23 Turmeric Curcumin Health Benefits and Uses

One herbal supplement which has been getting a lot of buzz these past few years is turmeric curcumin.

Turmeric powder in bowl between hands - Curcuma longa Turmeric powder in bowl between hands

Turmeric curcumin is particularly touted as a treatment for arthritis, but it actually has a number of health benefits.

What is turmeric curcumin, and does it live up to all the hype?

In this article, I will delve in-depth into turmeric curcumin and the research on its powerful healing properties.

By the time you finish reading it, you will understand exactly why this supplement is garnering so much attention!

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​What is Turmeric​ and Curcumin? Turmeric vs. Curcumin​ Explained

First of all, many people are confused about the term ​"turmeric curcumin,​" and are not sure what it means.

What is turmeric, and what is curcumin? Are they the same thing? Or are they different?

Turmeric is a popular spice, derived from a plant with the same name. You have probably eaten it before, particularly in Indian dishes.

You know how many types of curry have a yellowish color? That yellow comes from turmeric.

As to curcumin, that is a specific compound in turmeric. When you are eating turmeric, you are also eating curcumin.

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant.

Turmeric powder in white dish on wooden background

​Here's what turmeric root and its ground up powder looks like.

It is possible to isolate curcumin and extract it. This allows it to be concentrated into supplement form.

This is what you are getting when you purchase a turmeric curcumin supplement at the pharmacy or health food store. 

Why Can’t I Just Eat Foods With Turmeric In Them?

You may be wondering why turmeric curcumin supplements are necessary at all.

Since turmeric is a common spice, can’t you just eat cuisine spiced with it and forget about going out and purchasing a supplement?

You may derive some benefit from turmeric-spiced cuisine, but it is not going to be all that pronounced.

The reason is that curcumin is just one component of turmeric, and its natural concentration is not very high: just 3% (1).

When we spice foods, we do not use huge quantities of spices. If we did, we would overwhelm our palates.

But that means that you are getting quite a small dose of curcumin when you eat Indian food or other turmeric-spiced dishes.

To add to that, our bodies do not have the easiest time in the world absorbing curcumin.

That means that a lot of it may simply pass through your system.

If you take turmeric curcumin in supplement form however, you are getting highly concentrated curcumin extract in a more easily-absorbable form.

By supplementing with curcumin, you can get a gram or more per day - the same levels which have been observed in scientific research studies to have measurable positive effects.

That means you can derive much more substantial benefits.

Note that it is wise to take your curcumin supplement with a fatty meal.

Why? Because it is fat-soluble, so this can boost absorption.

Are There Turmeric Curcumin Side Effects?

Curcumin capsules and turmeric powder on wooden spoon

For the most part, eating foods containing curcumin or taking a curcumin supplement is going to be side-effect free.

Not only that, but this supplement is safe and healthy to use over a long time period.

The Mayo Clinic reports that it is likely safe when used for approximately eight months.

Some users do report that they experience gastrointestinal disturbances when using turmeric, like diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach. Dizziness may also occur.

The only really severe side effect reported for curcumin happened when one person took more than 1,500 mg twice a day.

That person went on to develop a dangerous arrhythmia.

Doctors never figured out for certain whether the curcumin was even responsible for causing the irregular heartbeat or whether it was another factor.

Either way, so long as you do not take huge doses like this, you should be fine.

The Mayo Clinic goes on to advise that certain users consult with a doctor before taking curcumin supplements, including those with gallbladder problems, GERD, bleeding disorders, fertility issues, iron deficiency, diabetes, and conditions which are sensitive to estrogen.

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at what curcumin can do for you!

​23 Health Benefits and Uses
of Turmeric Curcumin

​Below are the 23 health benefits and uses of turmeric and curcumin:

1. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant.

First of all, as mentioned previously, the curcumin compound in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant (2).

Antioxidants fight oxidization in the body caused by free radicals.

