What Can This Spice Do for Your Health?

Turmeric is a popular spice that is used around the world.

It is an important and commonly used ingredient used in many spicy Thai, Persian, Chinese and Indian dishes.

It is also used as food colouring to give food a bright yellow colour.

The main active ingredient found in turmeric is curcumin.

Experts believe that it is curcumin that gives turmeric all its healing properties.

Below is a detailed summary along with comments on the scientific evidence supporting its uses.

Evidence of Benefits of Turmeric

See Health Benefits of Turmeric for just a quick summary without the detailed discussion shown below.

Stomach Upset (Dyspepsia)

This herb is effective in treating stomach upsets, stomach gas and abdominal cramps. Studies done in animals show that turmeric seems to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

This is believed to protect the stomach from damage caused by certain drugs, alcohol use and stress from everyday living.

Osteoarthritis (OA) / Arthritis

In human studies, turmeric shows anti-inflammatory effects when combined with other herbs (such as boswellia).

It was effective in bringing down pain and swelling.

Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)

Animal studies and some small human studies show that turmeric may help to increase insulin production. However, this did not directly result in lowering of blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.

See Turmeric for Diabetes for a detailed discussion.

Cancer (Breast, Colon and Skin)

One research study seems to show that taking this natural remedy helps in some patients suffering from cancer of the colon (colorectal) cancer.

Currently, there is no conclusive clinical evidence that this herb can help with other forms of cancer such as breast cancer. However, population studies seem to show that in cultures that have a diet high in turmeric, there seems to be fewer cases of cancer in general.

See Turmeric for Cancer for a discussion on this particular use.


In one study, 30 obese volunteers were given 1 g per day of curcumin in a cross-over study (30 days on curcumin, 2 weeks wash-out and 30 days on placebo). After 10 weeks, those taking curcumin showed a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms.

See Taking Curcumin for Anxiety for a discussion on this particular use.

See the detailed review A Complete List of Natural Remedies That Work for Anxiety to get further information.

High Blood Pressure

In one study of individuals suffering from kidney disease, taking 500 mg three times daily resulted in a significant lowering of their blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements at the 30, 60 and 90 days period was still lowered.

The report Turmeric for High Blood Pressure discuss this use in detail.

Keep in mind that there are many other natural remedies that help with high blood pressure as well.

Hardening of the Arteries (Atherosclerosis)

This herb is shown to reduce high cholesterol in animal studies and reduce the risk of blood clots. Clinical studies will be needed to verify this benefit in humans.

Weight Loss

Studies done in animals show that this herb caused a small but significant weight loss even though the animals were fed a high-fat diet.

See Turmeric for Weight Loss for a detailed discussion.

Prostate Cancer

One research study showed that combining this supplement with a conventional anticancer therapy was more effective in treating prostate cancer that did not respond to standard anticancer therapy.

See Natural Remedies for Prostate Cancer to get a list of remedies that may help with this disease.

Alzheimer's disease / Dementia / Memory Loss

In animals, this supplement shows antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and reduces beta-amyloid (a chemical found in the brain of people with Alzheimer's disease).

There is no evidence that this natural remedy can help with improving memory in those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

See Natural Remedies for Dementia to find out other supplements that may be helpful for this condition.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

Research done in mice shows that taking this supplement can reduces the symptoms of cystic fibrosis. Clinical studies were not able to replicate this benefit in human subjects.

Liver Disease

This herb, in animal studies, shows that it can protect the liver from damage from toxic substances and certain drugs. Clinical studies will be required to see if also applies to humans.

Eye Disorder / Inflammation (Uveitis)

One clinical study shows that taking this herb may reduce the inflammation of the uvea (the middle part of the eye).

Wound Healing

Applying a cream containing turmeric seems to speed up the healing process in animals studies.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

In one clinical study, patients taking 360 mg three or four times daily for three months significantly reduced the number of relapse. It's a small study so a larger trial will be needed to confirm its benefit.


Traditionally, this herbal remedy applied to the skin is used to treat skin conditions such as scabies.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

As this herbal supplement shows anti-inflammatory benefits, it may be helpful in reducing swelling and pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

See Curcumin for Rheumatoid Arthritis for the full discussion of this particular use.

Liver Tonic (Protection of the Liver)

There is evidence from animal and lab studies that curcumin might protect the liver from damaging chemicals.


One animal study done in rats showed that this herb may be helpful in reducing depressive symptoms.

The article Turmeric for Depression talks about this benefit.

Acne (pimples) / Infections

One lab study shows that this herb is able to kill the bacterial found on the skin that causes acne. There are no clinical studies to show if using turmeric as a home remedy would be useful to treat acne.

See Turmeric for Acne for a detailed discussion and how to make a turmeric paste and cream.

Roundworms and Worms of the Intestine

Research done in a lab setting shows that turmeric might be able to reduce the damage to the intestine caused by certain intestinal worms.

Viral Infection

Initial lab research studies show that this supplement can help with treating viral infections. However, studies will need to be done in human subjects to verify this benefit.


There is no clinical evidence that this natural herb can benefit those suffering from psoriasis.

Anecdotal reports suggest that it may be helpful in some people.

See Turmeric for Psoriasis to find out how to make and use a psoriasis treatment cream.

See Turmeric Dosage Recommendations for specific dosage recommendations for some of the above health conditions.

Traditional Uses and Recommended Dose to Use

There are many other traditional uses of turmeric that are not listed in the table above.

See the FULL Review of Turmeric to get the complete list of benefits suggested by alternative health care professionals.

To find out what is an appropriate amount to take, see Recommended Turmeric Dosage to get the full details.