How to Identify Genuine Organic Turmeric?

I was chatting with one of my friends in Australia about turmeric when she mentioned that she has just bought some organic turmeric for a herbal company there. I was quick to ask how does she know its “actually” organic. She was confused.

This is the case with most people falling under the trap of an “organic” product including turmeric. Before you go ahead and pay premium for an “organic” turmeric powder / supplement it is important to know what makes your turmeric organic and what you need to take care to ensure you are buying genuine organic turmeric.

What is organic turmeric?

Well the answer to this is simple, any turmeric which is grown not using any artificial pesticides, manure etc. Organic farming of turmeric will rely on natural manures such as compost etc. and biological pest control methods rather than spraying harmful pesticides which somehow enter in our body causing various health issues.

Organic farming rely on methods such as crop rotation, salinity control of soil, predatory beneficial insects, turning soil after crops etc. to make sure  crop is weed free but without pesticides.  Similarly the manure is also natural. An organic farm will use green manure or compost to make the crop healthy.

As you can see the above tasks are not as easy to carry out in today’s world of easily accessible chemical pesticides and manures. Thus, organic products are expensive then the non-organic ones.

How to identify genuine organic turmeric?

This one is a critical step in buying right turmeric product. How to identify a genuine organic turmeric brand? What do we do when we buy other products say a baby bottle, we look for has it cleared independent quality standards or not. The same is the case with organic USDA organic turmericturmeric too. The easiest thing you should be doing is to see if the product you plan to buy has been certified as “organic” by a known and reputed third party agency. For example in the US. Any product which is genuinely organic gets a USDA certification. When USDA certifies this the producer can put a mark like the one in right on its product which can assure you it’s tested.

Similarly, there are independent agencies in other countries who will do this work for example, in Australia, there are several bodies which can give this certification including – Australian Certified Organic, NASAA Certified Organic, etc. So, when you buy your organic turmeric in Australia next time see if it is certified. If not – it’s most likely not to be organic (I am coming to this case soon). If it is – check which institute the certification is. The certification institute reputation matters as much as the certification itself!

There may be some cases when the product may not be certified but still be organic and you can buy it. How? Because it is grown in front of you. If you source your organic products from a person who grows it in his farm near you it is very easy to just drop in and check.

How to Identify Genuine Organic Turmeric New

Other important but simple ways to identify a good turmeric product

Apart from checking out “organic” certification from reputed agencies there are other aspects too which you should consider while buying your organic turmeric. Here are some other tips:

  • Avoid powder and supplement which have additives and fillers in them.
  • Avoid supplements which have magnesium stearate (also known as stearic acid) in them. It is potentially toxic.
  • According to Dr. Mercola another harmful ingredient which may be present especially in turmeric supplements is Dibasic Calcium Phosphate (DCP).Indian Turmeric Abstract
  • The capsule should be vegetable based. It is best to avoid a gelatin-based one as much as you can.
  • It is great if your producer can meet international standards set for food safety: 
    • Hazards and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
    • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
    • ISO certifications for quality, safety and other important qualities
    • Kosher Food Certification

Summary

So the key thing to buy a great organic turmeric is to pay attention on all the above important aspects, most important being organic certification from a reputed agency in of country. This may mean that most of the brands you are buying right now will not qualify the tests. But it is fine. The motive for taking organic turmeric is to get best out of this amazing spice. There is no point settling for second best here even though you may have to shell out a few more $. After all health is wealth! 🙂

115 Comments

  1. Does any know if Daily Chef Ground Organic Turmeric is good quality? it is USDA Organic cerified and only ingredient listed is organic turmeric. It is distributed by SAM’S WEST, IN in Bentonville, AR.

  2. Has anyone purchased the Solagar brand called “Full Spectrum Curcumin”? It’s an oil filled capsule. It is supposed to have the potency of 75 100mg capsules of standardized curcumin. Expensive, but better than taking your chances with the powder.

    1. The originally trusted Solgar sold out to a pharmaceutical company, I believe approximately fifeteen years ago, who cleverly kept the name. NBTY has their name now

      You are automatically consuming a pre boiled product, that you hope hasn’t then been extracted using hexane or some other vile solvent and you probably aren’t supplied the data to prove the dose or the extraction method?

      Now if you want to trust a sold out company, that’s ok, but I’ll just but the organic root from a reputable buyer and I have the choice of raw and or cooking it myself and knowing the original root hasn’t been screwed with.

      An extract might be fine if you only want curcumin from turmeric, personally I would prefer the whole plant.

    2. Hi Linda,

      The solgar brand of curcumin contains polysorbate 80 as the bio-enhancer. It makes up the majority of the capsule with under 10% being curcumin. Polysorbate 80 is a synthetic emulsifier.

