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Capitalizing on Curcumin

<p>While turmeric may be best known for its role in curry, its recognition and appeal is rising in medicinal and natural health markets across the globe.</p>

The common spice, turmeric, may best be known for its role in curry. However, its recognition and appeal is rising in medicinal and natural health markets across the globe.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, is rich in bright yellow curcuminoids known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral and anti-infectious properties, according to David Garner, CEO of Molecular Health Technologies LLC.

“The best-researched active constituent is curcumin," Garner said, “which comprises 0.3 to 5.4 percent of raw turmeric."

Curcumin may also improve inflammation and edema, arthritis, pancreatitis, cancer, post-surgery recovery, ocular conditions, and gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Curcumin also seems to enhance the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs.

The sale of products containing turmeric as the primary ingredient equaled more than USD $30 million from May 2013 to May 2014 according to SPINS data. This represents a 40-percent increase from sales in the previous year. The majority of these sales ($25 million) were in natural versus conventional outlet channels.

These numbers show a comparative interest in curcumin for American consumers, but with FDA cracking down on inflammation claims, the question is how to market this ancient and complex spice.

Discover tips and caveats for entering this growing segment in the INSIDER article, “Marketing Curcumin" in the Curcumin Digital Issue.

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