Current research suggests that turmeric may help with IBS symptoms. However, more studies need to be done to confirm the results and determine the best dose.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian and traditional Chinese medicine. The spice’s healing power is derived from its active ingredient, curcumin. It’s been used to help with everything from skin disorders to respiratory infections and depression.
Turmeric’s healing potential
As with all supplements, it’s important to speak with your doctor before taking turmeric. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements, so remember to take turmeric with care.
Keep reading to learn more about this complementary therapy for IBS.
While more studies need to be done, the current research around turmeric is promising.
In a small 2022 study, 51 people took 600 mg of curcumin once per day. Symptoms including bloating and abdominal pain improved after 4 and 12 weeks, with quality of life improving as well. Furthermore, there were no significant side effects.
The study’s authors noted that curcumin may help by lowering inflammation and oxidative stress while reducing sensitivity to pain in the digestive tract.
Participants in another study from 2016 took a combination of curcumin and fennel essential oil for 30 days. The study found that the treatment significantly improved IBS symptoms.
Another research review, from 2021, reported that four out of seven included studies showed benefits of curcumin or turmeric supplements for IBS. Still, it noted that additional research is needed to confirm the results.
Many people choose to take turmeric in supplement form for convenience. If you enjoy the spice’s rich flavor, you can also add more turmeric to your diet.
It’s always safest to take any herb or spice in its natural form.
However, turmeric and curcumin supplements are available at most health food stores and online retailers. You may also be able to find powdered turmeric in the spice section of regular grocery stores.
If you’re using turmeric to treat a specific health concern such as IBS, it’s important to buy a high quality product. Although supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, quality manufacturers will adhere to their own set of standards.
Remember to follow the dosage specified on the package. Dosages may vary between manufacturers. To prevent potential side effects, start with a smaller dose and gradually work your way up to the optimal dose.
Research into turmeric for IBS has focused on supplements, which typically contain much higher doses than the amount you can reasonably obtain from food. While it’s unlikely that you can eat enough turmeric to reduce symptoms of IBS, consuming turmeric in your diet is a great option for general health.
When adding turmeric to food, remember that a little goes a long way. It’s best to add in small amounts at a time. Fresh and powdered turmeric can stain clothing and skin, so be careful when using it in the kitchen.
Give these a try
- Mix turmeric into yogurt or add to smoothies.
- Sprinkle it into savory dishes, such as curries and soups.
- Use it to make a salad dressing or seasoned mayonnaise.
- Make a hot tea or a refreshing cold drink using turmeric, ginger, lemon, and herbs.
Don’t forget to take it with piperine
Taking turmeric with piperine appears to increase its absorption by 2000%, making it more effective. Piperine is an extract of black pepper.
You can look for a turmeric supplement that contains piperine or take a black pepper extract supplement.
- abdominal discomfort
- allergic reactions
- increased risk of bleeding in people taking antiplatelet medications
You may be able to reduce your risk of side effects by starting with a small dose and working your way up over time.
Talk with your doctor before taking turmeric if you have events or conditions
Turmeric supplements also aren’t recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Taking piperine may affect how certain drugs are metabolized. Check with your doctor before use if you’re taking:
Talk with your doctor before you begin using turmeric. Remember that turmeric should only be used as a complementary therapy. It’s not meant to fully replace your prescribed treatment plan.
Discontinue use if you experience any uncomfortable and persistent symptoms. You know your body better than anyone, and it’s important to be aware of how turmeric affects you and your symptoms.