What are the health benefits of Turmeric?

How a humble spice can help those living with arthritis

Turmeric is increasingly being recognised for its medicinal values and properties and can help with treating the symptoms of many medical conditions.

We have put together an overview of its benefits so you can see for yourselves why turmeric is being hailed the wonder spice. 

Not just for curries

A member of the ginger family, turmeric is mostly known in its powder form as an ingredient in curry but it’s the root which contains its medicinal properties. Used as a traditional medicine for years it was only in the 1970’s that modern scientists started to examine it more closely and found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, was an anti-oxidant and had strong anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric’s distinctive yellow colour is also attributed to curcumin.

How can it help with arthritis?

Curcumin works by modifying the process of inflammation. One study showed it to be as effective as hydrocortisone at reducing swelling. It has also been reported that it may prevent blood clots as it interferes with the platelet activity.

Any other conditions it can help with?

As its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties are so strong it is thought to help with such conditions as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, IBS, haemorrhoids, menstrual pain and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research is still on-going but it is also thought it may help protect the liver and prevent the progression of cancer. 

How should turmeric be taken?

Turmeric can either be added to foods as a powder or root, in the form of a milky drink or indeed as a supplement in the form of a capsule.

Several studies suggest that the absorption of turmeric is enhanced if taken with black pepper.

Its absorption can also be boosted by eating the root – either fresh or as a powder.

How much is safe to take?

If taking turmeric as a powder in cooking the daily dosage should not exceed 3 grams.

If taken as a capsule the dosage must be carefully monitored as it is much easier to consume more than is recommended due to the way the plant is grown and harvested.

Adding turmeric to your food, therefore, has the advantage of reducing the likelihood of overdose.

What happens if you take too much?

Evidence suggests that, when taken in prolonged high doses, curcumin can be toxic to the liver. It is recommended therefore that those with liver disease should not include turmeric in their diet.

Can I still take a turmeric supplement alongside other medicines?

If you are taking anti-coagulants or antiplatelet medications then turmeric supplements should be avoided as there is a greater risk of bleeding. These medicines include Warfarin, Dabigatrin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Endoxaban or Disopyramide.

If you are planning on taking turmeric supplements, alongside other medicines it is advised to discuss this with your pharmacist or doctor first. 

Do turmeric and black pepper come as a combined capsule?

Turmeric and black pepper do come in a combined capsule but should only be bought from a reputable retailer such as Healthspan.

You can find more information on natural supplements by visiting or if you would some tips on how to live with arthritis then visit living with arthritis here.

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21st May 2021
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I take turmeric powder on my porridge every morning with a drizzle of runny honey and fresh fruit (strawberries and blueberries) - delicious, and my health care professionals
are quite happy that I do!
24th Sep 2019
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My wife takes it and swears by its health benefits!
12th Apr 2019
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Started taking Tumeric about five years ago to help maintain mobility as I age.
Despite creaks and groaning from my joints i'm still able to do my garden and allotment, so i will keep on taking it.
12th Apr 2019
Thanks for voting!
I looked at using turmeric to help with inflammation, however I was warned not to because I have some (small) gallstones and apparently it is not good to use turmeric in that case. When my gallstones were discovered I was also told that by the time most of us are in our 50's we will have developed the odd small gallstone.

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