Researchers now believe that this oxidative damage is responsible for many of the effects of aging (3) as well as the development of age-related diseases.

This means that taking a curcumin supplement on a regular basis may over time help to stave off the aging process.

Obviously you will continue to get older, but your cells will remain healthier, and you will reduce your risk of developing many detrimental health conditions.

KEY POINTCurcumin is a potent antioxidant, fighting the process of oxidative stress which leads to the development of age-related diseases.

It can protect your health now and over the years ahead​.

​2. Curcumin fights inflammation.

turmeric curcumin on wooden spoon

While oxidative stress plays a role in aging, so does inflammation.

Inflammation is actually an important bodily process, and when it is working properly, it helps to kill pathogens and repair injured tissue.

But when inflammation burns out of control and becomes chronic, it can start to do serious damage of its own.

Researchers now think that runaway inflammation plays a part in numerous different diseases.

Inflammation has been implicated in cardiovascular disease (4), cancer (5), obesity, and metabolic disease (6), and many other conditions.

Because curcumin possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties (7), it can help to fight all inflammation-related conditions throughout the body.

The mechanism behind this process involves a molecule called NF-kB.

NF-kB traverses between cells, and activates inflammation-related genes.

This process has been connected throughout research to quite a few diseases (8, 9).

Curcumin helps to disrupt this process, which in turn reduces inflammation (10, 11, 12).

In fact, its strength matches that of some drugs which are prescribed to mitigate inflammatory conditions (13, 14).

Researchers have found that on the whole, curcumin is well tolerated, and produces far fewer side effects than these drugs.

KEY POINT: ​Curcumin disrupts inflammation at the molecular level, which is what lends it its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

This in turn can protect you from diseases which develop or worsen through chronic inflammation.

3. Turmeric increases your body’s antioxidant enzyme activity.

You already know that curcumin is a powerful antioxidant (15, 16).

But it turns out that is not the only way that curcumin can help you to fight free radicals.

Your own body produces antioxidant enzymes. Curcumin is able to increase their level of activity, making them more effective (17, 18, 19).

KEY POINT: ​Not only does curcumin work as an antioxidant itself, it has the power to stimulate the activity of the antioxidant enzymes already in your body.

4. Turmeric curcumin is an effective treatment for arthritis and other forms of joint pain.

Arthritis hand relieved by turmeric curcumin

Arthritis is one of the most pervasive forms of chronic pain around, affecting an estimated 350 million people around the world.

Arthritis is a condition which is characterized by inflammation of the joints.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that arthritis can be effectively treated with curcumin (20, 21, 22).

In fact, if you check out the first of those studies, you will see that curcumin was actually more effective in relieving inflammation and pain than drugs for arthritis.

Many patients are so successful in using curcumin as a natural treatment for their arthritis that they are able to quit taking their pain medications altogether.

Others are able to at least reduce their medication dosages.

KEY POINTCurcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent choice if you are searching for an effective herbal antidote to joint inflammation and pain.

It is so successful in treating arthritis that it may even enable you to quit your medication.

5. You could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease with turmeric curcumin.

Heart disease is still the world’s leading cause of death (23), so anything that can be done to treat it safely and naturally is well worth considering.

The curcumin found in turmeric actually can help disrupt a number of the steps which are involved with the development of the disease (24).

For example, consider endothelial dysfunction.

This is where the lining of your blood vessels, referred to as the “endothelium,” begins to degrade in terms of function.

This can cause issues with blood clotting and blood pressure (25).

Blood clots on their own are of course very dangerous. But dysfunction of the endothelium can also lead to heart disease.

Research indicates that curcumin can improve the function of the endothelium.

It can even be as effective as prescription medication or exercise for that purpose (26, 27).

Additionally, you already know that curcumin is an antioxidant, and that it can reduce inflammation.

Both oxidative stress and inflammation play a role in the development of heart disease.

So that is not one, but three, ways in which curcumin can prevent cardiovascular disease.

