A remedy for indigestion may be cheap, delicious, and readily available.
Turmeric Matches Standard Medication for Treating IndigestionTurmeric is a spice from the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant. It has powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. However, its effectiveness in treating indigestion has been uncertain.
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to treat indigestion by reducing stomach acid. Long-term PPI use has been linked to an increased risk of fractures, nutrient deficiencies, and infections.
In a double-blind clinical trial, researchers compared turmeric, omeprazole, and a combination in treating over 200 people with indigestion symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and early fullness. The severity of the symptoms was evaluated at 28 and 56 days of treatment.
Curcumin—the active ingredient in turmeric—matched the acid-fighting power of omeprazole in relieving symptoms.
Tips for Maximizing Curcumin AbsorptionTurmeric has been traditionally used in Southeast Asia to treat stomach discomfort and inflammation. In the United States, it's commonly taken as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement for conditions like osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
Moreover, consuming turmeric with fat allows curcumin to directly enter the bloodstream through the lymphatic system, partly bypassing the liver. In India, this is exactly how turmeric is commonly used culinarily—with fat and black pepper.
Study LimitationsWhile this study shows turmeric's potential for indigestion, some caution is warranted. The symptom scale used may not be the most common, and the measurement frequency raises questions.
For example, how might the results change with more frequent symptom assessments? What could be the cumulative effect on various inflammatory conditions?