I have been fielding many questions since the release of one of doTERRA’s most recent essential oils: Turmeric. There is a ton of literature touting the undeniable benefits of the Turmeric root. The challenge is that while there is profound potential benefit of the turmeric plant, the references are talking about minor constituents in the turmeric root: Curcuminoids and Tumerones.
When we look at the Turmeric plant as a whole, we know that it consists of primarily water, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, and fiber. Existing in minute amounts are the curcuminoids and tumerones. A lot of scientific research exists about the profound benefits of curcumin. While findings about curcumin are exciting, the problem still remains: Curcumin is a large water soluble molecule that is incapable of being absorbed and utilized by the cells. So over the years researches have found ways to make curcumin more bioavailable in the body, by other components that would allow it to be absorbable, for instance black pepper. This is commonly a wonderful thing because as we research more about nutrition and effects on the body, we are also discovering synergy between two different substances to create a greater benefit in the body.
The great news is that doTERRA has provided a highly bioavailable form of curcumin in two separate supplements, Alpha CRS+ and Deep Blue Polyphenols. Through research, they were able to, through synergistic powers of essential oils and other herbs, provide a 7 times increase in bioavailability power to the cells.
That is AWESOME! So Why a Turmeric Essential Oil?
Most turmeric “essential oils” on the market today are NOT essential oils, they are CO2 extracts. This might seem like a negligible aspect, but when you do a CO2 extract, it is done with a solvent— usually hexane. Analysis of CO2 extracts of Turmeric resulted in some of the aromatic constituents, some of the curcuminoids, and some of the solvent. When the chemistry is inconsistent, you get inconsistent benefits. I am interested in true essential oils. When you do a pure steam distillation on the Turmeric root, you only get the aromatic components. In the case of Turmeric, the only thing you end up with are the tumerones as mentioned above. The benefits of tumerones are extensive: it is a natural tissue support, increases the antioxidant capacity in the body, sustains cardiovascular health, supports and preserves brain function, allows for more absorption of curcumin, and it has been shown to be neuroprotective.
Neurotoxicity Study: Summary of Findings
doTERRA is currently in the middle of conducting an exciting study on the effects of Turmeric essential oil on neurons. A few questions were raised about the effects of Turmeric essential oil on nerves and nerve responses: Will healthy cells under stress maintain their health and show resilience? Will unhealthy cells respond to turmeric essential oil in a positive way? The answers to these questions have been amazing:
Healthy neurons in the presence of turmeric demonstrated improved neuronal response and greater resiliency.
Stressed neurons in the presence of turmeric demonstrated greater health and activity.
There is more to come from that study and I am excited to be able to share that with you in the coming months.