10 Benefits Of Turmeric In Female Health

Female health concerns are not limited to health problems that are specific to female organs such as ovarian cancer or vaginitis. Certain diseases are more prevalent in women than men.

Exactly why such gender differences exist when it comes to prevalence of certain disease is not understood.

This article is focused on how turmeric can benefit female health concerns including female reproductive health problems as well as diseases which affect women more than men.

10 Benefits Of Turmeric In Female Health

We have put together a list of the most common diseases that affect women and how turmeric can help in each of these health conditions.

1) Turmeric reduces menstrual problems

Premenstrual syndrome is a number of symptoms that occur prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle. It includes depression, pain, gastric symptoms etc.

A clinical trial reported that curcumin supplementation prior to menstrual cycles for three months brought about a significant decrease in pre-menstrual syndrome score.

Researchers concluded that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory property and ability to regulate brain chemicals brought about this effect. Traditionally turmeric is also said to help in regularizing menses. (Read 8 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Menstruation)

Vaginitis is an inflammatory and infective condition that affects the vagina. Research shows that curcumin can inhibit the growth of bacterial and yeast infection that cause vaginitis.

Curcumin is also a potent anti-Candida agent and has strong anti-inflammatory property. (Read 5 Benefits of Turmeric In Vaginitis, 6 Benefits Of Turmeric In Leucorrhoea)

Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Research shows that curcumin is an anti-endometrotic agent and regulates hormones and enzymes in order to inhibit endometrial growth. (Read 5 Ways Turmeric Can Help In Endometriosis)

Few of the other common female reproductive health problems in which turmeric can help are uterine fibroids and PCOS. (Read Turmeric for PCOS, How Turmeric Can Help In Uterine Fibroids)

Menopause is a natural change in female health marking the end of her reproductive ability. It is marked by hormonal changes, hot flashes, depression, weight gain, impairment of bone health.

Turmeric is a natural phytoestrogen which may help ease out hormonal imbalances in menopause.

Tumeric also works an anti-depressant, it can preserve heart and bone health and also aid in weight management. (Read 11 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Menopause and Post Menopause)

What does this mean?
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial and phytoestrogenic property benefits in common female reproductive health problems like PCOS, uterine fibroids, endometrosis and vaginitis. It can also help in easing out menopause.

2) Turmeric is a powerful anti-cancer agent

Few cancer types other than those that affect specific female organs are more prevalent in women than men.

Colorectal cancer is cancer affecting the large intestine. Curcumin suppresses the growth of colon cancer cells. It serves as a chemotherapeutic agent in colorectal cancer as well as chemopreventive- it can prevent occurrence of colon cancer.

Similarly curcumin plays a preventive as well as chemotherapeutic role in lung cancer; it also prevents lung cancer from metastasizing. (Read Turmeric for Lung Cancer)

Curcumin is found to be therapeutic in triple negative breast cancer. It exerts anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects in breast cancer and also is recommended as an adjuvant to conventional breast cancer therapy. (Read 13 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Breast Cancer)

Curcumin causes cell death in ovarian cancer cells and inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells. It also sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cause of death in women. Curcumin exerts anti-tumor effects in cervical cancer and can also reverse drug resistance in cervical cancer. (Read How Turmeric Can help In Cervical Cancer)

Overall curcumin has potent anti-cancer activities, in fact it manipulates over 20 biomolecular targets to cause cell death in cancer cells. This activity of curcumin can be helpful in treatment of any cancer. (Read Turmeric for cancer, Turmeric/Curcumin Dosage For Cancer)

Topical application of turmeric is also found to be beneficial in external cancerous lesions and cancer of the vulva. (Read 6 Benefits Of Topical Turmeric In Cancer)

What does this mean?
Curcumin’s anti-cancer and anti-tumor property is useful in treatment of various cancers that are more prevalent in women like colorectal cancer or cancer that affects specific female organs like ovarian cancer.

3) Turmeric reduces progression of arthritis and osteoporosis

Knee painOsteoporosis or weakened bone strength is very common in women. Menopause and age related changes increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Curcumin is found to increase bone mineral density and protect bones from mineral loss occurring as a result of menopause, medication or Alzheimer’s study.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints and leads to pain and swelling in the joints.

Dietary turmeric as well as supplement is found to be therapeutic in experimental rheumatoid arthritis as it prevents joint degradation and inflammation. (Read Turmeric for Arthritis, 6 Ways Turmeric Benefits In Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Chandran et al. reported that turmeric supplements were more effective in reducing tenderness and joint pain in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis than diclofenac sodium, a medicine prescribed in conventional arthritis treatment.

Curcumin is also recommended in treatment of osteoarthritis. (Read Turmeric Benefits For Osteoarthritis)

What does this mean?
Curcumin benefits in bone related conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis due to its ability to protect and preserve bone mineral, pain killer properties and anti-inflammatory properties.

