What is turmeric used for?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant.The root of turmeric is used widely to make medicine.
Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bypass surgery, hemorrhage, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue.
It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabetes, water retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, urinary bladder inflammation, and kidney problems.
Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, sprains and swellings, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, acne, inflammatory skin conditions and skin sores, soreness inside of the mouth, infected wounds, and gum disease.
Turmeric is also used as an enema for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
In food and manufacturing, the essential oil of turmeric is used in perfumes, and its resin is used as a flavor and color component in foods.
Turmeric is different from Javanese turmeric root (Curcuma zedoaria).
How does it work?
There are not enough studies about how this herbal supplement works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, it is known that turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using turmeric?
Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
- You have allergy with any substances of turmeric or other medications or other herbals.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
The regulations for an herbal supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this herbal supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.
How safe is turmeric?
Turmeric is likely safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin appropriately for up to 8 months.
Turmeric is possibly safe when it is used as an enema or a mouthwash in the short-term.
Special precautions & warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: During pregnancy and while breast-feeding, turmeric is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, turmeric is likely unsafe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting the pregnancy at risk. Do not take medicinal amounts of turmeric if you are pregnant. There is not enough information to rate the safety of medicinal amounts of turmeric during breast-feeding. It is best not to use it.
Gallbladder problems: Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Do not use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.
Bleeding problems: Taking turmeric might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Diabetes: Curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might decrease blood sugar in people with diabetes. Use with caution in people with diabetes as it might make blood sugar too low.
A stomach disorder called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Do not take turmeric if it worsens symptoms of GERD.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which might act like the hormone estrogen. In theory, turmeric might make hormone-sensitive conditions worse. However, some research shows that turmeric reduces the effects of estrogen in some hormone-sensitive cancer cells. Therefore, turmeric might have beneficial effects on hormone-sensitive conditions. Until more is known, use cautiously if you have a condition that might be made worse by exposure to hormones.
Infertility: Turmeric might lower testosterone levels and decrease sperm movement when taken by mouth by men. This might reduce fertility. Turmeric should be used cautiously by people trying to have a baby.
Iron deficiency: Taking high amounts of turmeric might prevent the absorption of iron. Turmeric should be used with caution in people with iron deficiency.
Surgery: Turmeric might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
What kind of side effects may I have from turmeric?
Turmeric usually does not cause significant side effects; however, some people can experience:
- Stomach upset
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.
What interactions may I have with turmeric?
Turmeric may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.
Products that may interact with turmeric include: Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for turmeric?
For high cholesterol: 1.4 grams of turmeric extract in two divided doses daily for 3 months has been used.
For itching (pruritus): 1500 mg of turmeric in three divided doses daily for 8 weeks has been used. Also, a specific product containing turmeric extract (C3 Complex, Sami Labs LTD) plus black pepper or long pepper has been used daily for 4 weeks.
For osteoarthritis: 500 mg of a non-commercial turmeric product four times daily for 4-6 weeks has been used. 500 mg of a specific turmeric extract (Turmacin, Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd.) has been used twice daily for 6 weeks (89721). 500 mg of a specific turmeric extract (Meriva, Indena) containing turmeric and phosphatidylcholine has been used twice daily for 2-3 months. Other combination products have also been used.
For high cholesterol: 1.4 grams of turmeric extract in two divided doses daily for 3 months has been used in children at least 15 years-old.
The dose for this herbal supplement may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Herbal supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.
What form does turmeric come in?
Turmeric supplement may be available in the following dosage forms:
- Liquid extract
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.