The Therapeutic Uses of Turmeric

By: Joseph Kim


Turmeric is commonly used in cooking to add flavor and spice. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is commonly sold as oral supplements. There have been many studies on the effects of turmeric and curcumin; however, many of these studies were done in test tubes and/or in animals. Therefore, the efficacy of these products in humans is still unclear, but the preliminary results show to be promising.

Some of the potential therapeutic effects that are currently being studied include:
1.    Stimulation bile production – may help those with indigestion, but turmeric may also increase the risk of ulcers
2.    Ulcerative colitis – may help extend the time in remission
3.    Reduce inflammation – may help reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis
4.    Lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent thrombosis – may patients help with heart disease
5.    Powerful antioxidant – may help cancer patients

Precautions and interactions:

Although there are therapeutic effects, if turmeric is to be used, those who use it must be mindful of potential side effects and also interactions with medications and other natural products. For example, turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, act as a blood-thinner and (add other precautions and interactions here). Therefore it is our job as future healthcare professionals to be able to aid our patients in choosing the right supplement and medication. If you would like more detailed information on turmeric and the sources, please visit the websites listed at the end of this article.

The information, suggestions, and resources that we provide on this website is not a substitute for those of your primary care provider.


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