Turmeric (Curry Extract, Indian Curry) is a spice prized for its many health benefits.

This golden yellow powder – which has been used in traditional Indian treatments for centuries – is incredibly versatile and can be used in cooking, creating beauty products, and even making delicious lattes.

In the context of female vitality, turmeric’s benefits include improved skin quality, healthier joints, higher energy levels, and reduced depression and anxiety.

Most of its benefits can be attributed to curcumin, the active compound of turmeric which has been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. [1]

Physical Effects

  • Improves circulation
  • Enhances immunity
  • Supports liver function
  • Reduces swelling in joints
  • Aids weight loss

Mental Effects

  • Stimulates brain cell regeneration
  • Improves memory & cognition
  • Replenishes mood-boosting neurotransmitters (including serotonin and dopamine)
  • Boosts mental clarity
  • Reduces irritability and mood swings

How Turmeric Works

In the Body

  1. Turmeric quenches inflammation.

Inflammation often gets a bad rep, but the reality is, it’s essential for our survival. It helps our body fight foreign invaders and also plays a role in healing wounds and damage to your cells.

Without inflammation, bacteria and other pathogens could easily do damage to your body.

Although short-term inflammation is good, it can become a serious issue when it becomes chronic and starts attacking your own body’s tissues.

According to experts, low-level chronic inflammation is one of the culprits for modern’s diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and obesity. In terms of brain health, chronic inflammation can destroy neurons leading to cognitive decline, and in some cases, Alzheimer’s and dementia. [2, 3, 4]

That said, anything that can help regulate inflammation is potentially important for preventing these ills.

Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory. So powerful that it matches the potency of some pharmaceutical drugs – but without side effects. [5, 6, 7]

These effects come from turmeric’s ability to block NF-KB, a small molecule that activates genes in your cells that trigger inflammation. NF-kB is suggested to play a role in numerous chronic diseases. [8, 9]

In essence, turmeric fights inflammation at the cellular level. Which is why supplementation works so well.

  1. Turmeric boosts the body’s antioxidant capacity

Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the processes behind aging and chronic disease. It’s facilitated by so-called free radicals, small molecules that have only one electron, which makes them unstable and highly dangerous to other cells.

Free radicals do damage to your proteins, fatty acids, and DNA.

The main reason why antioxidants are so good for us is that they shield our cells from free radicals. They essentially ‘donate’ extra electrons to these damaging molecules, making them stable again.

Curcumin, turmeric’s main bioactive, is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals on its own. [10, 11]

But, it also enhances your body’s own antioxidants. Such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD). [12]

So, essentially, it delivers a one-two kick to free radicals. Neutralizing them directly while also bolstering your body’s native defenses.

In the Brain

  1. Turmeric supports neurogenesis.

BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is a type of growth hormone that stimulates the growth of new brain cells. When your BDNF levels are higher, you’ll feel better, think sharper, and be more productive. This can also cut down the risk of a neurodegenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s.

Using turmeric can boost your mental function, as well as elevate your mood especially if you’re prone to anxiety and depression. A number of studies have reported turmeric’s ability to markedly increase BDNF levels. [13] This is an important finding because our BDNF levels go down as we age, and things like stress can aggravate this decline.

Turmeric can also boost your brain’s plasticity. Researchers found that curcumin in turmeric activates certain pathways (p38 kinases and ERKs) that regulate neuronal plasticity and brain’s stress response.

One mice study showed an increase in newly generated cells in the hippocampus of mice’s brains, after injecting them with curcumin. The study also reported that curcumin’s activity enhances brain cell repair. [14]

Another clinical trial found that other compounds in turmeric, such as volatile oil Ar-turmerone, boost the regeneration of brain cells. When scientists bathed neural stem cells in Ar-turmerone, up to 80% more of them grew into brain cells.

The same result was seen when they injected turmeric extract into a part of rat’s brains where these very cells are found. [15]

  1. Turmeric influences dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters.

Dopamine and serotonin are two of the most important neurotransmitters in your brain for regulating mood, motivation and well-being.

Turmeric and its active compounds have been successfully used as anti-depressants for centuries, thanks to their influence on these crucial brain chemicals.

