Turmeric for Digestion

Seasoning your food with turmeric does more than just spice up your meals--it can also be beneficial for digestion. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, UMMC, turmeric has been used in both Chinese and Indian traditional medicine to treat digestive problems, and research suggests that it may be beneficial for treating dyspepsia, or indigestion. UMMC notes, however, that further research is needed to verify the efficacy and safety of turmeric as a digestive remedy. You should always consult with a licensed health care professional before using turmeric.



Turmeric is a perennial flowering plant that is indigenous to southern Asia. The turmeric rhizome is the part of the herb that is used for medicinal purposes. It is boiled and dried to form a fragrant, yellow powder that is rich in an active compound called curcumin. Curcumin is responsible for the benefits of turmeric on digestion.

Expert Insight

The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that the German Commission E has approved the use of turmeric for the treatment of a variety of digestive disorders. The German Commission E is an authoritative body responsible for determining which herbs can safely be prescribed for medicinal use in Germany.

Digestive Function

According to the UMMC, research suggests turmeric may be beneficial for digestion. It has traditionally been used to alleviate indigestion by stimulating the production of bile from the gall bladder. UMMC notes that preliminary research suggests that turmeric helps to reduce the symptoms of gas and bloating for people suffering from indigestion, though further human research is warranted.

Available Forms and Dosages

Turmeric can be taken in the form of nutritional supplements, which are available as capsules containing powdered turmeric, writes the UMMC. The recommended adult dosage for standardized turmeric supplements is 400 to 600 mg, taken 3 times a day. It is also available in the form of a turmeric tincture, taken in doses of 15 - 30 drops four times per day and fluid extract, taken in doses of 15 to 30 drops. This herb can also be taken in dried, powdered form in doses of 1 to 3 g a day and cut root in doses of 1.5 to 3 g per day.


While turmeric is considered to be safe when taken at the recommended doses, MedlinePlus cautions that taking large amounts of this herbal spice over long periods of time may cause stomach upset and ulcers. Turmeric may also interfere with the action of blood-thinning medications such as Wafarin and aspirin. If you have gallstones or suffer obstruction of the bile passages, you should talk to your doctor before taking turmeric.


Photo Credits:

  • Turmeric in White Bowl: 3 image by Leena Damle from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.