If you want a great example of just how exceptional curcumin is in this respect, consider this study (28), on coronary artery bypass surgery patients.

121 participants were split into two random groups.

One group received placebos, while the other received 4 grams of curcumin daily, administered before and after surgery.

It was found that the patients who were given the curcumin were 65% less likely to have a heart attack during their hospital stay.

KEY POINTCurcumin prevents heart disease in several different ways.

It improves the function of the endothelium, it acts as an antioxidant, and it reduces inflammation. 

These effects may also reduce the likelihood of blood pressure problems or blood clots, since all these conditions are interrelated.

​6. Turmeric curcumin could reduce the risk of developing a brain disease or mental disorder.

girl with glowing brain by consuming turmeric

Did you know that your brain can actually produce new neurons, even as you age?

This is in part the function of a growth hormone known as Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) (29).

More BDNF in your brain means more new neurons, which can improve brain health all around.

But it also may prevent certain brain diseases, since low BDNF is a feature of a wide array of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and depression (30, 31).

Researchers have discovered that curcumin is actually capable of increasing the amount of BDNF present in the brain (32, 33, 34).

This means that you will have one less risk factor for developing a number of brain-related health conditions.

KEY POINT: ​Curcumin can increase the amount of BDNF in your brain.

As low amounts of BDNF are implicated in a number of brain and mood disorders, curcumin may help to prevent these conditions.

​7. Turmeric ​curcumin may even prevent or treat Alzheimer’s.

I have just mentioned Alzheimer’s, and now I would like to talk a little more about it.

Alzheimer’s is a growing pandemic.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Someone develops the disease every 66 seconds.

One in three seniors dies from one form of dementia or another.

And perhaps most frightening of all, since 2000, Alzheimer’s deaths have climbed an astounding 89%.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, there is no reliable treatment.

Scientists have yet to even discover a really solid method for prevention.

So literally anything you can do to reduce your chances of getting dementia is worthwhile at this point - even though scientific backing is still limited for potential therapies.

There is some indication that curcumin might help to reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

First of all, curcumin can fight oxidative stress and inflammation (35).

Both of those have been implicated in the development of dementia, so reducing them may reduce risk factors.

Curcumin also is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier (36).

Moreover, initial research demonstrates that curcumin may be able to get rid of Amyloid plaques, which appear to play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s (37).

None of this is definitive yet. Researchers really do not have a solid handle on how or why dementia develops or what to do about it.

But again, at this point, anything that can be done to potentially thwart this pandemic is vital.

KEY POINTInflammation, oxidative stress, and Amyloid plaques all play a part in Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has the potential to fight all three. This means it may have promise as a preventative.

​8. Tumeric curcumin may possess anti-cancer properties.

turmeric whole and curcumin powder

Cancer is another major killer, one which scientists also do not really have a strong understanding of.

There is no foolproof way to prevent, treat, or cure cancer. Some people get cured - many others die.

There has been some initial study into the possibility of curcumin as a treatment for cancer.

Curcumin appears to act against cancer cells at the molecular level.

It seems to have an effect on a wide range of different cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, head and neck cancers, melanoma, lung cancer, neurological cancers, sarcoma, and genitourinary cancers (38).

One way that cancer develops and metastasizes is through a process called ​"angiogenesis.​" This is where blood vessels grow in tumors.

Curcumin can inhibit the process of angiogenesis, slowing metastasis while killing cancer cells (39).

These growth-inhibiting effects have been observed in other studies as well (40, 41).

Unfortunately, most of these studies have been conducted on animal subjects rather than on human participants.

There was however one study (42) which looked at men who had developed lesions in their colons known as aberrant crypt foci (ACF).

ACF may go on to become cancerous.

In the study however, it was found that just 4 grams of curcumin taken on a daily basis for a month-long period was sufficient to reduce aberrant crypt foci by 40%.

While this is not the same thing as treating cancer, it may be effective in cancer prevention.

Fewer lesions that could potentially become cancerous means fewer chances of developing cancer in the colon.