  3. This is not a comment in real sense of it. As far as turmeric is concerned what is most important is percentage of CURCUMIN in the turmeric . Normally the content of curcumin of 3-4 %. ZIZIRA in meghalaya markerting through AMAZON said to be containing 8% of curcumin.
    Second issue is : Curcumin dissolves in fat. So better take it with milk or in any curry where oil is used.
    Thirdly What ever we consume only some percentage only obsorbed. Where as pepparin which is available in pepper(black) will enhance the obsorbing capacity og intestines.
    So take turmeric having higher percentage of curcumin with pepper and some form of fat.

  4. Hi I have organic turmeric grown in the hills of Darjeeling. Anyone interested to buy? If interested pl. what’s up me 9874411178

      1. Hi I live in Assam and we can supply huge quantity of organic turmeric. Anybody interested can contact in 7086760682.

      2. You need to dial International access code from US its 011 then Country code you are calling which for India is 91 and then the phone number

    1. Yes, “Swanson’s” catalog of vitamins and supplements has the best prices, verified only top quality. I recently purchase the Tumeric w/black pepper and it is delicious (needs to be refrigerated after opening). To everyone always do your research. Many brands are found to not have any of the supplement claimed. Due your homework – Swanson’s is great!

  5. Hi,
    I want to purchase a certified India organic turmeric, high in curcumin. I live in United Kingdom. Can you help?

    1. I like to buy a certified organic turmeric powder orgynally from India with high in curcumin can you help me please

  6. Hi,
    Intend to market reputed organic products in Mysore. What registration and permission is required?What certification is needed? From where can it be obtained?

    1. I haveorganic c farm and goushala in Gujarat we recycle the cows dung and urine and farm.waste to our organic crops are there any buyers to buy product such as turmeric mint basil in pure organic with buy back guarantee with us

        1. Cow dung is sacred .It along with Cow urine can cure every disease including cancer,its written in Vedas.It s purely Indian discovery,but western drug companies suppress this information.One Indian PM used to drink cow urine regularly and at one time cow urine used to be served in Air India along with Tea and Coffee

          1. Because it written doesn’t mean it is true. If your cow urine can cure any disease, you could cure all of India and then the world of disease and you would be the most famous physician in the world.
            But instead it appears you are selling turmeric mint basil?
            Basically my friend you are talking pure cow dung.

    1. Dear Gulshan , What is the location of your big farm. We are providing heirloom roots , best quality compost fertilisers and organic pestisides for organic farming

    1. White turmeric is different from yellow turmeric or curcuma longa. We have not heard of this brand and hence cant comment. Check if it is certified organic, good quality and contains standardized curcumin extract.

  7. I notice your comment:”The certification institute reputation matters as much as the certification itself! ” Can you tell me a little about Tumeric Powder Certified Organic from Sri Lanka Control Union? As this product is obviously imported into my country and does not carry my Countries Certifications, I am left wondering about the purity of this product?

    1. Best bet is to buy the root as a whole and grind it yourself. May even buy green root as you are going to be mixing it with water anyways to make the concoction. Available at most of the East-Indian/Asian grocery stores. Organic is another myth even people today are GMO-ed. Stopped worrying about that long ago. FDA and all other agencies are as good as the politicians today if you can believe them believe any of their created agencies even the COPS.

    2. I buy many products from YesWellness.com and I too, live in Ontario Canada. It ships from BC cheaper than most stores. They only carry good quality products- free shipping over $50

  8. Hi My Name is John in Scotland.

    I like your frank and clear educated discussion on Turmeric.

    Has anyone had any experience or knowledge of Ukon Turmeric capsules from Enagic. ?

    I am just about to add the brand to my product list.

    1. Yes, it is considered the best. I have connection for that and I have the Enagic Water Machine for alkaline drinking and so much more that the machine offers.

    1. Hi Kerry, turmeric is now grown across the world but of course in many cases you have to have cntrol over the conditions. We will be an article on this soon.

    2. Hi Kerry,

      It grows GREAT in South Florida. It took me three years to propagate thirty gallons of roots from only a little mailer pouch of roots from China.

  9. I really need to know the best quality turmeric in capsule form so I can take this regularly. I am using Curcumin 4000 and even though it is not cheap I am not sure if this is the best. I appreciate it would be best to take the powder but don’t find that easy and would most likely not use it. So I would rather have a capsule form to take with other supplements. I would appreciate any comments. Thank you. Elly

  10. Two years ago I became extremely allergic to chemical dyes and other chemicals, particularly preservatives, like sodium benzoate and isothiazolinones. I do not have a history of any food allergies. I now have to wear undyed natural fibre clothing, which I make myself. I started using turmeric to dye some of the cloth and thread. I also eat it. I have realized that I am having bad reactions to the turmeric, both on cloth, and in food. I bought bulk organic turmeric from a reputable store.

