There has been considerable interest in administering turmeric to horses during recent years. Turmeric contains curcuminoids which is the active ingredient. Turmeric is insoluble in water, and curcumin is not recognised by the liver, meaning it has limited biological availablility. Dr Doug English developed the Golden Paste, where he combined turmeric with an oil (olive or coconut), heated this mixture and added ground black pepper. Turmeric is soluble in oil, and so mixing with oil assists transport across the intestinal wall. Coconut oil is preferred because unlike all other oils it is absorbed directly into the portal blood, Black pepper prevents the excretion of compounds such as curcumin by the liver.
Forms of Turmeric
There are many types of turmeric, with Curcuma longa being the most common. One of the most unique forms of turmeric is Curcuma xanthorrhiza, this form is unique because of the xanthorrhizol oil. There are over 1000 technical references to C. xanthorrhiza on Google Scholar.
Turmericle was developed to provide a convenient way to administer turmeric. Turmericle contains both C. longa and C. xanthorrhiza, powdered coconut oil, and ground black pepper. Ground black pepper maintains its efficacy provided it is kept in a sealed container out of sunlight.
Does Curcumin Content Matter?
As there are literally hundreds of positive observations from around the world on the effects of administering turmeric (Turmeric User Group on Facebook). The Turmeric used in these reports would vary considerably in curcumin content. Dr Doug English and Dr Tim Kempton consider that it is the combination of other oils, and starches that are contributing to the effect. The most important factor is that the dried turmeric does not contain aflatoxins from poor harvesting, storage and processing techniques.