Turmeric (Curcumin)

Try this supplement for you arthritic pain and stomach problems.

The herb is safe to use so there are no dangers or major concerns for most people.

Start with 500 mg once or twice daily and increase to four times daily as needed.

No one can say for certain if it would help with health conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease or other health conditions.

Initial animal studies showed encouraging results.

As well, population analysis comparing the amount of turmeric used by people living in different regions show great promise as a natural herb that just might help with many health problems.

Population with high turmeric intake seem to have lower incidence of cancer and other health problems.

It is worth trying for several months to see if it benefits conditions like arthritis since you can tell if it works.

In addition, including turmeric in your diet or taking it as a supplement for long-term may provide you with health benefits that last far into the future.

Scientific Evidence on the Benefits of Turmeric

See Health Benefits of Turmeric for a detailed discussion for each of the points listed below.
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Stomach Upset (Dyspepsia)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Osteoarthritis (OA) / Arthritis
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Diabetes (Type 2 Diabetes)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Cancer (breast, colon and skin)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Anxiety
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects High Blood Pressure
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Hardening of the Arteries (Atherosclerosis)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Weight Loss
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Prostate Cancer
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Alzheimer's disease / Dementia / Memory Loss
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Liver Disease
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Eye Disorder / Inflammation (uveitis)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Wound Healing
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Scabies
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Liver Tonic (Protection of the Liver)
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects

Depression

leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Acne (pimples) / Infections
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Roundworms and Worms of the Intestine
leaf rating system natural remedies plant benefit side effects Viral Infection
Helpful Psoriasis
See Turmeric Dosage Recommendations for specific dosages for some of the above mentioned health conditions.

Facts About Turmeric. What is This Spice All About?

There is a long history of using turmeric in Asian, Indian and Chinese medicine.

Turmeric is a plant related to ginger.

The above ground and underground roots (known as rhizomes) are used in food preparation, as a spice and for medicinal purposes.

Recent research studies found out that the active ingredient of this supplement, curcumin, is able to make cells more resistant to infection.

Often, people simply refer to curcumin when discussing this herb as it is the key active ingredient.

Turmeric contains curcuminoids such as curcumin which is a bright yellow pigment. Research studies done in tissue cultures and in animals show that curcumin has the following health benefits:

  • potent anti-inflammatory effects
  • cancer prevention activities
  • antioxidant effects
  • stimulates and enhances the immune system
  • antibacterial and antiviral properties, including against HIV
  • blood-thinning effects

There are a few high-quality research studies done in human subjects. The positive results from these small studies suggest that turmeric possesses many benefits for treating some common health problems.

These encouraging results will prompt more experts to carry out research to uncover the health benefits of taking turmeric.

Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Orally

  • acne
  • anxiety
  • atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • bacterial infection
  • bladder infection (cystitis)
  • bleeding disorder
  • bronchitis
  • cancer (colon, skin, prostate and breast)
  • common colds and flu
  • cystic fibrosis (CF)
  • depression / mood disorder
  • diabetes
  • diarrhea
  • eye disorder (uveitis)
  • fever
  • fibromyalgia
  • fluid retention (edema)
  • gallbladder problems
  • headaches
  • heart attack (myocardial infarction / MI)
  • hepatitis / liver disorder / liver protection / liver tonic
  • high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
  • high blood pressure
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • loss of appetite
  • osteoarthritis
  • prostate cancer
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  • roundworms and worms of the intestine
  • spice and flavouring (curry powder)
  • stomach & intestinal gas (flatulence)
  • stomach bloating
  • stomach inflammation (gastritis)
  • stomach pain and upset (dyspepsia)
  • viral infections
  • yellow colouring for food (mustards, butters and cheese)

Topically

  • acne
  • mosquito repellent
  • pain
  • scabies
  • toothaches
  • wound healing and infection prevention

Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

This supplement has very few side effects. The most commonly reported side effects are stomach upset, nausea and diarrhea.

When applied on the skin, this supplement may cause skin irritation.

Safe - Turmeric is safe to use in appropriate amounts both as a supplement and in food sources. It has a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) rating in the USA.

Pregnancy and Lactation - It is believed that turmeric may cause stimulation to the uterus when taken in amounts greater than found in food sources. It is unknown whether using this supplement is safe to take while breast feeding.

Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

Warfarin / Blood Thinners / Bleeding Disorder - caution

There are some reports that taking turmeric along with blood thinning medications such as Plavix, Aspirin or Coumadin (warfarin) might increase the risk of bleeding.

Let your doctor know when you are using this herbal remedy and have blood work done before and after taking this herb to see if it affects PT or INR levels.

Stomach Ulcers / Stomach Upset - caution

As this herb might worsen existing stomach problems, avoid using high doses as it may cause stomach irritation.

Gallstones / Bile Duct Obstruction or Blockage - avoid if possible

This herb is known to cause the gallbladder to contract, it may aggravate gallbladder problems.

Discuss this with your doctor first before starting this herb as a supplement.

Dosage & How to Take It

turmeric curcumin

This supplement comes as a powder, capsules, tincture, tea and standardized extracts. The report Suggested Turmeric Dosage to Use discusses this in greater details.

For treating stomach upset, the typical suggested turmeric dosage is 500 mg once to four times daily.

If you are taking the powdered root, the typical amount is 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily (taken in divided doses).

Most standardized turmeric extract have 90 to 95% curcumin in it.

For a tincture formulation, take 0.5 to 1.5 mL up to three times daily or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Bottom Line

Should I take turmeric (or curcumin)?

Turmeric has a very long history of use in both Indian and traditional Chinese medicine.

The food industry uses it to give foods such as butter, cheese and mustard their bright yellow colour.

It is shown to be very safe to use with minimal side effects.

See Recommended Curcumin Dosage to get an idea of a suitable dose to use for various health conditions.

Ongoing research are uncovering the many mechanism by which this herb exerts its effects in promoting health and in treating a variety of health problems.

There is growing evidence that it may be helpful in treating certain types of cancer. This benefit alone, for some people, would be a good enough reason to take.

Give it a try. Include it in your dishes or take the capsules. Your body might just thank you for it in the years to come!

See Curcumin Benefits for access to a list of articles that relates to specific uses of this versatile spice.

Related to Turmeric

 

Return to Turmeric Information Home Page

Selected References

Revised: 01.04.2017

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