Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine and traditional medicine. More recently, science has confirmed many of the health benefits of turmeric, especially the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of its active compound, curcumin.
While turmeric can be consumed in powder form as a spice, juicing the fresh turmeric root may provide even greater health benefits. This article looks at the evidence behind juicing turmeric and provides tips on how to juice it at home.
Benefits of Juicing Turmeric
Juicing turmeric root has several potential upsides compared to eating turmeric powder or curry dishes containing turmeric:
- Higher curcumin content – Juicing concentrates the active curcumin, providing higher levels per serving than powder.
- Better absorption – The liquid form may be better absorbed than turmeric powder.
- Easy to consume – Juicing turmeric is an easy way to consume it regularly.
- Palatable taste – Juiced with fruits like pineapple or lemon, turmeric is pleasant to drink.
- Nutrient preservation – Juicing retains all the nutrients, unlike cooking which degrades some.
Let’s look at the evidence behind some of turmeric juice’s top health benefits:
Chronic inflammation is believed to play a role in many modern diseases. Curcumin has been found to potently reduce levels of inflammatory markers in the body.
A 2019 review found curcumin was as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing inflammatory markers like TNF-alpha, IL-6, and CRP.
By reducing chronic inflammation, turmeric juice may help prevent or improve inflammatory conditions like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders.
Antioxidants protect our cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Too much oxidative damage is linked to aging and disease development.
Curcumin has been shown to have strong antioxidant capacities, on par with vitamins C and E. It boosts levels of antioxidant enzymes in the body.
Drinking turmeric juice floods the body with curcumin’s antioxidant effects, which can enhance general health and resilience against disease.
Improved Liver Function
Animal studies have found curcumin can protect the liver against toxic damage from chemicals, metals, alcohol, and even radiation.
A human study showed taking turmeric capsules for 8 weeks improved liver function tests in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Turmeric juice’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties likely give it similar liver-protective benefits.
Drinking turmeric juice each day may improve several key risk factors for heart disease. Studies show curcumin:
- Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
- Reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension
- Improves endothelial function
- Prevents clot formation
By improving these heart disease risk factors, curcumin in turmeric juice may prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Reduced Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin are thought to make it protective against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.
One study found older adults who consumed a curry dish with turmeric each day had better cognitive function over 6 years.
Animal research also shows curcumin reduces the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dozens of studies in cells and animals have shown curcumin has anti-cancer properties. It appears to be able to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Human data is limited, but promising. Studies suggest curcumin supplements may prevent precancerous colorectal lesions and delay cancer progression in people with multiple myeloma.
Including turmeric juice in the diet may help prevent certain cancers, particularly of the digestive system.
Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties lead researchers to believe it may help slow the aging process. It has been found to extend lifespan in some animal studies.
One way curcumin appears to impact aging is by improving mitochondrial health. Mitochondria produce energy for cells and regulate aging.
More human research is needed, but regular turmeric juicing may promote longevity.
How to Juice Turmeric Root
It’s easy to make fresh turmeric juice at home with a juicer. Follow these simple steps:
- Buy fresh turmeric root. Choose firm, unblemished roots.
- Wash and scrub the roots thoroughly to remove dirt.
- Cut the roots into smaller pieces to fit your juicer feed tube.
- Juice the turmeric root pieces along with aromatic fruits/veggies like pineapple, lemon, ginger, carrots, oranges etc.
- Drink the juice immediately after making for maximum benefits.
- Save any leftover juice in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When juicing turmeric root, keep in mind:
- One inch of raw turmeric root yields ~1-2 tablespoons of juice.
- For therapeutic benefits, aim for 1-3 tablespoons of fresh turmeric juice per day.
- Drink the juice on an empty stomach to maximize nutrient absorption.
- Combine with black pepper or piperine to enhance curcumin absorption by up to 2000%.
Possible Side Effects
Consuming high amounts of turmeric juice is likely safe for most people. Occasionally it can cause digestive upset like diarrhea or nausea, especially in large doses.
Turmeric may interact with blood thinners and drugs that reduce stomach acid. Check with your doctor before juicing large amounts if you take any medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should exercise caution with turmeric juice until more studies are done.
Some people may be allergic to turmeric and experience rash, headaches, or shortness of breath after consuming it.
The Bottom Line
Research suggests that juicing turmeric root may provide significant health benefits, including reducing inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body.
Turmeric juice may help prevent chronic diseases and has anti-aging properties. It’s also beneficial for brain, heart, liver, and immune system health.
To maximize the effects of curcumin in turmeric, juice fresh roots daily with a fruit/veggie juice blend.
Turmeric juice is safe for most people and can easily be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
|Potential Benefit||Research Evidence|
|Anti-inflammatory effects||Human and animal studies show curcumin reduces inflammatory markers.|
|Antioxidant properties||Test tube and animal studies confirm curcumin boosts antioxidant enzymes.|
|Improved liver health||Human and animal studies show curcumin protects the liver.|
|Heart health||Human studies find curcumin improves cholesterol, blood pressure, endothelial function, and clotting.|
|Reduced neurodegeneration||Human and animal studies link curcumin intake to improved cognition and less Alzheimer’s plaques.|
|Cancer prevention||Test tube and animal studies show curcumin kills cancer cells. Small human studies look promising.|
|Anti-aging||Animal studies reveal curcumin extends lifespan. Human data limited.|
Juicing turmeric root provides a concentrated dose of curcumin, its beneficial active compound. Research shows drinking turmeric juice can reduce inflammation, oxidative damage, and risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Juicing turmeric along with fruits and vegetables is safe for most people and helps optimize nutrient absorption for improved health and longevity.