7 Reasons Why Turmeric Can Fight Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections transferred due to unsafe sexual practices.

Bacteria, viruses, and parasites cause STDs. Some STDs can be transferred through non-sexual activities, eg: HIV can be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy.

Sexually transmitted infections are transferred through the mucous membranes of the genitals, mouth, respiratory tract and eyes.

Mainly they are transferred via body fluids and can also be spread by skin contact.

STDs generally don’t show any symptoms but in some cases, they do present with discharge from genitals, ulcers, and warts in the genital area, pelvic pain and irritation in genitals, etc.

Most STDs are treatable but at times the infection stays dormant.

In women, this can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and cause permanent damage to the female reproductive system leading to infertility.

The infection status of the individual is responsible for the spread of the disease and not the sexual practice itself.

Safe sex, use of condoms, monogamous relations, maintaining hygiene and sexual abstinence are few ways by which you can prevent the spread of STDs.

Repeated screening especially during or before pregnancy is extremely essential.

7 Benefits of Turmeric In STDs

Most of the turmeric’s pharmacological activity is attributed to the compound curcumin that imparts the golden yellow hue to the herb. Let’s find out how helpful turmeric and curcumin are in treating STDs.

1. Turmeric is an anti-microbial agent

Traditionally turmeric paste is applied to wounds due to its wound healing activity and also due to its ability to clear sepsis. Turmeric acts as a strong anti-microbial agent :

  • Antibacterial agent: Staph infection, E.coli, Psuedomonas species, H.pylori
  • Antiviral agent: HPV, HIV, Influenza virus, Herpes simplex virus
  • Antifungal agent: Candida species, Trichophyton species

What we understand from this is that turmeric and curcumin have a broad spectrum inhibitory action against microbes which suggests that it could be useful in treating most genital infections.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties which aids in terminating most causes of genital infection.

2. It is effective against gonorrhea

allinone image2Gonorrhea is an STD caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

It is characterized by pain during urination and penile discharge in men and vaginal discharge and pelvic pain in women.

It is generally treated by antibiotics and can be prevented by the use of condoms.

N.gonorrhoeae infection also causes inflammation of the urethra, urinary tract infections, and bladder cancer. When this bacteria attaches to the mucosal membrane, it activates inflammatory agents like nuclear factor-kappaB and tumor necrosis factor.

Curcumin deactivates such processes and also prevents the bacteria from attaching to the mucosal cells without causing any side effects.

The combination of vitamin D and curcumin is said to be useful in combating normal and drug-resistant gonorrhoea.

Vitamin D boosts the body’s immune system to fight the infection while curcumin downregulates the inflammatory process initiated by the microbe.

What does this mean?
Around 88 million cases of gonorrhoea are reported each year. Curcumin is useful in treating this infection as it prevents the bacteria from attaching to the body cells and prevents inflammation.

3. It terminates herpes virus infection

Genital herpes is a viral sexually transmitted disease. It is seen as ulcers or blisters in the genital region. It can be transferred to an infant during childbirth. Regular antiviral medication is the only current treatment available.

Two viruses: herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 are responsible for this infection. Curcumin demonstrates anti-viral effect against herpes simplex virus.

Lab studies show that curcumin can inhibit herpes simplex virus infection by inhibiting the activity of coactivator proteins. These proteins are essential for the multiplication of the virus.

Curcumin reduces the infectivity of the virus and reduces the activity of genes involved in its expression.

Pre-treatment of genital epithelial cells with curcumin reduces its susceptibility of developing HSV infection and inflammation. This suggests that topical formulation of curcumin could be therapeutic in treating herpes.

What does this mean?
Curcumin inhibits the growth of herpes simplex virus. Topical application of curcumin reduces the chances of developing herpes associated inflammation.

4. It attenuates HPV infection

Human papillomavirus infection is caused by a group of 150 viruses. 40 viruses have been identified that affect humans. Symptoms are generally latent but mostly seen as genital warts. They have a tendency to progress into cancer.

Turmeric exerts an anti-viral effect of human papillomavirus, even in case of drug-resistant strains. It also prevents the progression of infection to cervical cancer and head and neck cancer.

A topical formulation of curcumin is proven to clear HPV infection.

What does this mean?
Turmeric and curcumin display virucidal properties against HPV and also prevent the infection from developing into cancer of the genitals.

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5. It is protective against HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that attacks the immune system and progressive failure of the immune system is called AIDS.

