- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: turmeric
Other Names: curcumin, curcuma longa, turmeric root, wild curcuma
Drug Class: Herbals
What is turmeric, and what is it used for?
Turmeric is a perennial herb, Curcuma longa, belonging to the ginger family of plants. Turmeric rhizome/root is commonly used for flavoring in Indian food.
Turmeric is used orally and topically in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for multiple ailments including many gastrointestinal conditions, cancers, liver health and skin inflammations. The medicinal effect of turmeric comes from curcumin (diferuloylmethane), the active compound that gives turmeric its yellow color, and related substances (curcuminoids).
Some studies show that curcumin may have the following properties:
- Antimicrobial: Antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal
- Antioxidant: Neutralizes free radicals, types of unstable molecules that damage tissue and are implicated in many diseases including cancers
- Antitumor: May control cancer growth and improve quality of life
- Anti-inflammatory: Inhibits synthesis and activity of inflammatory substances such as prostaglandins and cyclyooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
- Hypoglycemic: Reduces blood glucose levels
- Wound-healing: Antiseptic that prevents infection and promotes healing
- Analgesic: Produces pain relief by reducing inflammation
- Liver health: increases bile secretion and flow and maintains liver health
Turmeric is used fresh or dried and powdered in Asian cooking for flavor and color. Curcumin supplements are extracts from dried turmeric rhizomes and contain a mixture of curcuminoids. Suggested oral uses of curcumin supplements include:
- Gastrointestinal conditions, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Liver inflammation (hepatitis) and gallbladder complaints
- Headache and fever
- Bronchitis, colds, and respiratory infections
- To stimulate menstruation
- Dietary supplement for cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLL)
- Fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis
Suggested topical uses include:
- Pain relief from minor skin irritations
- Leech bites
- Infected wounds
- Inflammatory skin conditions
- Inflammation of oral mucous tissue (mucositis)
Oral turmeric is poorly absorbed in the digestive tract, however, many supplements are formulated with other agents to increase its bioavailability. Turmeric may be effective for some digestive problems such as dyspepsia, however, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support most of the other uses, although research on turmeric use continues.
- Do not take turmeric if you are hypersensitive to turmeric or any of the components in the turmeric supplement formulations.
- Do not take turmeric if you have bile duct obstruction or gastric ulcers.
- Do not take turmeric supplements before scheduled surgery, it may increase the risk of bleeding.
What are the side effects of turmeric?
Mild side effects of oral turmeric include:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of turmeric?
Extract standardized to 95% curcumin
- 500 mg taken orally four times a day
- 200 mg/mL (Depo-Turmeric)
- Curcumin extract: 440 to 2200 mg (containing curcumin 36 to 180 mg) once daily for no more than 4 months
- Limited animal studies show no evidence of toxicity with turmeric. There are no reports of human overdose.
What drugs interact with turmeric?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
Turmeric has no known severe or serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate interactions of turmeric include:
- Turmeric has no known mild interactions with other drugs.
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Small amounts of turmeric used as a spice in food or topical application may be safe for use during pregnancy. Avoid taking turmeric supplements if you are pregnant, it may put the pregnancy at risk.
- There is no information on the use of turmeric supplements by nursing mothers. Avoid taking turmeric supplements if you are breastfeeding.
What else should I know about turmeric?
- Turmeric is likely safe for most people when consumed in food or as supplements in recommended doses, or applied on the skin.
- Take turmeric supplements exactly as per label instructions.
- Herbal supplements often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the turmeric product you choose.
- Turmeric supplements are marketed as herbal supplements and are not stringently regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement, including turmeric.
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Turmeric is a perennial herb (Curcuma longa) used orally and topically in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for multiple ailments. Turmeric may be used to treat fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, headache, fever, bronchitis, indigestion (dyspepsia), diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas (flatulence) and bloating, minor skin irritations, ringworm, leech bites, infected wounds, inflammatory skin conditions, and others. Mild side effects of oral turmeric include stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. Do not take turmeric if pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Ringworm vs. Eczema
While ringworm is a fungal infection, and eczema is a skin condition, both are characterized by itchiness. Eczema patches are leathery while ringworm involves ring formation on the skin. Over-the-counter antifungals treat ringworm. Topical creams and ointments treat eczema.
What Are the Four Stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease categorized into the following four stages and classifications. Learn the causes, symptoms, and complications of RA below.
Are Ringworm and Candida the same?
Ringworm and Candida are not the same. While they are both fungal infections, they are caused by different types of fungi, and affect different parts of the body.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Ankylosing Spondylitis
Learn the differences between rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis below.
What Does a Fibromyalgia Attack Feel Like?
Symptoms may begin after acute psychological stress, physical trauma, surgery, or other systemic infections. Sometimes, there may be no identifiable trigger.
How Long Does Headache Last After Thunderclap?