Researchers from India found that curcumin (the main active compound of turmeric) boosts serotonin and dopamine brain levels. This was mainly achieved through the inhibition of monoamine oxidase enzymes (including MAO-A and MAO-B), which is similar to what some anti-depressants do.

The best part is, researchers didn’t note an increase in noradrenaline levels when using curcumin to boost brain chemicals. This is a good thing because noradrenaline (or norepinephrine) is involved in the flight-or-fight response and makes you nervous, irritable and anxious.

Scientists in this particular study also found that turmeric paired with black pepper extract worked much better than turmeric alone. Mainly because black pepper boosts turmeric’s absorption in the body. [16]

Turmeric and Female Vitality

Turmeric is a wonderful nurturing spice, offering far-ranging benefits that include specific support for female’s unique biology.

Through its rich and powerful plant chemistry, it has immune-strengthening and hormone-balancing effects that can be important for achieving daily balance at all stages of life.

Here are a few ways turmeric benefits female vitality specifically:

Supports Hormonal Homeostasis

A build up of excess estrogen can lead to irregular cycles, painful and heavy periods, PMS, acne, and even weight gain.

In the long-run, these hormonal imbalances might also affect your other hormones such as those products by your thyroid and adrenals.

This estrogen ‘excess’ is significantly influenced by your liver’s ability to detoxify and break down this build-up.

Turmeric is one of the most powerful natural liver tonics, improving its efficiency in moderating hormone imbalances as well as getting rid of their metabolic byproducts.

Gut Health

A lot is known about turmeric and gut health. Science has shown that this golden spice can boost sluggish digestion by promoting blood flow to your digestive system as well as supporting gut wall integrity.

Turmeric also helps to ‘unstuck’ bile, allowing more of it to flow freely, which optimizes digestion even further – allowing the breakdown of essential fatty acids and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins.

These nutrients are especially supportive for females, forming the foundation of the sex hormones and having many other key functions in the endocrine system.

Thyroid Health

Statistically speaking, thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s are more prevalent in women. [17] In a lot of cases, it’s not the thyroid that’s the issue but instead a series of changes in the immune system.

In Hashimoto’s condition, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, which can manifest as fatigue, mood and cognitive impairments, menstrual issues, and weight gain.

As a big part of our immune system is in our gut, turmeric is a great way to lower the inflammatory response and protect the thyroid, along with providing digestive support and healing.


Female’s body goes through different unique processes, such as ovulation, where the immature eggs (oocytes) develop and mature. This process is taxing on the body, and creates by-products called reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radicals.

As we’ve seen above, free radicals can do a lot of damage to your body. As a result, it’s important to try to keep them as low as possible.

Female oocytes are especially sensitive to ROS. If there’s too much oxidative stress going on, the eggs can get damaged – leading to a condition called ‘anovulation’. This is where ovaries don’t release an oocyte during the cycle.

This is where plants like turmeric can help. Turmeric’s antioxidant activity means it can keep reactive oxygen species at bay, and by extension – protect female oocytes from getting damaged.

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

PCOS and other conditions that involve the immune system – such as endometriosis – are closely correlated with having high levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body. The most notorious ones being ‘cytokines’.

When your body has to deal with too many cytokines, the inflammation level rises. And, if we’ve learned anything about inflammation in this post, it’s that it can wreak havoc on all aspects of your health – including painful and heavy periods, irregular cycles, acne, weight gain, and joint stiffness.

Research has demonstrated that turmeric’s compounds can prevent these rises in inflammatory chemicals. In doing so, turmeric has a knock-on effect on the management of endometriosis and PCOS.

Menopause and Peri-Menopause

As females move into peri-menopause, and eventually, full menopause, the consequent changes in hormones can increase their levels of inflammation.

This, in turn, leads to symptoms such as body stiffness, achiness and hot flushes.

Prolonged inflammation can be quite a burden for your body, requiring additional nutrients to keep inflammation somewhat at bay.

Not to mention that inflammation also ages you faster, not just from the outside but also within organs and tissues.