    I suspect (but can’t be sure) my reaction may be to something IN the turmeric, not the turmeric itself. As with many of the organic products I have tried, “organic” does not mean “chemical-free’ and in many cases, means a LOT of chemicals, and dyes, and fertilizers!

    Any ideas beyond a trusted spource to figure out if I am reacting to the turmeric itself, or something added to it?

    1. Hi,

      You can do the following – Try taking “raw turmeric” and not powder – if it does not occur then there is problem with powder OR try another brand if possible.

      1. Hi – is there an Australian grown tumeric powder? I can’t find one and if I’m going to be taking this stuff everyday – I am not comfortable buying from overseas if the Organic regulators are lax..

  11. Hi Keshav,

    Thank you very much for sending me the information about turmeric powder, and I really enjoy reading it. I bought a bag of turmeric powder from a local Indian store, and it is the Laxmi Brand distributed by the House of Speices (India) Inc. in Flushing , New York. The turmeric powder in plastic bag has a net weight of 400 G (14 oz) with a price of $4.99.

    As you pointed out in your very informative article, some turmeric powders are adulterated with added stuff and artificial colors, and it will affect health. I was also told by some friends that some turmeric powder will have toxic metals in there such as lead.

    I was very concerned if the Laxmi Brand turmeric powder is produced by a reputable manufacturer, and if you know this Laxmi Brand has been adulterated in some way.

    I look forward to hearing your advice and comments.

    Thanks and best regards,

    John

  12. You have missed the main issue with purchasing Turmeric in any form and that is Country of Origin. China has such widespread heavy metals in their soil that nearly every manufacturer on the planet now is trying to find alternate sources. The related issue is that China is the world’s largest producer/exporter of herbs, spices, and the raw materials that go into supplements (especially Vitamin C) and therefore finding alternate sources for Tumeric will take some time. Investigate this topic further and Natural News is a good place to start. Meanwhile, ask your supplier of fresh roots, or contact the company if purchasing capsules if the Country of Origin label is not stated — the quality sellers will give you a straight answer. Mountain Rose Herbs in Eugene always gives me the truth when I ask, and often this truth is something like:: “our lab tests are several years old….or contaminants are below non-organic allowable standards….” or some evasive but honest answer (while they buy time to find another Country of Origin). This is truly a huge world problem. Don’t be discouraged — try growing your own. Turmeric can be grown most places, especially under protection. And don’t forget: Certified Organic Label does not guarantee zero contaminants….only that they do not exceed “allowable levels.” The Certified Organic Label has been corrupted in the last few decades as there are now nearly 300 “allowable” agricultural chemicals which are supposedly less toxic, that Big Ag has lobbied to include (and the list keeps expanding). The Certified Organic Label is a marketing and regulatory (i.e., taxation cash cow) invention of the USDA, the same organization which is pushing and contaminating the entire planet with GMO’s.

    1. Hi Ariel, very good points raised. You are right that growing your own or knowing someone who grows quality one is the best bet.

      You are also right – organic in itself does not 100% guarantee quality turmeric.

      1. And thank you for re-publishing your determining quality story; I am very new to your site and did not know this and will investigate your suggestions and links – thanks.
        -ariel

    2. HI I BOUGHT SOME TURMERIC POWDER ON LINE FROM INDIA IT SAID CERTIFIED ORGANIC BUT WHEN I GOT IT NOWHERE DID IT SAY IT.PLUS IT WAS IN A ZIPLOCK BAG . SO I EMAILED THE PLACE WHERE I GOT IT AND THEY SAID IT WAS ORGANIC AND THAT THEY RAN OUT OF STICKERS ! WOW ! IT LOOKS THE SAME AS THE OTHER TURMERIC IGOT SOME WHERE ELSE BUT IT SMELLS WEEKER THEN MINE BUT SAME COLOR.

      1. Hi Melanie, I NEVER buy any foods or medicine’s “from the Internet” suppliers. I only buy my medicines and foods from longstanding frontline companies which sold prior to the explosion of the Internet-only companies. These would never do something like what you describe and they care about their reputation and will provide documentation and follow through. StarWest Botanicals and Mountain Rose Herbs are two such companies for buying RAW MATERIALS. These providers of raw materials supply the supplements (packager) companies and therefore I am saying there are also quality, honest, clean packaged supplements companies out there, but the whole point is that if you are serious about this, and are young and have a lifetime ahead of you transitioning into self-generated medicine, then you will want to get a Source company, not a secondary products company, that you can count on. The cost savings is a major consideration for low-income people like me, but soon, all these items will skyrocket and cost will matter and therefore everyone will become their own self-producing herbal doctor!