Thunderclap headache is an extremely painful headache that begins suddenly and peaks with intensity within seconds. These headaches can last for at least 5 minutes.
How Do You Get Rid of Bronchitis Naturally?
Bronchitis is swelling of airways mostly due to a virus. Rarely, bacteria or fungi can also be the reason. Swelling in bronchial tubes may restrict air to and from your lungs. It typically causes a bad cough, chest discomfort, and fatigue. You may need to consult a doctor to distinguish bronchitis from pneumonia.
How Long Does Asthmatic Bronchitis Last?
The duration of the disease usually depends on the patient’s overall health and age. In patients with acute bronchitis symptoms may last less than 10 days. In patients with severe asthmatic bronchitis, the symptoms are recurrent and usually last between 30 days to even 2 years with flares and remissions.
Where Do We Get Helium Gas From?
Helium is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas. This natural gas is inert, which means it does not react with other substances. Helium is the second lightest element known, hydrogen is the lightest.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term used to describe joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing chronic inflammation.
What Does a COVID-19 Headache Feel Like?
COVID-19 headache may feel like a pulsing, pressing, or stabbing pain.
Migraine vs. Headache: Differences and Similarities
Headaches are the most common reason why a person goes to the doctor or other healthcare professional for treatment. There are different types of headaches, for example, migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. The most common type of headache is tension headache. Migraine is much less common. There are few similarities between migraine and other headaches, for example, the severity of the pain can be the same, mild, moderate, or severe; and they can occur on one side or both sides of the head. However, there are many differences between migraine and other types of headaches. Migraine headaches also have different names, for example, migraine with aura and menstrual migraine. Symptoms of migraine that usually aren't experienced by a person with another type of headache include nausea, vomiting, worsens with mild exercise, debilitating pain, eye pain, throbbing head pain. Migraine trigger include light, mild exercise, strong smells, certain foods like red wine, aged cheese, smoked meats, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, and dairy products, menstrual period, stress, oversleeping, and changes in barometric pressure. Untreated migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours, but may last for weeks. Most headaches resolve within 24-48 hours. Doctors don't know exactly what causes migraine headaches; however, other headaches like tension headaches have more specific triggers and causes. Additional tests usually are required to diagnose migraine from other types of headaches, diseases, or other medical problems. Most headaches can be treated and cured with home remedies like essential oils, massage, and over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn) or ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin). Most headaches resolve with OTC and home remedy treatment, while your doctor may need to prescribe medication to treat your migraines. If you have the "worst headache of your life," seek medical care immediately.
How Serious Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the joints and other body parts. If not diagnosed early and appropriately treated, RA can lead to permanent deformities, disabilities, and serious systemic complications.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six types of JRA. Treatment of juvenile arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms that manifest.
When Should You Worry About Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is typically a symptom that resolves itself within 48 hours; however, here is when it may indicate a serious health issue.
Is Crohn's Disease Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Since Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the body, including the joints, sufferers are at a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Headaches?
Depending on their cause, headaches are categorized into two categories, primary and secondary headaches. Learn their differences below.
Can People With Fibromyalgia Live Normal Lives?
People with fibromyalgia can live a normal and active life if they have the support of a physician.
Can Fall Allergies Cause Sinus Headaches?
Fall allergies can cause symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, and sinus headache. Learn more about causes, treatment, and prevention of fall allergies.
How to Get Rid of Ringworm?
Ringworms can be caused by over 40 different types of fungi, some of which are Microsporum, Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton. Ringworm is a fungal infection that appears on the skin, anywhere over the body. It's usually characterized by a red, circular rash and the center of the rash usually appears clear.
Nummular Eczema vs. Ringworm: Differences
Nummular eczema is also known as discoid eczema or nummular dermatitis. Ringworm is a common skin infection also known as dermatophytosis, dermatophyte infection, or tinea corporis.
How Do You Get Rid of Pregnancy Gas Pains?
Having gas during pregnancy is a normal and common thing, but sometimes, it may cause you discomfort and pain. Get rid of pregnancy gas pains by lying on your side, wearing loose clothing, wearing loose clothing, and avoiding stress, chewing gum, and smoking.
Breastfeeding With Rheumatoid Arthritis
You can breastfeed your baby even if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, you must always consult your doctor before you start the process.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis Hands
Two of the most frequent types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Caused by Sugar?
Despite insufficient evidence, studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience worsening symptoms with sugary foods.
Safest Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs During Pregnancy
None of the drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is completely safe during pregnancy. You must discuss with your physician regarding the decision to use, modify, or stop any medications.
What Foods Are Good for Fibromyalgia?
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, eating a diet of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins that are rich in nutrients can boost your overall health and help you manage your symptoms.
Does Fibromyalgia Qualify You for Medical Marijuana?
Whether fibromyalgia qualifies for medical marijuana depends on your state’s regulations.
Does New Daily Persistent Headache Ever Go Away?
