Turmeric is a recognized natural healing food with anti-inflammatory properties. It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine for many conditions, including breathing problems, rheumatism, pain, and fatigue.

Curcumin, an active component of turmeric, is used as a dietary supplement for inflammation; arthritis; stomach, skin, liver, and gallbladder problems; cancer; and other conditions.

Preliminary studies found that curcuminoids (active part of curcumin) can:

  • 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 human research has studied curcumin for its effect on 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.