Turmeric May Help Treat Indigestion, Study Says

2 min read

Sept. 12, 2023 -- Turmeric, a yellowish spice some people use to relieve the inflammation of osteoarthritis, may have another use: treating indigestion.

In a study published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, 150 people with dyspepsia, also known as indigestion, took the drug omeprazole, curcumin, or a combination of the two.  

After 28 and 56 days, study participants answered the Severity of Dyspepsia Assessment about the level of their indigestion. There were no significant differences in the symptoms of the groups taking the omeprazole, curcumin, or a combination of the two, the study said.

Turmeric contains the biologically active compound curcumin. Omeprazole is used to treat stomach and esophagus problems such as acid reflux and ulcers.

“In addition to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant purposes, curcumin/turmeric could be an option for treating dyspepsia with comparable efficacy to omeprazole,” said study lead author Krit Pongpirul, MD, an associate professor in the department of preventive and social medicine at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, according to CNN.

In Southeast Asia, turmeric has been used for centuries to treat digestive problems. Beside treating inflammation, turmeric is sometimes used in the U.S. to help with depression, type 2 diabetes, viral infections, premenstrual syndrome, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions. However, there is no good scientific evidence to support turmeric for most of those uses.

People who are considering taking turmeric should consult with their medical providers to make sure it doesn’t interact with other medications you might be taking.

“Consumers should be aware of side effects of curcumin extracts such as allergy and bleeding risk, especially for those who take anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications,” Pongpirul told CNN.