There has been considerable interest in feeding turmeric to horses during recent years.
Turmeric contains curcuminoids which are thought to be the active ingredient in Turmeric. Turmeric is insoluble in water, and curcumin is not recognised by the liver, making turmeric limited biological availablility. Dr Doug 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.
Development of Tumericle
Stance developed the powdered coconut oil product PowerStance to overcome the practical issues associated with feeding coconut oil. Since coconut oil is a tropical oil, it is saturated and hence solidifies below 22oC, making it difficult to feed during winter and in cold climates.
There are many types of turmeric, with Curcuma longa being the most common . A unique form of turmeric is Curcuma xanthorrhiza, which is used in many of the Stance Equitec products. C xanthorrhiza 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 feed 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 feeding turmeric (Turmeric User Group on Facebook). The Turmeric used in these reports would vary considerably in curcumin content. Dr Doug and Dr Tim 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.