turmeric extract (generic name)
- Auto Immune Conditions
- Bladder & Kidney Health
- Brain & Nervous System
- Care Transitions
- Dental Health
- Emotional Health
- Eye Health
- Falls Prevention
- Financial Planning
- General Safety
- Health Care Basics
- Healthy Living
- Hearing Loss
- Heart Health
- High Blood Pressure
- Life Transitions
- Lung Health
- Men's Health
- Nutrition & Weight Management
- Pain Management
- Preventive Health
- Sexual Health
- Stomach & Digestive Health
- Stress & Anxiety
- Women's Health
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abdominal bloating, Alzheimer's disease, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-venom, appetite stimulant, asthma, boils, breast milk stimulant, bruises, cataracts, chemoprotective, contraception, cough, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, diarrhea, dizziness, epilepsy, flavoring agent, gas, gonorrhea, heart damage from doxorubicin (Adriamycin®, Doxil®), Helicobacter pylori infection, hepatitis, high blood pressure, histological dye, human papillomavirus (HPV), hypoglycemic agent (blood sugar lowering), infections (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), insect bites, insect repellent, jaundice, kidney disease, kidney stones, leprosy, liver damage from toxins/drugs, male fertility, menstrual pain, menstrual period problems/lack of menstrual period, multidrug resistance, neurodegenerative disorders, pain, parasites, ringworm, scarring, scleroderma, weight reduction.
Adults (over 18 years old)
Doses used range from 450 milligrams of curcumin capsules to 3 grams of turmeric root daily, divided into several doses, taken by mouth. As a tea, 1 to 1.5 grams of dried root may be steeped in 150 milliliters of water for 15 minutes and taken twice daily. Average dietary intake of turmeric in the Indian population may range between 2 to 2.5 grams, corresponding to 60 to 200 milligrams of curcumin daily. A dose of 0.6 milliliters of turmeric oil has been taken three times daily for one month and a dose of 1 milliliter in three divided doses has been taken for two months.
One reported method for treating scabies is to cover affected areas once daily with a paste consisting of a 4:1 mixture of Azadirachta indica ADR ("neem") to turmeric, for up to 15 days. Scabies should be treated under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven or safe medicinal dose of turmeric in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Allergic reactions to turmeric may occur, including contact dermatitis (an itchy rash) after skin or scalp exposure. People with allergies to plants in the Curcuma genus are more likely to have an allergic reaction to turmeric. Use cautiously in patients allergic to turmeric or any of its constituents (including curcumin), to yellow food colorings, or to plants in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family.
Side Effects and Warnings
Turmeric may cause an upset stomach, especially in high doses or if given over a long period of time. Heartburn has been reported in patients being treated for stomach ulcers. Since turmeric is sometimes used for the treatment of heartburn or ulcers, caution may be necessary in some patients. Nausea and diarrhea have also been reported.
Based on laboratory and animal studies, turmeric may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary. Turmeric should be stopped prior to scheduled surgery.
Limited animal studies show that a component of turmeric, curcumin, may increase liver function tests. However, one human study reports that turmeric has no effect on these tests. Turmeric or curcumin may cause gallbladder squeezing (contraction) and may not be advised in patients with gallstones. In animal studies, hair loss (alopecia) and lowering of blood pressure have been reported. In theory, turmeric may weaken the immune system and should be used cautiously in patients with immune system deficiencies.
Turmeric should be used with caution in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia or people taking drugs or supplements that lower blood sugar.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Historically, turmeric has been considered safe when used as a spice in foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, turmeric has been found to cause uterine stimulation and to stimulate menstrual flow and caution is therefore warranted during pregnancy. Animal studies have not found turmeric taken by mouth to cause abnormal fetal development.