Turmeric for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that's frequently found in curry-spice blends. The root, related to ginger, is popular in Indian, Thai and Moroccan cuisines, and it's also long been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Close-Up Of Turmeric Spilling From Measuring Spoon On Table
Michelle Arnold / EyeEm / Getty Images

Health Benefits

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which research suggests may offer several health benefits that could help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Up until now, though, no studies have examined it specifically for these conditions.

While we do have some research on turmeric/curcumin, more studies need to be done to nail down exactly what it can do for us. The spice is believed to be an:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-viral
  • Digestive aid
  • Topical antiseptic

It's been used as a treatment for multiple ailments, including:

Dosage

According to The Joint United Nations, World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, and European Food Safety Authority reports, the Allowable Daily Intake (ADI) of curcumin is 0–3 mg per kg of body weight. Optimal doses for specific uses haven't been well-established by research.

Turmeric/Curcumin in Your Diet

Adding curcumin to your diet, through turmeric, is fairly simple. However, it may be difficult to get a therapeutic dosage through diet alone.

In India, where turmeric is used in a lot of traditional foods, average dietary intake is estimated to be between 1-2 grams per day.

Side Effects

Studies have shown that turmeric/curcumin may cause some side effects, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Increased risk of kidney stones in people prone to them

Turmeric's safety hasn't been established for children.

Caution is urged when consuming turmeric during pregnancy, because not enough studies have been done to determine its safety.

Any time you're considering a new supplement, you should discuss it with your doctor and pharmacy to make sure you're not creating any dangerous interactions or other problems.

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