4) Turmeric protects from heart disease

Heart diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths every year in women. Coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis is one of the most common heart disease affecting women.

Curcumin offers protection against many cardiovascular diseases. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-thrombotic properties help in protecting heart health.

Atherosclerosis is when blood lipids forma plaque and clog the arteries. (Read 9 Ways Turmeric Can Help In Atherosclerosis)

Oral curcumin is found to reduce blood lipids and cholesterol and thereby help in management of atherosclerosis. In fact research shows that long term curcumin treatment reduces blood lipids and atherosclerotic lesions similar to that of lovastatin, a drug used to lower cholesterol.

Stroke is a condition which occurs when blood supply is cut off to the brain. Turmeric as well as turmeric oil are proven to protect the brain in stroke like conditions.

Curcuminoid supplementation is proven to reduce frequency of heart attacks in patients who have undergone heart surgery.

Curcumin also initiates repair and protects heart from dysfunction occurring as a result of heart attack. (Read How Turmeric Benefits Your Heart)

What does this mean?
Curcumin protects heart health and can help in treatment of atherosclerosis and cardiac repair after heart attack.

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10-benefits-of-turmeric-in-female-health-02

5) Turmeric is a natural antidepressant

Women are twice likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.

Hormonal changes, premenstrual issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression are few factors that cause mood changes in women. These factors can affect the brain chemicals that control the mood.

A 6 week study compared the effect of fluoxetine (Prozac), curcumin or their combination in individuals suffering from major depressive disorder.

Results showed that the response was best in combination group, while group treated with curcumin alone performed as well as fluoxetine alone treatment.

Lopresti et. al reported that curcumin treatment as anti-depressant provides partial support and is effective within 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.

A review of 6 clinical trials reports that curcumin administration reduces depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder.

Research suggests that curcumin influences brain chemicals in order to exert anti-anxiety like effect. (Read 3 Reasons Why Turmeric Is Great for Depression)

What does this mean?
Curcumin has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties which can be effective in treatment of depression in women.

6) Turmeric is therapeutic in autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are those in which the body’s immune system treats the body cells like pathogens and starts destructing them.

The autoimmune diseases that are likely to affect women are diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, psoriasis.

Curcumin’s ability to regulate immune responses is found to be effective in treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Curcumin has anti-diabetic property and can protect from complications of diabetes. Turmeric oil also shows potential in treatment of diabetes.

Curcumin demonstrates therapeutic potential in treatment of lupus. (Read Turmeric: Your Miracle Weapon For Diabetes, 8 Benefits Of Turmeric In Prediabetes, Turmeric for lupus)

Curcumin’s analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant property as well as ability to reduce neuropathic pain can aid in treatment of fibromyalgia. (Read Turmeric for fibromyalgia)

Animal study reports that curcumin’s antioxidant property is valuable in treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. Curcumin is found to be as effective as cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant drug in treatment of psoriasis.

Oral curcumin is found to be safe and effective in treatment of psoriasis. (Read Turmeric for psoriasis)

What does this mean?
Curcumin ‘s anti-inflammatory and immune system modulating property makes it an effective adjuvant therapy in treatment of autoimmune diseases.

7) Turmeric fights Urinary tract infection

Curcumin by virtue of its antioxidant nature acts as a renoprotective or kidney protective agent.

Research shows that curcumin aids in treatment of various kidney disorders like diabetic nephropathy, chronic kidney failure and kidney toxicity occurring as a result of various medicines or compounds.

Urinary tract infection is a common complaint in women. It is characterised by burning sensation during urination, cloudy,dark or strange smelling urine and frequent urge to urinate.

Curcumin has a broad spectrum anti-microbial property. A study was conducted where different turmeric extracts were assessed for their anti-bacterial activity against 65 bacterial strains that cause urinary tract infection.

It was observed that turmeric extracts had significant anti-bacterial activity against the following strains- S. Saprophyticus, S.aureus, S.pyogenes, S. epidermidis, E.faecalis, B.subtilis.

Turmeric’s anti-bacterial activity was compared to standard antibiotics and the results demonstrated that turmeric was 100% effective against gram positive bacterial strains which are usually drug resistant.

Also turmeric’s anti-inflammatory activity, can help in reducing pain and inflammation in urinary tract infection. (Read Turmeric for Urinary Tract Infections)

What does this mean?
Turmeric is effective in clearing out bacteria that cause urinary tract infection. It is also renoprotective or kidney protective agent which safeguards kidney from disease and damage.

8) Turmeric benefits in Sexually Transmitted Disease

STDs that are in common in women include Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus, Chlamydia infection etc.

It presents with symptoms like abnormal vaginal discharge, inflammation in the genitals, rashes and sores etc.

A polyherbal cream containing curcumin is found to treat infections of the genital tract. This cream is effective against drug resistant strains of N.gonorrhoeae, Candida species, human papilloma virus and HIV.

