the best for bio-availablity…oil carriest the curcumin by fat/oil to lymphs and pepper carries it via blood stream or so I been told

    • Irene Howard

      black pepper and oil are the best for aid in absorption

  • john dy

    this is only a problem if you take dried or powdered turmeric. if you consume it raw and fresh or juice it, you will note that it already has oil in it.

  • Kim in CA

    I love curry chix so I use plenty. I also take it capsule form 2-3X a day! I put it in lentil soup, any kind of beans really. I need knew ideas so Im glad you all are posting. Thx


    I use Turmeric in just about everything that I eat. Stop worrying about the taste. You’ll get use to it. Be more concerned for the goodness of Turmeric and all that God has given to us.

  • Auch Da

    I was healed with Turmeric form the worst MRSA you can ever imagine all over my body. I took it just in a glass of water with black pepper 3x a day for about 6 weeks. MRSA is a Superbakteria which is resistent to almost every Antibioticum.. just do your research on it.

    • Gregon7

      Excellent. Black pepper is a powerful herbal synergist so it increases the effectiveness of the tumeric (see Herbal Antibiotics by Buhner). Much information in the book about MRSA treatment.

  • Lyn

    Whats the point of the extra step of dissolving the turmeric in oil before you add to smoothie? Won’t it all get mixed up in blender ?

    • Jay

      Circumin is fat soluble. It will allow you to absorb the beneficial parts of Turmeric better.

      • CraigB.

        But the milk naturally has fat in it. Isn’t that enough? Why the extra step?

        • dannyR

          The oil step will insure that 100% of the oil-soluble components will be taken up. Otherwise much of it could float around indefinitely in the water phase and be lost to bioavailability. Butterfat globules in milk are surrounded by a lipophobic exterior, repelling oil-based substances.

          • CraigB.

            Thanks. Is that lipophobic layer also present in yogurt?

  • Susan

    Thank you so much for this info,I am suffering from digestive problems and have turned to natural healing remedies.

    • Irene Howard

      be careful, too much for too long can aggravate gall bladder and peptic ulcers…start out with low dose and work your way up, if you find you are having tummy problems or pain in your side, back off a day or two than start with lower dose…1/4 teaspoon

  • Jezebelle

    I don’t care for the flavor so I take organic supplements with a tablespoon of coconut oil…

  • Teniel

    Well I juice it every day in my green juice with not fats. Does this mean Im wasting my time?

    • celiayounger

      No but it will not be absorpved properly. Many spices should be used with some kind of fat (ghee, butter, oil, …)

    • jazzfeed

      Blend some avocado into the juice+turmeric mix. Green smoothie with good fat.

  • jay7196

    Does mixing with olive oil work ?? As I have this on my daily salads.

    • celiayounger

      yes, any kind of oil/fat will help… also it is better if you use also black pepper. It helps the absorption faster.

      • kissa

        It is crucial to take the turmeric at the same time as the oil and the pepper. Put 1 teaspoon of turmeric along with some ground black pepper and ground ginger in a shot glass. Pour a little oil (I use almond oil) on the mixture and stir. If you wish, you can do this twice a day. I do use everything organic.

    • Irene Howard

      yes it will,

  • Gil

    Turmeric tastes great in chicken soup, other great snack is a turmeric and peanutbutter paste :) enjoy

    • Danniro

      i have it with cinnamon and milk in my oatmeal. no sugar needed since he cinnamon and turmeric interact to the point where it almost tastes sweet