New daily persistent headache (NDPH) does not have a specific treatment, however, certain medication, behavioral therapy and stress management may help patients get better.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Run in Families?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that tends to run in families. Your likelihood of getting RA, however, is not determined by family history of the disease alone. It is also influenced by environmental factors such as age, obesity and smoking.
Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic joint disorders. RA is also an autoimmune disease. OA and RA symptoms and signs include joint pain, warmth, and tenderness. Over-the-counter pain relievers treat both diseases. There are several prescription medications that treat RA.
Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Part of Fibromyalgia?
Yes, they are associated with each other. Fibromyalgia is linked with several different conditions, including IBS. IBS is also linked to other conditions that are not fibromyalgia.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Vs Fibromyalgia
Most people with chronic pain and fatigue in their muscles tend to have either fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal (involving the muscles and bones) pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.
How Do You Know if Your Baby has Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis, which is sometimes called a chest cold, can develop after your baby has a cold or upper respiratory infection. Bronchitis occurs when the bronchi, the airways that carry air to the lungs, become irritated and inflamed.
What Kind of Headache Comes With COVID?
COVID-19 headache is described as a really tight, squeezing sensation that gets worse with coughing and physical activity.
What Causes Ringworm?
Ringworm is a fungal infection affecting the skin. It may occur anywhere, but the skin folds and sweaty areas are more commonly affected. It is characterized by a red, circular rash with central clearing and itching that can be intense
Fibromyalgia: Treatment, Symptoms & Causes
Fibromyalgia is a common neurologic health problem that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the body. It is accompanied by fatigue, disturbances in thought and memory, low moods, and extreme anxiety about the physical symptoms.
Can NMO Cause Headaches?
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) also known as Devic disease is a rare yet severe disease. In this condition, antibodies (proteins) are produced against the cells in the central nervous system. It specifically affects the myelin, which is the insulation sheath around the nerves.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Juvenile Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis are both types of inflammatory arthritis; however, learn their differences below.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Gout
Although gout is often mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, learn the differences associated with the causes, symptoms, and treatments below.
Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia
Bronchitis and pneumonia both affect breathing and cause coughing, but there are key differences between causes, symptoms, and treatment.
What Can Diarrhea Be a Sign Of?
Diarrhea is a common condition and usually goes away without intervention.
What Is the Best Essential Oil for Headaches?
Using essential oils to help relieve pain from headaches depends on the type, such as peppermint and lavender oil is best for migraine relief.
What Are 5 Common Risk Factors to Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder (the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells). Certain factors increase the risk of RA.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
How Do You Know If Your Child Has Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a common problem that affects many children. Learn the signs of bronchitis, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the common complications of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Triggers Tension Headaches?
A tension headache is the most common type of headache seen in adults. A tension headache is also called a tension-type headache (TTH) or stress headaches. It is usually associated with muscle tightness in the head, scalp or neck. A tension headache is so common that we often consider it a normal occurrence. There are two types of tension headaches: Episodic tension headaches and chronic tension headaches.
When Should I Be Concerned About Lower Abdominal Pain?
Learn the eight warning signs of abdominal pain which may indicate a serious medical condition.
How Can I Improve My Grip Strength With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by gradual joint inflammation and degeneration. Here are five exercises that reduce muscle stiffness and improve pain due to RA.
When to Call the Doctor for Your Headache?
Almost everyone must have experienced a headache at some point in their life. The most common reasons for your headache are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Headache is also most often experienced in some common viral infections such as the flu or even in something as simple as the cold.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Psoriatic Arthritis
Here are the differences between rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
A spinal tap or an epidural block can cause a spinal headache. In these procedures, a needle is placed within the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. This creates a passage for the spinal fluid to leak out, changing the fluid pressure around the brain and spinal cord. A spinal headache may occur up to five days after the procedure is performed. Such a headache may be prevented with bed rest after a procedure.
Headaches in Children
Kids get headaches and migraines too. Many adults with headaches started having them as kids, in fact, 20% of adult headache sufferers say their headaches started before age 10, and 50% report their headaches started before age 20.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Increase Cardiovascular Risk?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which usually affects joints, and can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
What Helps When You Have Bronchitis?
Bronchitis refers to the inflammation of the air-carrying tubes in the lungs (bronchioles). The condition is often associated with persistent, nagging cough with mucus. The condition often starts as an infection of the nose, throat, ears, or sinuses that later moves to the bronchi.
Do Anti-Inflammatories Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Anti-inflammatory medications can help address symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Having Gas Bad?
If you are really gassy and it causes bloating and cramping, it could be a sign of poor dietary habits, digestive issues, or food intolerances. Learn about causes of excessive gas.
What Could Headache Be a Sign of?
Medically, headache is not a sign; it is a symptom. It can occur as a separate entity (primary headache) or as a symptom of various underlying conditions (secondary headache).
Treatment & Diagnosis
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