Curcumin...Age Old Healer, Modern Miracle Supplement, or Natural Health Care Fad?

Curcumin...Age Old Healer, Modern Miracle Supplement, or Natural Health Care Fad?


Curcumin is the biologically active component of the turmeric root (Curcuma longa).  It is a common spice often found in Indian cooking and is responsible for the vibrant yellowish orange color of curry.  It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic health care; the idea of curcumin as an "Age Old Healer" is easily confirmed, assuming that we can establish that it is actually effective and not just a "fad" in natural health care.

Currently, there is an enormous amount of research being conducted with curcumin.  In vitro studies and studies on animals have shown that curcumin positively and significantly influences many cell pathways that have the potential to impact many pathologies.  Curcumin's most significant effect is as a system wide strong anti-inflammatory treatment.  Animal models have shown that curcumin can have topical and oral administration for a large variety of treatments. 

Making health care recommendations as evidence informed, science based doctors of chiropractic, we like to base our recommendations on randomized controlled human clinical trials.  Curcumin is one of the well researched natural supplements, with a large body of current, continuing research; Why?---because it has shown to be effective (at least in preliminary trials) for many conditions with little to no side effects and no significant adverse events.  

There is research showing that Curcumin is effective at treating pain, outperforming Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs.  Curcumin has been shown to have a positive impact on pain, inflammation and quality of life for people suffering from arthritis's, both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It has been shown to work well in conjunction with other medications without side effects when taking cucumin and drugs concurrently.  Curcumin has been shown to be safe and effective when taken for long term treatment.  It has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on cancer, inducing apoptosis and reducing tumor growth in multiple types of cancer; in addition, it has been shown to have a positive infuence on the side effects of chemotherapy associated with cancer treatment.  There is research showing that it helps the symptoms of and may help the recurrence of symptoms of Irritable Bowel Diseases such as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis. A topical preparation of curcumin showed that it can eliminate HPV cell lines...modern medicine has struggled to influence viruses, typically opting for vaccinations.  There have been many studies showing that curcumin may be beneficial in helping to treat a variety of other pathologies; however, research is limited or needs further study before making direct health claims for curcumin regarding those pathologies.  Finally, it has been shown that supplementing curcumin at a low dose positively influences many health markers in healthy adults and may be taken for preventative health benefits.

Modern Miracle Supplement?...there are very few if any supplements or pharmaceutical medicines that positively influence so many cell pathways and pathologies with little to no side effects...

What should a person look for in a curcumin supplement or should a person just consume turmeric root or spice?...Curcumin is not well absorbed; so, it is ideal to choos a supplement that has been synthesized for improved absorption (bioavailability).  It is good to choose a supplement that has been standardized to 95% curcuminoids.  A person may coose to season, cook with and/or juice turmeric.  Again, a catch is that turmeric/curcumin is not well absorbed by itself; adding black pepper when using turmaeric has been shown to help with absorprtion.  It should be noted that it would be difficult to consume enough turmeric to acquire the therapeutic doses used in clinical trials.

So, to answer the question, Curcumin...Age Old Healer, Modern Miracle Supplement, or Natural Health Care Fad?...It is a proven age old healer and is proving to be a modern miracle supplement; however, based on prevailing research, it is probably not "just some health care fad".

There is a word of caution in the literature...due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects, it is speculated that a person taking anticoagulant/blood thinning medication exercise caution with curcumin.  Though there has yet to be any recorded adverse events in the literature; the theoretical cellular pathway for increased bleeding is present when taking curcumin with these medications.

Talk to your doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic with questions about curcumin, proper dosages or questions about nutrition or supplements in general.  406-551-2177


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


7:00 am-6:00 pm


7:00 am-6:00 pm


7:00 am-6:00 pm


7:00 am-6:00 pm


7:00 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-1:00 pm


11:00 am-4:00 pm