Turmeric Extract

Turmeric Extract is a bright yellow/orange polyphenol having the form of a dry powder that is oil-soluble. The concentrate has neither flavor nor aroma. It colors food readily if there is oil present. The medicinal properties and health benefits of turmeric extract are attributed partly to its strong anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics.

Turmeric extract is derived from the root of the turmeric plant first by boiling and drying, then by grinding it to a powder, followed by extraction of the active ingredients using a solvent. There are 18 times more curcuminoids in the concentrate than in the natural spice which is simply a powdered form of the dried root. The concentrate is also known as Curcumin.

Turmeric extract has attracted the attention of researchers in the fields of Alzheimer's Disease, Memory Deficits, Arthritis, Cancer, including Breast Cancer and Diabetes.

Scientific Data on Turmeric Extract:

  • Synonyms:
    • Curcumin
    • Food Color E100
    • diferuloylmethane
    • A common misspelling of Turmeric is "Tumeric"; also "Tumeric Extract"
    • Other Languages: Haldi (North India: Hindi); Manjal (South India: Tamil); Kunyit (Indonesia); Al-kurkum (الكركم, Arabic); Jiang Huang (姜黄, Chinese); Curcuma (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian).
    • 1,7-Bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione
  • Chemical Formula: C21H20O6; Molecular Weight: 368.38
  • Metabolites: (via oral administration) Curcumin-sulphate, Curcumin-glucuronide; (via injection) tetrahydrocurcumin, hexahydrocurcumin and octahydrocurcumin. Catabolites: trans-6-(4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl)-2,4-dioxo-5-hexenal (this appears to be the main product), ferulic aldehyde, ferulic acid, feruloyl methane and vanillin.
  • Three Molecular Forms: curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.
  • inhibits NFkappaB, 5-lipoxygenase, glutathione S-transferase and cytochrome P-450 isoenzyme 1A1.
  • Molecular structure: it is a dimer of vanillin (two molecules of vanillin joined together).

    curcumin molecule image
    molecular structure of curcumin

Turmeric Extract Benefits:

  • General effects:
    • anti-oxidant effects.
    • anti-inflammatory effects, yet it does not irritate the stomach as do many Cox-2 inhibitors.
    • anti-dyspepsia effects;
    • anti-platelet effects;
    • anti-viral effects;
    • anti-fungal effects;
    • anti-bacterial effects (inhibits Helicobacter Pylori);
  • Effects on major diseases:
    • Alzheimer's Disease: breaks up and prevents Alzheimer's amyloid-beta oligomers and aggregates in laboratory studies. We await further clinical trials.
    • Arthritis: turmeric extract profoundly inhibited joint inflammation and periarticular joint destruction in a dose-dependent manner in animal (non-human) experiments.
    • Cancer: causes apoptosis (death) of various malignant cell types including skin, colon, forestomach, duodenum and ovary in laboratory studies. We await clinical trials.
    • Diabetes: turmeric extract reverses many of the inflammatory and metabolic derangements (insulin tolerance) associated with obesity and improves glycemic control in mouse experiments of type 2 diabetes.
  • Note on Turmeric Benefits (the spice): a study of the elderly in Singapore demonstrated a connection between turmeric/curry consumption and cognitive function. Those who ate curry often (more than once a month) or ate it occasionally (once or more in 6 months) performed significantly better at the Mini-Mental State Examination than did those who ate curry less than once a month. (Source: American Journal of Epidemiology 11/2006.) The nature of the connection has not yet been clearly established but if they are established in the future, then the source of turmeric benefits are close at hand.

Traditional and Modern Uses Of Turmeric Extract:

  • India: it has been in use for centuries both as a component of curry and as a medicine for arthritic and muscular disorders. Indians are thought to consume 80-200 mg per day.
  • China: it has been used as a topical analgesic, for colic, ringworm, hepatitis and chest pain.
  • Okinawa (Japan): turmeric tea is known as "Ukoncha" (ウコン茶). It is considered one of the reasons for longevity amongst Okinawans. The Okinawa method is to steep 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric spice in a teapot of hot water for 10 minutes and then strain.
  • USA, Europe and Australia: it is used in many foods as a coloring in curry, mustard, margarine, cheese, beverages and cakes. In the recent past it has been used for chronic anterior uveitis, Helicobacter pylori bacteria and dyspepsia.
  • In October 2011 there were more than 4300 articles cited by Pubmed on the subject of Curcuma Longa/Curcumin/Turmeric including 1604 on cancer, 66 on arthritis, 181 on alzheimer's disease and 151 on diabetes. This demonstrates that Curcuma Longa products are now being used in new ways.