Overall this cream acts against bacterial, fungal and viral genital infections.

Curcumin works as non steroidal contraceptive and kills microbes that cause genital infections. Turmeric exerts anti-viral effect of human papilloma virus, even in case of drug resistant strains.

It is also effective in clearing infections like Herpes Simplex Virus, gonorrhoea, Trichomonosis.

What does this mean?
Curcumin’s anti-microbial activity is effective in treating infections in STDs like HPV, HSV, gonorrhoea and trichomonosis.

9) Turmeric reduces Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome is a number of gastric symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or constipation etc.

Since women are likely to face IBS, it is suggested that probably hormones play a role in development of irritable bowel syndrome.

Animal study reveals that curcumin supplementation can improve brain chemicals and reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in IBS. Turmeric supplementation is effective in treatment of various digestive disorders like GERD, IBD, peptic ulcer etc. (5 reasons why Turmeric can help in Heartburn, Can Turmeric cause acidity? ,Turmeric for Stomach, Can Turmeric Ease Bloating? )

A clinical trial was conducted where individuals suffering from IBS were treated with 1 or 2 tablets of standardized turmeric extract for 8 weeks. A 53% and 60% drop in irritable bowel syndrome symptoms was observed in 1 and 2 tablet group respectively.

Abdominal pain reduced by 22% and 25% in 1 and 2 tablet group respectively. Approximately two-thirds of the study population showed improvement in IBS symptoms with turmeric treatment. (Read Turmeric and Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

What does this mean?
Turmeric supplementation for 8 weeks reduces IBS symptoms and improves digestive health.

10) Turmeric shows therapeutic potential in Alzheimer’s disease

brainAlzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems in memory and thinking. Women are more likely to face Alzheimer’s than men.

Amyloid beta is a type of protein that accumulates in the brain and hampers brain function.

Curcumin protects brain cells, reduces amyloid beta aggregation and can improve cognitive function.

Curcumin shows potential in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but data from clinical trials is limited to due ineffective absorption of curcumin. Dietary turmeric can help in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. (Read Turmeric for Alzheimer’s disease)

What does this mean?
Dietary turmeric can help in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Research studies show that curcumin has great potential in Alzheimer’s disease treatment but data from clinical trials is limited.

Dosage

You can start by taking ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric in your diet. Include it in smoothies, rice preparations, curries, soups etc. A real effective of taking turmeric is The Golden Paste.

It has black pepper and fats which helps in absorption of curcumin. 1-2 teaspoons of The Golden Paste 1-2 times a day can help. However start with a small dose say 1/4-1/2 tsp and gradually increase the dose as to how it suits you. (Read 10 Easy And Awesome Ways To Use Turmeric Or Golden Paste)

Other delicious ways to take turmeric include Turmeric Milk and Turmeric Tea.

Some of the health conditions may require you to take turmeric supplements. Consult your doctor before taking turmeric supplements.

If you need help with finding trusted brands of turmeric please check this link.

Precautions

Dietary turmeric is safe. But anything in excess can pose health problems. Slight gastric discomfort initially is possible.

Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of:
• Pregnancy and lactation
• Prior to surgery
• If suffering from gall bladder problems
• If taking medications like blood thinning medicines, stomach acid lowering drugs, blood sugar lowering drugs and certain antidepressants

Please consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.

Conclusion

Quite a number of health conditions are more prevalent in women than men. Starting from pre-menstrual syndrome ranging to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, these diseases are becoming the prime health concerns of women worldwide.

Any health condition poses economic and emotional burden. Something as simple as including a natural spice, turmeric can benefit in female health and safeguard from a number of diseases.

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About the Author

TurmericForHealthTeam

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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7 Comments

  1. I take a supplemental turmeric in 500 mg caps twice per day. I also take 2000 mg of glucosamine once a day. i have taken glucosamine for 8 years now and have added the turmeric this past winter when my arthritis painfully flared up. The turmeric cleared it up in less than a week.
    Now, I am trying to determine if I need to continue on the glucosamine and just take the turmeric. I have arthritis from my neck to my lower back, right wrist and knees.
    How would you advise me in this issue.

    1. Glucosamine supplementation has been found to be fairly beneficial in osteoarthritis. Turmeric/curcumin supplements also have a synergistic action with glucosamine in arthritis. So it could be an additive effect or even turmeric acting alone.
      You could consult your clinician with regards to this.

  2. My CRP ( C-Reactive Protein) was on the high normal side due a knee injury that was inflamed, after taking Turmeric the CRP is slowly creeping down and the pain , swelling in the knee is not noticeable any more.

    1. Thank you for sharing this. Turmeric works as anti-inflammatory agent and regulates immune responses. Glad to hear that turmeric helping you recover from the knee injury.

  3. 5) Turmeric is a natural antidepressant

    Women are twice likely to be diagnosed with depression than women. (tnan men could you mean?)