So this is promising research, and certainly indicates that further studies are warranted in the area of curcumin and cancer prevention and treatment.

KEY POINTCurcumin has been shown to be effective in reducing pre-cancerous lesions.

It also appears to inhibit cancer growth. 

It may very well be useful as a preventative or as a treatment. Further studies are needed.

​9. Studies indicate that turmeric curcumin can combat depression.

laughing woman because turmeric relieved her depression

I briefly mentioned depression earlier in this article. That is something else which I want to delve a bit deeper into.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from depression.

Sometimes that depression is acute; other times it is chronic, often even lifelong.

While depression has a negative effect on mood, it also can have a negative effect on the body over time, potentially contributing to the development of diseases (including Alzheimer’s).

There is some indication that curcumin may be a useful treatment for depression.

In one study (43), 60 patients were separated into three groups. One of the groups was given Prozac.

Another was given curcumin, and the third was given a combination of the two.

The participants were observed for a period of six weeks. The researchers found that the curcumin worked very much like the Prozac.

While the group that took both of the treatments had the most impressive results, the researchers noted that ​"curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD [major depressive disorder] without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.​"

There are numerous side effects listed for Prozac.

Some of these include anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, weakness, nausea, nervousness, rash, sinus irritation, throat irritation, and head pain.

Those are just a few of the common side effects.

Ironically, many of these side effects may themselves lead to depression in some people.

Curcumin by contrast typically has few or no side effects, as discussed earlier.

The relationships between anxiety and depression in particular is well documented.

This makes curcumin a healthier and safer alternative to Prozac​ - and a treatment which can be just as effective.

As previously discussed, curcumin also boosts BDNF levels, which can fight depression (44).

Furthermore, research indicates that curcumin may be able to increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain (45, 46).

This is yet another mechanism through which curcumin may be able to combat depression effectively.

KEY POINT: ​Curcumin may be able to boost mood through a couple different mechanisms.

For one, it can increase the levels of key neurotransmitters, and for another, it can increase levels of BDNF. 

Initial studies show it may be as effective as Prozac for treating depression, minus the side effects.

​10. Tumeric curcumin could extend your lifespan.

happy elderly couple after curcumin extended their life

As you already know, oxidative stress and inflammation are key factors in the development of many age-related diseases.

Because curcumin can fight both, it can also fight age-related diseases (47).

Many of those age related diseases (like cancer or Alzheimer’s) are deadly.

So if turmeric can possibly prevent or treat them, it could add years onto a person’s life.

Researchers also think that curcumin’s anti-aging effect may be more general in nature.

Aging itself is thought to be largely the result of ​"an accumulation of molecular damages mainly due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by mitochondria as well as random errors in DNA replication.​" It is thought that curcumin can combat these damages (48).

If so, this could mean that curcumin could extend your longevity while also adding quality to that lifespan.

KEY POINTCurcumin appears to counteract the inflammation and oxidative damage involved with the aging process.

By doing so, and by preventing or treating age-related diseases, it could slow the entire aging process.

This in turn could lead to a longer, healthier lifetime.

​11. If you are looking for an anticoagulant, turmeric curcumin could be a safe option.

There are a number of situations where a patient might be required to use an anticoagulant/antiplatelet.

Some examples of conditions requiring such intervention include deep-vein thrombrosis and pulmonary embolism.

Anticoagulants can prevent dangerous blood clots.

There are quite a few anticoagulants which are commonly used. Some of them include Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Warfarin, Enoxaparin, Clopidogrel, Diclofenac, and Aspirin.

The problem is that these drugs are not suitable for all patients.

Anticoagulants can have many different side effects.

Some might cause back pain, while others could produce headaches, and still others could result in breathing problems.

If you overdose on an anticoagulant such as Ibuprofen, you also could experience internal bleeding.

Then there is the issue of overuse. If you overuse a medication like Ibuprofen, it is entirely possible to develop a tolerance.