Research Papers on Turmeric Extract.

Dosage and Side Effects of Turmeric Extract:

  • Customary dosage of Turmeric Extract:
    • as a herbal medicine: 1 - 2.5g per day;
    • as a dietary anti-oxidant: 80-200mg per day (the same amount as Indian daily consumption).
  • Absorption is adequate: 25% to 62% of an ingested dose by rodents was absorbed into the bloodstream in one study. Absorption appears to be better with food and probably more so with oils as it is lipophilic. Turmeric Extract crosses the blood brain barrier and is detected in the Cerebro-Spinal Fluid. Combination with Piperine (from black pepper) can increase availability by 2000%.
  • Side Effects of Turmeric Extract:
    • Human trials using up to 8000 mg per day for 3 months found no toxicity from turmeric extract.
    • Stomach upsets, chest tightness, skin rashes, swollen skin are said to occur with very high dose. A few cases of allergic contact dermatitis have been reported by people working in the turmeric industry.
    • Interactions with NSAIDs, blood thinning agents; also see note above regarding Piperine.
    • Chronic use can cause liver toxicity: people with liver conditions should avoid use.
    • Contra-indications: not recommended for persons with gallstones, obstructive jaundice and acute biliary colic.
  • Availability:
    • Turmeric Extract now has a curcuminoid content of 95% plus and is available in 500mg capsules.
    • Note: turmeric is sometimes pronounced as tumeric in the marketplace.

Turmeric Extract
turmeric extract

turmeric plant
turmeric plant

Turmeric: the Plant, its Cultivation and Marketing:

Botany of the turmeric plant:

  • Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger Family)
  • Genus: Curcuma
  • Species: Curcuma Longa (Classified by Linnaeus).

The turmeric plant has the following characteristics:

  • plant: perennial herb;
  • trunk: about 1m in height;
  • leaves: long oblong;
  • flowers: long white and spiky;
  • rhizomes: 1-2cm in width by 2.5-7.5cm in length from which the food coloring is derived.

Environmental niche of the turmeric plant:

  • Soil: sandy loam - clay loam; well drained.
  • Climate: tropical with high rainfall of 1500mm - 2000mm; temperature: 18 - 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Location: full Sun produces more rhizomes; planting with small trees and some shade is acceptable.
  • Altitude Range: from sea level to 1500m.
  • Predators: shoot borer, leaf roller, rhizome scale, leaf blotch, leaf spot and rhizome rot.

Cultivation of the turmeric plant:

  • planting with the first monsoon showers; irrigation is acceptable;
  • rhizome cuttings are planted (20-40cm apart);
  • furrows and ridges;
  • well fertilized;
  • annual crop taking 7-10 months to mature (harvesting takes place when the plant droops and withers);

Countries where turmeric plant is found:

  • India;
  • China:
  • Southeast Asia.

The main market places in India for turmeric root:

  • In Tamil Nadu: Erode, Salem, Dharmapuri and Coimbatore;
  • In Andhra Pradesh: Nizamabad, Duggirala and Warangal;
  • In Maharashtra: Sangli.

The main varieties of Indian turmeric are:

  • Alleppey Finger;
  • Erode;
  • Salem turmeric;
  • Rajapuri;
  • Sangli turmeric;
  • Nizamabad fingers.

Natural substances for health:

Ananain and Comosain (from Pineapple stem)

Cinnamon Extract

Curcuma Longa


Ficain (from Fig Trees)

Licorice Root Extract

Petty Spurge and Euphorbia Peplus

Rosmarinic Acid (from Rosemary, Sage)

Spanish Sage

Turmeric Extract

Vineatrol (from Grapevine shoots)

Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha)

Withanolide (from Ashwagandha)

Zerumbone (from Ginger)

This website acknowledges Pubmed (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) as source for medical research abstracts.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Pregnant or lactating women, diabetics, hypoglycemics, and people with known medical conditions and/or taking medicines should consult with a licensed physician and/or pharmacist prior to taking dietary supplements.
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