As the symptoms of menopause start to manifest, you might notice an increase in wear and tear on your joints and muscular system.

Luckily, turmeric has been clinically proven to help with arthritis and joint pain. In some cases, to the same extent as the most powerful pharmaceutical drugs.

It achieves this by promoting cartilage healing, reducing reactive oxygen species, and of course, minimizing inflammation within your body.

Turmeric vs Curcumin

Turmeric spice is the grounded root of Curcuma longa, a plant from the ginger family. You’ll often see it sold in spice jars. It can also be bought fresh and resembles ginger root with a more intense golden color.

In India, turmeric has been traditionally used to treat digestive upset, aches and pains, and skin conditions.

Responsible for these turmeric’s effects are its bioactive compounds, many of which work in tandem with each other to provide the benefits. However, one group, curcuminoids, are shown to have the greatest impact on our health.

The most notable curcuminoid of the bunch is curcumin. Even though it only contains 2-8% of curcumin, it’s the most powerful compound in turmeric.

So, what are the differences between taking turmeric powder as a whole, and taking isolated curcumin? Let’s first look at some of their common benefits.

Common Benefits

Turmeric and curcumin are both backed by science to help with:

  • Arthritis: Plant compounds in turmeric, among which is curcumin, significantly reduce markers of inflammation and thus relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. [18, 19]
  • Weight loss: Turmeric and curcumin both help fight obesity by inhibiting the inflammatory pathways involved in weight gain. [20]
  • Heart health: Turmeric and curcumin both reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, slashing down the risk of heart disease in the process. [21]
  • Diabetes: Both turmeric and curcumin improve blood sugar regulation, consequently reducing the effects on diabetes on the body. [22]
  • Liver oxidative stress: Turmeric and curcumin extract have been shown in studies to protect against chronic liver damage by reducing the levels of oxidative stress. [23]
  • Fungi overgrowth: Turmeric and curcumin both disrupt cell membranes of fungi to stop them from spreading out of control. [24]
  • Disease-causing bacteria: Turmeric and curcumin both have strong antibacterial effects, reducing the growth and spreading of many harmful bacteria. [25]

Turmeric’s Unique Benefits

As a plant, Turmeric is well-respected in traditional medicine.

Not only is it good for your physical condition, but it also protects your brain and contributes to overall well-being as you age.

It even shows promise in the treatment of the worst of conditions, such as Parkinson’s. [26]

Turmeric as a whole contains much more than just curcumin. Many of its plant compounds work together to support your body.

For example, curdione in turmeric has been shown to have the best inhibitory effect on fungal growth. However, when combined with the other 7 compounds of turmeric, its effects got significantly stronger. [27]

So, while curcumin alone might help you reduce fungal overgrowth, you might get much better results by taking turmeric instead.

Another example is tumor cell growth. Here too, one study showed turmeric had better effects than curcumin alone. [28]

Curcumin’s Unique Benefits

Curcumin has some advantages of its own. As it’s been considered the main active ingredient of turmeric, scientists have been isolating it and examining whether it could help certain conditions without the help of other compounds in turmeric.

And, it’s been shown to have remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can even support wound healing. [29]

Interestingly, both turmeric and curcumin are known to reduce blood sugar in diabetics. But taken alone, curcumin was actually better at reducing diabetes marker than turmeric as a whole.

Curcumin has a specific ability to lower tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and other inflammatory markers which play a major role in type 2 diabetes. [31]

Curcumin might also be even more beneficial for reducing osteoporosis risk. Making it useful for females entering menopause, which is a period where most bone loss starts to occur. [32]

The issue with isolated curcumin, however, is that it’s poorly absorbed by your body. Taken alone, most of it passes down the digestive tract undigested. What makes it up to 2,000% more bioavailable is black pepper. Simply adding some can go a long way in enhancing curcumin’s effects.

Which One to Choose?

There’s no straight answer on which is better, turmeric or curcumin. It all depends on your individual body chemistry, as well as your health goals.

That being said, turmeric offers a wider spectrum of benefits than curcumin alone, as it provides compounds that have some unique effects that curcumin doesn’t have.