It is spread by exchange of infected body fluids which could involve sexual route or asexual route such as contaminated blood transfusion. If the infection is left untreated it could take about 10-15 years to develop AIDS.

Curcumin and its related compounds prevent activity of genes that help in a multiplication of HIV. They also exert anti-inflammatory property, improve the efficacy of conventional treatment and reduce side effect.

Curcumin inhibits the activity of enzyme protease and integrase that is released by the virus and helps in its multiplication and manifestation of AIDS.

Pretreatment of genital mucosal cells with curcumin protects from HIV associated infection and inflammation.

What does this mean?
Curcumin prevents multiplication of HIV and also increases the efficacy of anti-HIV drugs indicating its use as an add-on therapy in AIDS.

6. Turmeric fights other STDs

Trichomonosis is an STD caused by parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

It affects over 174 million people worldwide every year. It’s curable but its emerging resistance to the standard antibiotic is creating the problem.

Research shows that curcumin as a topical agent can eradicate all cells of this parasite within 24 hours irrespective of its drug resistance.

Turmeric prevents multiplication of Hepatitis virus and protects the liver from such infection. (Read: Turmeric for hepatitis)

Scabies is a contagious skin disease caused by a parasite Sarcoptes scabiei.

It is characterized by blisters and rashes on the skin. It spreads by skin contact. Turmeric and neem paste is said to terminate scabies infection.

Curcumin by means of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property acts against drug-resistant scabies infection.

Indian researchers have developed a polyherbal cream containing curcumin to treat infections of the genital tract. This cream is effective against drug-resistant strains of N.gonorrhoeae, Candida species, human papillomavirus and HIV.

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

A study shows that curcumin blocks sperm function and works as a novel anti-steroidal contraceptive. Simultaneously it reduces chances of bacterial and fungal vaginal infections by 5-10 folds.

What does this mean?
Research points that turmeric is therapeutic in case of other STDs like trichomonasis, hepatitis and scabies. Topical formulation of curcumin protects from most genital infection.

7. Turmeric has various medicinal properties that benefit in infectious conditions

Infections pave way for a number of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, fever, and gastric symptoms.

Turmeric and curcumin are natural anti-inflammatory agents and can help relieve systemic inflammation and fever. (Read Turmeric for fever)

Turmeric also has natural pain killer properties. (Read Turmeric for various kinds of pain)

Turmeric has immune-regulating properties which can help build immune defences in case of infection. Curcumin and other curcuminoids present in turmeric work as antioxidants and help build antioxidant defences in case infection.

What does this mean?
Turmeric has various pharmacological and medicinal properties that can help the body fight infections.

Dosage of Turmeric for STDs

allinone image1There is no set dosage of turmeric for sexually transmitted diseases. Incorporating turmeric in your diet can help as a preventive measure. Turmeric Milk is one of the best options for getting rid of any infection and boosting your immunity.

There are no side effects reported with turmeric in the diet.

Remember to take turmeric with black pepper or fats in order to increase the absorption of curcumin.

Topical application of turmeric based cream is also useful in treating genital infections.

Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric is poorly absorbed in the body. Natural ingredients like black pepper and oil increase its absorption. Therefore we recommend taking Golden Paste, a recipe that combines all three.

You can start with ¼ to ½ teaspoon a day and gradually increase the dose to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day or how it suits you.

You also consume Turmeric Milk or Turmeric Tea. If you need help locating organic turmeric powder you can check our recommendations.

Conditions like HIV and HPV may require curcumin supplements along with turmeric in diet.

Please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Precautions

Before taking turmeric supplements to consult a doctor to discuss the dose and chances of drug interactions. Avoid turmeric supplements in case of pregnancy and lactation, but then do include turmeric in your diet in order to ward off chances of infection.

Discontinue turmeric supplements 15 days prior to surgery to avoid the risk of bleeding.

If you are taking diabetes medication or stomach aid reducing medications, avoid turmeric supplements.

Turmeric spice intake should be limited if suffering from gout or kidney stones as it is high in oxalates.

If suffering from a blood thinning disorder or taking antiplatelet medications, consult your doctor before taking turmeric.

Conclusion

Turmeric’s broad spectrum anti-microbial action makes it of use in treating sexually transmitted diseases.

Additionally its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property curbs the progression of the disease.

Turmeric can be used as add-on therapy in case of STDs However practicing safe sex, monogamous relation and regular screening cannot be ignored.

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About the Author

Shruti (BE Biotech. & PGD Clinical Research)

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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