        1. Hi Ariel, I just found this site…I have started the Golden Paste club, so to speak…and, I did buy my Turmeric online…ugg where I live, it isn’t easy to come by….I noticed what you said about Starwest Botanicals….Do they sale bad stuff? I did buy my Turmeric from Starwest..it says Kosher certified and USDA Organic…Does that mean anything good? I am so not a healthy eating kind of person…so I really do not know anything about this kind of thing…So any help would be just awesome…Maybe you can give me some ideas where to purchase my next order..

      2. Hi, unfortunately frauds in the name of “organic” are rampant. If you are buying from India be extra careful as laws are not so strict.

    3. Excellent comment! I grow Turmeric commercially in Costa Rica. In addition I grow Limes, Rambutan, Bananas and Coffee. We are USDA certified, but I can tell you that we are possibly the only farm in our area that is truly organic that maintains the certification in its integrity. The USDA hires agencies in other countries to certify produce under the USDA regulations and name/seal, and those agencies are in their prospective country. There seems to be little monitoring as many farmers lie to get the certification. I’ve witnessed this time and time again as I know the farmers in my area that have the USDA cert. are cheating. That really chaps my hide because I pay a pretty penny for the certification and I am the only one in my area who is truly organic, I suspect.

      Regarding China and it’s exports it is important that Turmeric consumers know more about what they are purchasing. In addition, India is not a reliable source either. The USDA recalled big shipments of Turmeric from India a few years back because they found lead in the Turmeric supply. The lead was used to add more weight.

      It’s all about integrity and buyers getting to know their suppliers. Buyers should make the effort to go direct with farmers. They should enter an agreement that the buyer can inspect the crops at anytime, rather than just relying on the USDA cert. and other certs. Lab tests should be performed but at a lower cost to the seller or buyer. They costs tens of thousands of dollars when all the certs. are added up. That will only drive the Turmeric to a higher price eventually. That’s a shame because everyone should be taking Turmeric but not all will buy it because it won’t be affordable eventually. Something must be done about all these agencies that are middlemen to collect on the profits of the farmer and create more cost to the consumer.

      On issue you commented on I disagree with and that is where you mention Turmeric can be grown just about anywhere. It is the curcumin levels that matter if you are seeking medicinal benefits from Turmeric. The percentage of curcuminoids in the Turmeric should be at 4.5 to 5% levels. That is not achieved in most places as you mention. It is the tropical climate areas that grow the medicinal levels necessary. Most Turmeric grown in the northern hemisphere have white tips on the end, grow gnarly and are weak. That is because they are growing in a natural habitat. Unless you can recreate a tropical ecosystem close to the equator, you are not going to grow medicinal Turmeric or the levels of curcuminoids will not be sufficient for the amount taken daily. You cannot over eat Turmeric to get curcuminoid levels to be high. That is a health risk. A tablespoon at the most is best. The curcumin must be extracted from the Turmeric in order to work medicinally. (For those who are not aware of this).

      1. Finca Lilo, do you have distribution of your products in the U.S.? Curious to know where your turmeric would be available. It’s so difficult to find trusted sources.

    4. So few people understand that any produce, herb, meat can be labled ” Organic ” , I deal with all sorts of farms due to my profession, I am a commercial truck driver. I haul this stuff all over, and guess what the large part of everything comes from a few suppliers. To seperate ” Organic ” from ” NonOrganic ” , is lets just say a simple process of how much is to much and what if we remove X amount of outter layers.

      To trust The FDA is insane, lol, you don’t pay the bills Big Pharma and the Mega Ag companies control what is and what isn’t allowed, certification is a matter of interpretation by the inspector and the producer.

      You want organic grow it yourself, but remember the soil is toxic, the air is poluted and the water contains everything that has been flushed down the drain.

      A head of lettuce can ne called Organic if the first four outer layers have been removed, so keek buying the hype, and the propaganda that these companies have sold you to dig deeper into your pockets.

      And don’t get me started on Monsanto and what GMO’s are and have done to the planet and its inhabitants.

      Genetically Modified Organism, that sound All Natural to any one.

      Buy a good quality product, add black pepper and simmer in your meals for taste and health.
      Try to stay away from China based products but its not easy due to labling often simply says Asia. Big area that is.

  13. I bought Laxmi Brand turmeric powder. The bag it comes in has none of the information you indicated on it. It’s made in India but distributed through a company in the U.S. called House of Spices (India) Inc. The bag says it is “paced on a line that processes peanuts, treenuts and wheat. All it says about ingredients is “ground dried turmeric root.” There’s one other thing it says that I found kind of comical. “This product has been processed with the most modern equipement (sic) available but even with the utmost care a small stone, soil or other foreign material may escape detection. We recommend examining and rinsing before proceeding with your favorite recipe.” How do you rinse powder?

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