This could result in all kinds of unpleasant issues, as can withdrawal as you start to come off of the medication.

For that reason, it is important to prevent overuse of these medications to begin with.

Thankfully, it is possible that curcumin could help.

Curcumin has anticoagulant properties (49). Indeed, some studies have shown that curcumin has a powerful anti-thrombotic effect (50).         

Since curcumin does not have the side effect risks of common anticoagulant medications, it may be a safer and healthier option in some cases.  

KEY POINTAnticoagulant medications are needed to treat a number of health conditions. But they do come with risks.

It is possible that the anticoagulant properties of curcumin will make it a feasible alternative or supplemental therapy.

​12. You may be able to use turmeric to treat or even reverse diabetes.

black man taking blood sugar test which improves after turmeric consumption

Quite a bit of research has been conducted on curcumin and diabetes.

Many of the studies have been on animals, but there is quite a body of evidence right now backing curcumin as a possible preventative and treatment for the disease (51, 52, 53, 54, 55).

This (55) study in particular is fascinating, as it was on individuals with pre-diabetes, rather than rats.

There were 240 patients in all.

They were divided randomly into two groups and observed for a period of nine months.

One group was given placebo capsules. The other group was given curcumin.

Following the nine-month treatment period, the researchers discovered that 16.4% of the placebo participants had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

None of the patients in the curcumin group had been diagnosed with it.

There were a number of improvements in the health markers for the curcumin group as well versus the placebo group.

Based on this evidence, the researchers were able to conclude that ​"A 9-month curcumin intervention in a prediabetic population significantly lowered the number of prediabetic individuals who eventually developed T2DM.​"

Another study in 2009 (56) found that curcumin works as an effective treatment for diabetes as well.

The researchers performing this study discovered that curcumin increased the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).

Without getting too technical, this corrects issues with insulin sensitivity.

This in turn can help to prevent, treat or even reverse type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, the study compared the effects of curcumin to those of Metformin, a drug for diabetes.

It was found that curcumin was a lot more effective​ - as in a lot. It was actually 400 times as powerful as the medication.

Metformin is reported to have quite a few nasty side effects.

Some examples include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, and lactic acidosis.

All of those side effects are common. There are also other uncommon side effects.

With curcumin, many of the unpleasant side effects of medications for diabetes could be avoided - including the more serious ones.

KEY POINTIf you have diabetes or you are at risk for developing diabetes, curcumin may be among the best supplements you can take.

In research studies, curcumin has shown preventative effects and has also demonstrated that it may be effective in treating or reversing diabetes.

​13. Turmeric ​curcumin may have some gastrointestinal benefits.

Young woman using hot water bottle on abdomen while lying on bed which could be avoided if she took turmeric curcumin

When it comes to the gastrointestinal side of things, curcumin appears to be a bit of a mixed bag.

Some users report that they experience heartburn and other forms of digestive discomfort from using curcumin, as I mentioned earlier in the discussion on side effects.

Many users however do not report any ill effects from using curcumin​ - and some actually report gastrointestinal benefits.

For example, take the matter of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

IBD is still not entirely understood, but doctors have discovered that inflammation is involved with the disease.

One study referenced in Current Pharmaceutical Design (57) tracked IBD patients over the course of three months.

Each took curcumin 3-4 times daily. It was found that they had significantly reduced relapses during the treatment period.

One animal study (58) also noted that curcumin may have a useful effect in treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is generally considered a less serious disorder than IBD, but it can have a crippling effect on quality of life.

More studies are still needed (59) to fully evaluate the effectiveness of curcumin in treating gastrointestinal disorders such as these, but the initial results are certainly promising.

Just remember, not everyone seems to experience these benefits. Use caution when you first start curcumin therapy for GI tract issues.

Make sure that you are getting the benefits and not the side effects before you start taking large doses or make it a part of your routine.

KEY POINTInitial research indicates that curcumin may be helpful in treating a range of gastrointestinal disorders such as IBD and IBS.

