What are the health benefits of turmeric?

Turmeric is truly an amazing substance, derived from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant native to India. Not only is it used to flavor foods, it has incredible health benefits. It has been used for centuries in eastern cultures to heal and has drawn the attention of scientists who are studying its potential preventative and curative powers.
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It has been used to treat a number of maladies and may help prevent others. Its health benefits are numerous and here is a list of how it has been used:
  • Heal sprains
  • Heal open wounds
  • Relieve symptoms of arthritis
  • Prevent and repair damage from heart failure
  • Treat acne
  • Treat eczema
  • Improve liver function
  • Treat digestive illness
  • Treat bladder infections
  • Treat diarrhea
  • Prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Treat psoriasis
  • To remove facial hair
  • To improve skin
Because of its extensive applications and its special powers, scientists are further evaluating turmeric as an agent to fight against cancer, HIV and cystic fibrosis, and studies are ongoing.
The health benefits of turmeric are truly amazing. However, since it has the ability to reduce the coagulation of blood, if you take any form of blood-thinning medications you should not use Turmeric.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Turmeric has been used as a spice, food coloring and treatment for digestive problems for thousands of years. Although it is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it is unknown exactly how beneficial it is to humans since to date most studies of turmeric have been done in animals.

 In small human studies turmeric was noted to reduce gas and bloating. It was also found to prolong the remission of ulcerative colitis in those who were treated with conventional medications. Turmeric in combination with other anti-inflammatory herbs has been found to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.  

In animals, turmeric reduced the plaque build up in arteries and lowered cholesterol. Further animal studies have found that turmeric can help prevent and control several cancers including prostate, breast, skin and colon cancer. It does this by cutting off blood supply to the tumors.

One of the more exciting potential roles of turmeric is in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  In India, where it is used in large quantities, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is low. Studies are being conducted to see if the reason for this is due to the widespread use of turmeric.

For now, we need to wait for the research to validate the health claims surrounding turmeric, but there is a good reason to use it. When added to food it is a wonderful taste treat. Fortunately it may be good for our health as well.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You usually see the yellow spice turmeric in Indian curries, giving them their characteristic color. Some studies have shown that turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can help fight cancer; however, these are cell or animal studies, and the health benefits of turmeric are not yet proven for humans.

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William B. Salt II., MD
Turmeric is the yellow spice in American mustard and Indian curries. Curcumin is one of turmeric’s components. It has powerful antioxidant properties and may protect against the development of Alzheimer’s   disease, which is associated with brain inflammation. It also has broad anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Turmeric is available as a tea
or supplement.
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Dr. Pina LoGiudice, LAc, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Watch as Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist Dr. Pina LoGiudice explains the health benefits of tumeric.


Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc
Geriatric Medicine
Turmeric, the spice that gives curry its distinctive flavor and coloring, also has plenty of pain-relief benefits. New research suggests that turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also helps to improve circulation and prevent blood clotting. Turmeric has been used in traditional medicines for easing the pain of sprains, strains, bruises and joint inflammation, as well as for treating skin and digestive issues. The healing power of turmeric comes from its active ingredient -- curcumin, which lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation.
Ozgen Dogan
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Turmeric is an Indian spice used in curry dishes. Studies have shown that it has some cholesterol-decreasing effects by helping liver cells clear more low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) or bad cholesterol from the body. It also reduces the risk of certain cancers.
Chris Kilham
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Although turmeric is enjoyed in Asia, few Americans are aware of its benefits. In this video, "Medicine Hunter" and author Chris Kilham discusses how turmeric helps the brain and other ways it improves your health.

Turmeric's reputation as a health-booster is well deserved. In this video, integrative medicine specialist Tasneem Bhatia, MD, talks about the spice's effects in your body and how you can benefit from it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.