Turmeric has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. Because curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling, it is often used to treat conditions that involve pain and inflammation.


The most common and widely used type of turmeric is ground turmeric. It is convenient and easy to use. Scoop a spoonful or two of turmeric powder and add to curries, sauces, soups, smoothies, dips, rice dishes and stir fries. You can also add turmeric to scrambled eggs, marinades for meat, fish and tofu.


  • Hay fever – Taking turmeric by mouth seems to reduce hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion.
  • Depression – Most research shows that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, by mouth reduces depression symptoms in people already using an antidepressant.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Taking turmeric by mouth seems to lower levels of blood fats called triglycerides. But the effects of turmeric on cholesterol levels are conflicting. Also, there are many different turmeric products available. It is not known
    which ones work best.
  • Buildup of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (non-alcoholic fatty
    liver disease or NAFLD). Taking turmeric extract by mouth reduces markers of liver injury in people who have this condition. It also seems to help prevent the build-up of more fat in the liver.
  • Osteoarthritis. Taking turmeric extracts, alone or together with other herbal ingredients, can reduce
    pain and improve function in people with knee osteoarthritis. Turmeric might work about as well as ibuprofen for reducing pain. But it doesn’t seem to work as well as another drug, called diclofenac.