​14. Turmeric curcumin could be a healthier replacement for steroids in treating conditions such as chronic eye inflammation.

close up of womans eye which is healthy because of turmeric curcumin

Chronic anterior uveitis (CAU) is a condition involving chronic inflammation of the eye.

The longstanding treatment method which has been used traditionally to treat this condition is corticosteroids.

The use of corticosteroids is often accompanied by a wide range of side effects.

Some minor possible side effects include indigestion and acne.

Major potential side effects of using steroids include everything from cancer to cataracts.

This is why corticosteroids are generally advised only when other more gentle treatments are not working.

One study (60) looked at the effects of curcumin on CAU.

53 patients were divided into two groups. One group received only curcumin, and the other group received curcumin along with an antitubercular treatment.

For the combination therapy, the response rate was 86%. For the patients who just took the curcumin, the response rate was 100%.

The researchers were able to conclude that the efficacy of the treatment with curcumin was ​"comparable to​" corticosteroid therapy.

They also emphasized that the biggest benefit to curcumin as a treatment over corticosteroids is the simple lack of side effects.

This certainly warrants additional research, not just into curcumin as a treatment for CAU, but also into curcumin as a treatment for other diseases which usually are treated using corticosteroids.

If curcumin can be used to treat conditions in place of corticosteroids, it could prevent quite a few potentially serious side effects.

KEY POINTCorticosteroids are used to treat a range of different health conditions, but their side effects can be quite dangerous.

Curcumin has demonstrated effectiveness in treating at least one condition which is traditionally treated using corticosteroids (CAU), so it is possible that the supplement has broader application in the treatment of other such conditions.

​15. The potency of turmeric curcumin as a painkiller may have broad applications.

Man with headache touching forehead that can be treated with turmeric

You already know that curcumin can be a powerful treatment for pain induced by joint inflammation, as in arthritis.

But this may not be the only way in which curcumin could be helpful in alleviating pain.

One study (61) on diabetic rats found that curcumin attenuates hyperalgesia, which is sensitivity to pain.

Many pain medications work through anti-inflammatory properties (Ibuprofen is a good example).

Curcumin already naturally exhibits those anti-inflammatory properties.

That means that it may be helpful in treating many painful conditions, not just arthritis or diabetes.

More research is needed in this area to discover how widespread this application is for acute and chronic pain.

KEY POINT: ​Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory, and appears to treat pain through other mechanisms as well.

It may be a good alternative to traditional painkillers not just for arthritis and diabetes, but for other health conditions as well.

​16. Turmeric ​curcumin can be used to treat postoperative fatigue.

Speaking of fighting pain, one fascinating study (62) looked at postoperative patients.

Patients in the study group were prescribed curcumin when they were discharged after surgery, following standard procedures.

They were asked to record diaries logging their fatigue, pain, and other adverse events, and follow up on day three, at the end of the first week, at the end of the second week, and at the end of the third week.

When the researchers examined the results of the study, they found that curcumin improved both fatigue and pain measurements after surgery.

This is just one more amazing application of curcumin.

KEY POINTCurcumin can improve postoperative fatigue and pain.

​17. There are applications for turmeric curcumin in dentistry.

It is easy to overlook dental benefits while examining medical benefits, since dentistry is often treated separately from other medical fields.

Toothbrush with turmeric toothpaste

But maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential to maintaining overall health and well-being.

Curcumin is antimicrobial and is also an astringent, which makes it useful in the field of dentistry (63).

The article above recommends the following uses for turmeric in dental care:

  • Make a mouth rinse using turmeric in water accompanied by cloves and guava. This mouth rinse can be swished around to provide relief from dental pain.
  • If teeth are aching, roasted, ground turmeric powder can be rubbed into the teeth and gums to reduce swelling and pain.
  • A powder made out of bishop’s weed seed and powder from burnt turmeric can be applied to the teeth as a cleansing agent. It can also strengthen teeth and gums.
  • A paste can be made by mixing a teaspoon of turmeric with half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of mustard oil. This paste can be rubbed twice daily into the gums and teeth to relieve the pain of periodontitis and gingivitis.

