Herbs under the microscpe

"Herbs under the microscope" is a list of herbs with evidence-based information on their safety and potential health benefits in complementary and integrative practices. For information on how medications and supplements can interact, visit The NIH National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH). The herbs listed here may not be used to prevent, treat or cure any illnesses. Seek medical advice before use.


How Much Do We Know?

  • We have a lot of research, including studies done in people, on turmeric for a variety of health conditions.

What Have We Learned?

  • Claims that curcuminoids found in turmeric help to reduce inflammation aren’t supported by strong studies.

  • Preliminary studies found that curcuminoids may

    • Reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery

    • Control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen did

    • Reduce the skin irritation that often occurs after radiation treatments for breast cancer.

  • Other preliminary studies in people have looked at curcumin, a type of curcuminoid, for different cancers, colitis, diabetes, surgical pain, and as an ingredient in mouthwash for reducing plaque.

  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has studied curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate and colon cancer.

What Do We Know About Safety?

  • Turmeric in amounts tested for health purposes is generally considered safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

  • High doses or long-term use of turmeric may cause gastrointestinal problems.

Source: NCCIH

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