Turmeric

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Turmeric, which is also called Indian curry or curry extract, is a spice that has been used worldwide for 4,000 years (most widely used in Indian cuisine). Turmeric is known for helping combat infections, certain varieties of cancer, inflammation, and poor digestion. Turmeric can be recognized by its vibrant yellow color, which flavors and colors indian curries, mustard, butter, and cheese. Turmeric is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines to help with inflammation, digestion, liver issues, skin problems, wound care, and as an antioxidant. Turmeric can be used as a spice, or taken as a capsule, fluid extract, or tincture. Bromelain helps with absorption of turmeric and also helps increase the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric.

Also known as:  Curcuma, Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoïdes, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin

Diseases and Conditions

Turmeric is likely effective for the following conditions:

  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pruritus

Safety

Turmeric is likely safe when used orally, topically, and appropriately. Turmeric is likely safe when used as an enema in the short term for up to 21 days. It is likely safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume turmeric in food amounts; but it is likely unsafe when used in medicinal amounts. Orally, turmeric is generally well-tolerated although common side effects reported include:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Contact dermatitis

Turmeric has antiplatelet properties which may cause excessive bleeding; discontinue use at least 2 weeks before a procedure.

Medication Interactions

Turmeric may interfere with anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs such as:

  • Aspirin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Dalteparin (Fragmin)
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Heparin
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)

Turmeric may also interact with antidiabetes drugs such as:

  • Glimepiride (Amaryl)
  • Glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase)
  • Insulin
  • Pioglitazone (Actos)
  • Rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)
  • Tolbutamide (Orinase)
  • Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) substrates
  • Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates
  • P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates
  • Docetaxel
  • Norfloxacin
  • P-glycoprotein substrates
  • Paclitaxel
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Talinolol

Supplement and Food Interactions

Turmeric may interfere with anticoagulant/antiplatelet herbs and supplements such as:

  • Angelica
  • Clove
  • Danshen
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo
  • Panax ginseng
  • Red clover
  • Willow

Do not mix turmeric with iron or herbs and supplements with hypoglycemic properties including:

  • Devil's claw
  • Fenugreek
  • Guar gum
  • Horse chestnut
  • Psyllium
  • Siberian ginseng

Dosage

The right dose of turmeric for you depends on a variety of factors such as DNA, lifestyle, medications, age, and medical history. The recommended dose of turmeric for adults is 1.5 to 3 g daily of the cut root, 1 to 3 g daily of the dried powdered root, 400 to 600 mg taken three times per day of curcumin, 30 to 90 drops daily of the fluid extract, and 15 to 30 drops taken 4 times per day of the tincture.

Foods

Turmeric is the dried ground rhizome of Curcuma longa Linn. It is used as a spice in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Curcuminoids comprise about 2%-9% of turmeric. Curcumin is the most abundant curcuminoid in turmeric, providing about 75% of the total curcuminoids, while demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin generally represent 10%-20% and less than 5% of the total curcuminoids, respectively. Curry powder contains turmeric along with other spices, but the amount of curcumin in curry powders is variable and often relatively low. Curcumin extracts are also used as food-coloring agents.

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References

  1. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/references.aspx?productid=662
  2. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
  3. https://examine.com/supplements/turmeric/
  4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin

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