Furthermore, turmeric extract can be worked into a pit and fissure sealant, which can prevent or reduce dental carries.

Turmeric extracts can further be used to create a dental plaque staining agent.

This staining agent makes it easier to identify dental plaques.

So there are uses for curcumin in professional dentistry as well as home remedies for tooth and gum care.

KEY POINTThere are a number of different ways that curcumin can aid in the care of teeth and gums.

You can even make your own paste, powder, or mouth rinse at home to rub into your teeth and gums to relieve pain and inflammation.

18. It is possible to treat skin diseases using turmeric curcumin.

Curcumin also has applications when it comes to skin care.

According to this article (64), curcumin has uses in chemoprevention, and may also be used to treat everything from skin cancer to psoriasis.

This is not a surprise, given that curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

KEY POINTCurcumin’s benefits extend to the skin, and may provide relief as a natural treatment for a range of different conditions.

19. Turmeric curcumin can be used to treat tropical pancreatitis.

woman holding stomach with pancreatic pain that can be healed with curcumin

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. One type which occurs in tropical countries is known as ​"tropical pancreatitis.​"

Tropical pancreatitis is common in southern India, and typically affects young people.

It appears that a combination of genetic and environmental factors underlie the development of the disease, but at this point not much more is known.

Tropical pancreatitis causes abdominal pain, and may present with diabetes as a complication (this happens in around a quarter of all patients).

Additional possible complications include malnutrition, steatorrhea, and pancreatic cancer (65).

One thing researchers do know is that oxidative stress is involved with pancreatitis.

Curcumin’s antioxidant powers and its anti-inflammatory properties mean it may have an application in treating this disease.

An initial study (66) on the subject indicated that supplementing with curcumin can reverse lipid peroxidation in patients who suffer from tropical pancreatitis.

Lipid peroxidation is a process which results in cell damage.

So by combating lipid peroxidation, that is one way in which curcumin could potentially help patients with tropical pancreatitis.

It is still unknown whether curcumin supplementation would be able to help with the pain or other symptoms associated with the disease.

KEY POINTTropical pancreatitis is one more disease which curcumin may be able to help treat.

It has shown effectiveness in preventing cell damage, and may also have further applications for treating pain.

More research is required.

20. Turmeric curcumin may improve spatial memory.

child standing infront of chalk board with brain drawing

Finally, one more possible application of curcumin which involves brain health is in the area of spatial memory.

This animal study (67) looked at aged female rats.

Because curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, the researchers thought it might be able to improve cognitive function in aging rodents.

It was found that the curcumin did indeed reduce oxidative damage in the rats.

Further, it was discovered that their spatial memory was enhanced.

Because this was an animal study, nothing conclusive can be said about human patients.

Given these results, however, as well as what we already know about the potential of curcumin to improve brain health, it seems quite likely that these spatial memory improvements would translate over to humans as well.

KEY POINTEarly animal research suggests that curcumin may be able to improve spatial memory while reducing oxidative damage in the brain.

If these results translate to aging human beings, it could mean that curcumin can be used to combat cognitive impairment.

21.  Turmeric ​curcumin can reduce cholesterol.

Some people struggle to keep their cholesterol levels under control, particularly those with health conditions such as hypercholesterolemia.

Curcumin has been shown to be effective in scientific studies in regulating cholesterol absorption. 

In fact, supplementing with curcumin may reduce blood cholesterol by as much as 36% (68).

Another study (69) found that curcumin is able to inhibit NPC1LC1, a key cholesterol transporter. 

KEY POINTThose who have trouble controlling their cholesterol levels may find that taking a curcumin supplement helps to lower and stabilize their levels.

22.  Turmeric curcumin can improve respiratory health.

Smiling young man holding lung x-ray, knowing turmeric is helping his respiratory health

Another area of health where curcumin can play an important role is with the respiratory system.

