http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/#uses      TUMERIC

Introduction  

This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb. A plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties. Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots. turmeric—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Turmeric, a shrub related to ginger, is grown throughout India, other parts of Asia, and Africa. Known for its warm, bitter taste and golden color, turmeric is commonly used in fabric dyes and foods such as curry powders, mustards, and cheeses. It should not be confused with Javanese turmeric.

Common Names—turmeric, turmeric root, Indian saffron   Latin NamesCurcuma longa

What It Is Used For

How It Is Used   Turmeric's finger-like underground stems (rhizomes) are dried and taken by mouth as a powder or in capsules, teas, or liquid extracts. Turmeric can also be made into a paste and used on the skin.

What the Science Says

  • There is little reliable evidence to support the use of turmeric for any health condition because few clinical trials have been conducted.

  • Preliminary findings from animal and laboratory studies suggest that a chemical found in turmeric—called curcumin—may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, but these findings have not been confirmed in people.

  • NCCAM-funded investigators are studying the active chemicals in turmeric and their effects—particularly anti-inflammatory effects—in people to better understand how turmeric might be used for health purposes.

Side Effects and Cautions

Sources

  • Turmeric. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed on December 27, 2006.

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn.) and curcumin. Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed on December 28, 2006.

  • Turmeric root. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:379–384.

For More Information

NCCAM Clearinghouse

The NCCAM Clearinghouse provides information on CAM and NCCAM, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226
TTY (for deaf and hard-of-hearing callers): 1-866-464-3615
Web site:
nccam.nih.gov
E-mail: info@nccam.nih.gov

CAM on PubMed®

Web site: nccam.nih.gov/camonpubmed/

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements

Web site: ods.od.nih.gov

NIH National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus

Turmeric Listing: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-turmeric.html

Top

This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.

NCCAM has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by NCCAM.

NCCAM Publication No. D367
Created March 2007
Updated June 2008