Turmeric - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • Turmeric, a plant related to ginger, is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Central America. Javanese turmeric (Curcuma xanthorrhiz) is a different plant and not discussed in this fact sheet.
  • Historically, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, primarily in South Asia, for many conditions, including breathing problems, rheumatism, serious pain, and fatigue.
  • Today, turmeric is used as a dietary supplement for inflammation; arthritis; stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder problems; cancer; and other conditions.
  • Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curry powder. Its primary active ingredients, curcuminoids, are yellow and used to color foods and cosmetics.
  • Turmeric’s underground stems (rhizomes) are dried and made into capsules, tablets, teas, or extracts. Turmeric powder is also made into a paste for skin conditions.
  • Claims that curcuminoids found in turmeric help to reduce inflammation aren’t supported by strong studies.
  • Preliminary studies found that curcuminoids may
    • Reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery
    • Control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen did
    • Reduce the skin irritation that often occurs after radiation treatments for breast cancer.
  • Other preliminary studies in people have looked at curcumin, a type of curcuminoid, for different cancers, colitis, diabetes, surgical pain, and as an ingredient in mouthwash for reducing plaque.
  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has studied curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate and colon cancer.

 

Safety Concerns

  • Reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery
  • Control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen did
  • Reduce the skin irritation that often occurs after radiation treatments for breast cancer.

 

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.