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may help to soothe irritated lungs while clearing away mucus.

If there is an infection present in the lungs, the antibacterial properties of curcumin may help to treat it.

Curcumin has even demonstrated effectiveness in clearing the airway in those who suffer from asthmatic inflammation (70).

The reason this works is that curcumin can block the release of T-lymphocytes, the immune system compounds which lead to asthmatic inflammation.

Additionally, the nutrition in curcumin can help to reduce the presence of LOX and COX-2 inflammatory enzymes.

This is yet another way in which curcumin combats asthma.

KEY POINTCurcumin has a couple of great benefits for respiratory health.  

It can combat respiratory illnesses, and can fight inflammation associated with those illnesses or with asthma.

23.  It is possible that supplementing with turmeric curcumin can reduce the risk of childhood leukaemia. 

Childhood leukaemia is a disease which is steadily on the rise.  Since 1950, the prevalence of this disease has increased by over 50%.

Researchers have discovered (71) that curcumin has an inhibitory effect on WT1 gene expression in leukemic cells.

Further research (72) shows that curcumin can induce topo-DNA complexes in cells with topo I and topo II, and that this indicates that “this dietary agent has potential to be tested in cancer chemotherapy.”

Furthermore, curcumin has been found to inhibit chromosome damage from radiation. 

It may also prevent harmful compounds from forming in the body in response to toxins in diet or the environment. 

KEY POINTA number of research studies suggest that curcumin may be a viable treatment for childhood leukaemia.

Turmeric Curcumin Supplements Guide

You now know all about the benefits of curcumin, and are probably wondering what the dosages are, and where you can find the best curcumin supplements!

Did you know that the bioavailability of turmeric supplement varies?

Simply combining turmeric with black pepper can increase​ ​the bioavailability by as much as 2000% (73).  

Yet there are other combinations ​which supposedly raise bioavailability even more.

​I have done the hard work for you and have researched curcumin supplements in-depth to find the best products.

Conclusion: Turmeric Curcumin May Be One of the Best All-Around Supplements You Can Take

Now you can understand what all the hype is about with turmeric curcumin.

This really is an amazing supplement, one with a growing body of research backing up its powerful healing properties.

If you take it regularly, not only will it curb the fires of inflammation in your body, but it may have a protective effect over the years to come, potentially staving off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and numerous other diseases.

In doing so, it can enhance longevity while greatly augmenting your quality of life.

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  • Updated September 29, 2018

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Good distinction between tumeric and curcumin, I always confuse the two :)Since using tumeric, I could swear to its benefits. I used to be sickly but but since using it, I hadn’t have some serious illness, not even colds despite staying up late for work. I usually mix it with food and in combination with green tea, lemon and honey. I definitely agree to all that’s mentioned.


Is this info current? Old? 5 Years old? 10 Years old? There is no date!! That’s quite incredible!!

Patsy Ellard

I have bought Turmeric Curcumin & it says on the bottle not to take if you are on medications. What medications are they talking about???

joan snow

I have been taking Puritan’s Pride Turmeric Curcumin 1000 mg for 1 week,So my question is how long should i take it to see a improvement in the pain i have in my legs.

Thank you for all this valuable info on Turmeric. Have recently heard a lot regarding Turmeric being such and important part of our diet but this is the first time I have read an article which explains how Turmeric can be taken for benefits.


hello there, I really love your articles. They’re full of practical information and you present it in a way that is appealing to me and probably others too.. I do have a vitamin and mineral deficiency. Normally I would take it out of my veggies and fruits. But probably this ain’t good enough. Yesterday I came across an article which spiked my interest: https://natureshealthyroots.com/2016/11/23/turmeric-plus-review/ It was about the superfood Turmeric and how much anti-oxidants and vitamins were in it. At the same time. I suffer from depression too. It seems that Turmeric can support you in the fight against anxiety… Read more »

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