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Turmeric

What is it?

Turmeric is an herbal medicine used to treat inflammation (swelling), upset stomach, and arthritis. It is also used to prevent cancer, clogged arteries, infections, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Other names for Turmeric include: Curcumin, Curcuma longa, Indian saffron, Curcuma, and Indian yellow root.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have liver or gall bladder blockage, gall stones, hyperacidity, or stomach ulcers
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Turmeric you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Turmeric. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Turmeric without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Blood thinning medicine (examples: aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix(R)), ticlopidine (Ticlid(R)), warfarin (Coumadin(R)), enoxaparin (Lovenox(R)))

Warnings:

  • Before taking Turmeric, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Patients with liver or gall bladder blockage (obstruction), gall stones, hyperacidity, or stomach ulcers should not take Turmeric
  • Do not take Turmeric if you have a bile passage blockage
  • Turmeric should be taken on an empty stomach

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Bitter taste in your mouth after using Turmeric
  • Can cause stomach ulcers if used for a long time
  • Skin problems

References:

1. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al: Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

2. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, Austin, TX; 1998.

3. Garg SK: Effect of Curcuma longa (rhizomes) on fertility in experimental animals. Planta Med 1974; 26:201-300.

4. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999: 646-649.

5. Stoner GD & Muktar H: Polyphenols as cancer chemopreventive agents. J Cell Biochem 1995; 22(Suppl):169-180.

6. Srivastava KC, Bordia A & Verma SK: Curcumin, a major component of food spice tumeric (Curcuma longa) inhibits aggregation and alters eicosanoid metabolism in human blood platelets. Prostgland Leukotr Ess Fatty Acids 1995; 52:223-227.

7. Srivastava R, Dikshit M, Srimal RC et al: Anti-thrombotic effect of curcumin. Thromb Res 1985; 40:413-417.

8. Holt PR, Katz S & Krishoff R: Curcumin therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: a pilot study. Dig Dis Sci 2005; 50 (11):2191-2193.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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