If you haven't heard of the benefits of turmeric, get ready for some good news. The plant has many health benefits and has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Today, you can find turmeric in supplement form, in lattes, and in your favorite foods (like rice dishes, smoothies, curries, and stews).
The reason for its health benefits? Its active ingredient, curcumin. Studies have found that it contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, research has shown that turmeric might help a variety of symptoms and conditions, like inflammation; arthritis; stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder problems; and cancer. Researchers have also found that curcumin might help reduce the risk for Alzheimer's and improve memory and attention (although, more exploration needs to be done).
Photo:Enrique Diaz/7cero/Getty Images
Now, you're probably thinking it sounds good and wondering where you can sign up, but it's important to note that before you fill your cart with turmeric, you'll want to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional for dosage recommendations and to find out if it's right for you. The NCCIH reports that high doses of long-term use might cause gastrointestinal problems, and the Cleveland Clinic suggests starting with a low dose (in case of an allergy or intolerance) and working your way up.
Now that you know what to watch out for, take a look at some popular and highly rated turmeric supplements below:
Not only does this powder contain organic turmeric, it also has mood-boosting adaptogens (reishi, ashwagandha, and astragalus), and silver ear mushroom, hyaluronic acid, and tocos to support skin. Add two tablespoons to eight ounces of hot water or warm milk.
With over 11,000 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon, this supplement is one of the top-reviewed on the site. It's non-GMO and contains no fillers, binders, or preservatives. One reviewer wrote, "Having fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, I am familiar with daily pain in my joints. Since taking the turmeric curcumin, I can tell a noticeable improvement in the pain and swelling. It also seems to give me a burst of energy. Will not be without it again!"
This supplement is formulated with extra virgin organic coconut oil and bioperine (black pepper), which is supposed to help with absorption. It's recommended to take these with a meal to prevent any stomach discomfort.
If you prefer to take turmeric in powder form, this one is a best seller on Amazon. It can be added to teas, curries, and more. One review says, "Excellent quality. I make myself a warm drink an hour before I go to bed... I sleep through the night, no more getting up at 2 a.m. When I get up in the morning no inflammation, ergo, no aches and pains. I have also seen an improvement in my memory."
Another best seller on Amazon, these supplements are completely vegan, and contain no gluten, soy, dairy, or sugar. The recommended dose is two capsules a day with a meal and full glass of water.
These vegan capsules are also made with black pepper to increase the absorption of curcumin. One reviewer wrote, "I injured my knee several months ago and was still having pain and swelling. After several visits to the chiropractor and a cortisone shot from the orthopedic doctor, I finally tried this. It is amazing. The inflammation is gone!"
Another turmeric powder, this one is from Brandless, a favorite brand of some of our editors. One pack contains 2.2 ounces of the spice—put it in your smoothie or dishes for some extra flavor. And at $3, you can't really beat the price.
These capsules are vegetarian and contain no preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. The suggested dosage is one capsule twice daily, ideally with meals. One reviewer wrote, "I started taking turmeric curcumin for knee pain about two years ago, and now I wouldn't want to go without it. I found there are many variations and strengths among supplement products, and some were too little or too much of a good thing. This one has been reliable at a very good price."
Like a lot of supplements on this list, these contain black pepper to aid with absorption. One bottle contains 60 veggie capsules, and it's recommended to take one pill twice daily with water. One review reads, "I have used this product, and have tried others since. Came back to this product because of the price and its effectiveness. I would highly recommend this product."