Turmeric is an herb descended from the ginger spice family and is widely used throughout India, Asia and Central America to enhance the color and flavors of foods. We’ve written about the numerous effects of turmeric before and how it is more powerful than seven over-the-counter drugs.
But when combined with another spice, black pepper (yes, regular ol’ black pepper), it becomes an even more powerful anti-inflammatory agent you can use to help your body.
Turmeric’s various medicinal benefits are highly associated with its active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin is acquired from the stems of the herb and is widely known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients can play an important role in combatting inflammation, arthritis, and problems of the stomach, skin, liver, gallbladder, or certain cancers. Black pepper helps your body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric that’s known for its health benefits.
Black pepper is made of ground (or whole) peppercorns, which are the small, dried, unripe fruits of the black pepper plant. In addition to flavoring food, you may not have known, but it had been used for centuries as a medicinal agent, a preservative, and in perfumes.
Research has shown that piperine, the main active ingredient in pepper, may reduce inflammation associated with chronic diseases like asthma, arthritis, chronic gastritis, and Alzheimer’s, according to a review published in 2018 in the Journal of Translational Medicine.
A study published in Planta Medica found that pairing 20 milligrams (mg) of piperine with 2 grams (g) of curcumin increased the amount of curcumin that could be absorbed by the body (a concept known as bioavailability) by 2,000 percent. Yes, 2,000 percent! That’s incredible.
One drawback? You may want to steer clear if you’re prone to…