In that sense, turmeric is a better option. It’s also a safer long-term option, as it’s still unclear for how long it’s safe to take high dose curcumin extracts.

When buying a supplement, it’s crucial to buy a formula that uses clinical amounts of turmeric, which is what works best for long-term supplementation. More on the optimal dosage below.

Turmeric for Weight Loss – Does it Work?

There’s a lot of hype around turmeric’s benefits, making it hard to tell what’s true and what’s not.

Although turmeric is known to have many health benefits, you don’t often see it being mentioned in the context of weight loss and fat burning.

So, does it really work?

The bulk of the research shows promising results. In some test tube studies, it was shown that curcumin suppresses inflammatory markers that, when chronically elevated, can lead to obesity. [32]

Multiple animal studies have shown that turmeric, more so curcumin has the ability to promote fat tissue reduction, prevent fat re-gain, and also reduce insulin resistance – one of the major contributors to obesity and disease. [32, 33, 34, 35]

In terms of human studies, the results look just as promising. In a 30-day study involving 44 people who were overweight and unable to lose weight, supplementation of 800mg of curcumin+8mg piperine, two times per day led to impressive reductions in their body mass index, body weight, and hip and waist circumference. [36]

And a study review involving over 1600 participants across 21 clinical trials linked curcumin supplementation with the following results [37]:

  • Reduced BMI
  • Reduced total body mass
  • Increased levels of metabolism-regulating hormone adiponectin
  • Reduced waist circumference.

Optimal Dosage

In terms of osteoarthritis, mood and mental well-being, and general health benefits, most trials use between 500-2,000mg of turmeric daily.

Bear in mind that this is turmeric extract with a high level of curcumin, much higher than what you’d naturally found in foods. It’s very hard, if not impossible to reap turmeric’s immediate and therapeutic benefits by merely using more curry or sprinkling it on your food.

With that being said, if you plan to take turmeric long-term, lower doses have generally been shown as safer and more effective.

Kurapeak’s 200mg of standardized turmeric extract per serving provides you with clinically tested amounts of curcumin that is safe to take daily for optimal health.

Safety of Turmeric

When taken in recommended doses, turmeric is considered safe and non-toxic. Taking high amounts of turmeric for long periods of time can lead to upset stomach and ulcers.

If you have gallstones or other obstructions to your bile tracts, you should talk with your MD before supplementing with turmeric.

It’s also not recommended for diabetics as it can lower high blood sugar levels.

As well as that, turmeric acts as a blood thinner, and as such should be avoided if taking any blood-thinning medications.

How Does it Feel to Use Turmeric Daily?

Curcumin’s anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, antidiabetes, and anti-hepatotoxic effects might not be felt immediately, but instead, over time as its beneficial compounds build up in your system.

If you’re in perfect health, then you might not feel the protective effects of turmeric. But long-term supplementation of turmeric has the potential to help you ward off cognitive decline, cardiovascular issues, premature aging, gut inflammation and other ails.

People who suffer from chronic joint pain or other inflammatory conditions are the ones who’ll feel turmeric’s benefits the most.

Chronic pain and inflammation typically lead to insomnia, depression, mood swings, poor flexibility and slow recovery from exercise. Adding turmeric to your daily supplement stack can help relieve chronic pain, and consequently, improve your overall quality of life.

Kurapeak Stack Strategy: Turmeric + Rhodiola Rosea for Enhanced Female Vitality

Out of all adaptogenic herbs, Rhodiola Rosea might be the most renowned for its ability to relieve fatigue when you feel stressed while promoting mental energy and a healthier emotional outlook. Rhodiola’s antidepressant effects have been shown to rival those of some pharmaceutical drugs – including Zoloft (Sertraline). [38]

Turmeric is another powerful mood-enhancing supplement, but it works in a different way. It lowers inflammation on a cellular level. As a result, this brings a whole host of physical and mental benefits with it – including reduced depression and optimized neurochemical balance.

Combined in Kurapeak, Turmeric and Rhodiola Rosea synergize together to promote female vitality across the board. Both Rhodiola and Turmeric have been used traditionally for thousands of years and enjoy strong backing from scientific research.


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