Can the herb plant, turmeric, be used for upset stomach or other digestive problems?
Turmeric Plants Used Often In Ayurevedic Medicine Turmeric Roots
Below is reprinted from the National Institute of Health web site: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html
This article has somewhat more than you need for digestive disorders but often the more information then the better for the patient if presented to be remembered. Generally speaking Turmeric is classified as a "spice", rather than an herb, due to we generally speak of herbs as being a plant whose parts are eaten, ie. the leaves of basil. A Spice is generally the nut, seed, of the plant itself. With tumeric we possibly have a "hybrid" since it's the root. So, what do you call garlic??? Brain teaser!!!
What is it?
Turmeric is a plant. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine.
Herbfest note: Curry is a blend of spices, not a specific plant.
Turmeric is used for heartburn (dyspepsia), stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems and gallbladder disorders.
It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, and cancer. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems.
Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside of the mouth, and infected wounds.
In food and manufacturing, the essential oil of turmeric is used in perfumes, and its resin is used as a flavor and color component in foods.
Don’t confuse turmeric with Javanese turmeric root (Curcuma zedoaria).
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for TURMERIC are as follows:
Possibly effective for...
Stomach upset (dyspepsia). Some research shows that taking turmeric by mouth might help improve an upset stomach.
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
Skin cancer. There is some evidence that applying a turmeric ointment might help to relieve odor and itching caused by skin cancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Curcumin, a chemical in turmeric, might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Liver and gallbladder problems.
More evidence is needed to rate turmeric for these uses.
How does it work?
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The chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation).
Are there safety concerns?
Turmeric is LIKELY SAFE when used in amounts found in food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in medicinal amounts. But it can sometimes cause nausea or diarrhea.
Special precautions & warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in medicinal amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE in pregnancy. It might promote a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus, putting the pregnancy at risk. Don’t take turmeric if you are pregnant.
There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of turmeric during breast-feeding. It’s best not to use it.
Gallbladder problems. Turmeric can make gallbladder problems worse. Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction.
Surgery: Turmeric might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Are there interactions with medications?
Be cautious with this combination.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting
Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with herbs that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. These herbs include angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, willow, and others.
Are there interactions with foods?
There are no known interactions with foods.
What dose is used?
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
For upset stomach (dyspepsia): 500 mg of turmeric four times daily.
Curcuma, Curcuma aromatica, Curcuma domestica, Curcuma longa, Curcumae Longa, Curcumae Longae Rhizoma, Curcumin, Curcumine, Curcuminoid, Curcuminoïde, Curcuminoïdes, Curcuminoids, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Racine de Curcuma, Radix Curcumae, Rajani, Rhizoma Cucurmae Longae, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, Yu Jin.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
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Johnson, Bob - collective knowledge of doing this stuff for over 40 years. Herbfest.net,MedfaxxInc.com