Turmeric is a plant that grows in Asia and Central America. For thousands of years, this spice has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat various ailments.
Researchers found that when combined with black pepper, the beneficial properties of turmeric are accentuated. Both turmeric and black pepper contain active substances with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Active substances in turmeric and black pepper
The main compound of turmeric is curcumin, a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Black pepper contains piperine, a bioactive compound similar to capsaicin. Piperine helps reduce the symptoms of nausea and headaches and improves digestion. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Another special benefit of piperine is that it helps the body absorb other nutrients, especially curcumin. The latter is more difficult to absorb in the body, so the combination of the two spices is highly recommended.
Benefits of turmeric and black pepper
In the scientific world, there are two theories about how piperine works to absorb curcumin.
According to one theory, piperine relaxes the intestinal wall and allow larger curcumin molecules to pass on and be absorbed.
Another possible explanation is that peppermint slows down metabolism in the liver for as long as it allows curcumin to be absorbed.
The health benefits of the two active substances in pepper and turmeric
1. They reduce pain and inflammation
As mentioned above, both turmeric and black pepper have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them an excellent ally in the fight against arthritis. Combined, the two active ingredients help reduce pain.
2. They prevent cancer
Several studies have shown that turmeric, through its active substance, curcumin, inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It is probably less known that pepper acts in the same way. Currently, studies are being conducted to certify what types of cancer can be prevented by combining the two compounds.
Safety and dosage considerations for turmeric and black pepper
Both curcumin and piperine are considered safe and there are no special dosage recommendations.
However, a very few number of people may experience nausea, headaches and skin irritation after ingesting a larger amount of curcumin.
In the Indian culture, turmeric and black pepper are added to teas or combined with olive oil, coconut oil or ginger.