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Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Turmeric (Curuma longa, Curcumin, also tumeric). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Contraindications: Turmeric is contraindicated for use in those with obstructions of bile passages.

Warning 2 - Anticoagulants: Turmeric may result in increased risk of bleeding when used concurrently with anticoagulants. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 3 - Immunosuppressants: May decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressants. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Warning 4 - NSAIDs: May result in increased risk of bleeding. Experts recommend avoiding concurrent use.

Used as a natural health remedy: Turmeric is used internally to destroy free radicals in the body. A recent study done at the prestigous Sloan-Kettering Cancer Research Center in New York found that turmeric was more safe and precise than asprin in stopping inflammation by shutting down the COX2 enzyme responsible for pain. And turmeric caused none of asprin's typical gastrointestinal irritation. The benefits of turmeric include its use for:
  • Cramps
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Upset stomach (dyspepsia)
  • Prevent hair loss
  • Anti-TNF agent (tumor necrosis factor)

The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a class of cytokines that promote an inflammatory response, which in turn causes many of the clinical problems associated with autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa and refractory asthma. These disorders are sometimes treated by using a TNF inhibitor, also referred to as an anti-TNF agent.

The major component of turmeric is curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. Researchers have found that curcumin can affect more than 100 different pathways, once it gets into the cell. More specifically, curcumin has been found to:

  • Decreases inflammation (See other herbs for inflammation)
  • Has chemosensitization activity
  • Has radiosensitization activity
  • Helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth (angiogenesis)
  • Helps your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
  • Inhibits the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
  • Inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells
  • Inhibits the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
Best of all, curcumin appears to be safe in the treatment of all cancers, and has been shown to be nontoxic.

Home remedy for cramps: Put a dab of inexpensive yellow mustard on your tongue. Most people have reported success within seconds and best of all, the cramps don't come back. We assume this is because it has turmeric in it as well as mustard seed and vinegar.

Side Effects of Turmeric

There are no known side effects of using Turmeric.

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Turmeric and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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