Benefits of Turmeric for Multiple Sclerosis

If you think Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a rare disease, think again. Over 2.5 million people across the world have MS. Interesting fact here is MS is not as common in Indian subcontinent as in western countries.

Multiple Sclerosis affects the nervous system. This unpredictable disease upsets communication between various organs and the brain. Effects of this break in communication can be mild or destructive. Plaque deposits on nerve tissues, caused by MS, leads to destruction of the protecting covering of nerve cells – myelin.

Symptoms of MS could be fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, break down in motor skills, inability to speak, walk or write, pain, tremors, mood disturbances, memory loss, loss of bladder control or heat sensitivity.

Causes of MS are not known although it is theorized that it could be due to environmental factors or genetics leading to this autoimmune disease. Hereditary causes, those living in cold northern latitudes for the first part of their lives, those in the ages of 18-45 or immune response genes are some of the risks of developing MS. There is no cure. Treatment could be using drugs, surgery, acupuncture, massage or alternative therapies.

Turmeric and Multiple Sclerosis

There have been numerous studies to test the efficacy of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant agent. Its neuroprotective abilities are said to provide benefits for Alzheimer’s disease, heal wounds, help in the treatment of various cancers, multiple sclerosis etc.

Curcumin is the key active ingredient in turmeric. Initial studies have found that curcumin could block progress of MS. In laboratory tests, mice where bred with illness resembling multiple sclerosis symptoms called EAE – experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. EAE also erodes the myelin sheath similar to multiple sclerosis. They were injected with 50-100 micrograms curcumin thrice a week for about a month and showed few signs of the symptoms. Animals not given curcumin developed severe paralysis within 15 days. The mice given 100 micrograms showed the least symptoms of MS throughout the study.

It was estimated that the dose given to the mice was the same as that consumed by an Indian in his or her daily diet. This could be the reason why autoimmune diseases are rarely found in countries like India and Turmeric and Multiple sclerosisChina where turmeric is widely used in cooking. The way that curcumin works to prevent multiple sclerosis could be by inhibiting manufacture of IL-12 protein, the main cause of damaging the myelin sheath.   Feeding the mice with curcumin also dramatically reduced IL-17, IL-6, TGF-beta, IL-21, RORgammat and STAT3 expression. Production of TH 17 cells which causes various inflammatory diseases was inhibited

Breakdown in immune system is the cause for autoimmune diseases like MS. Studies are increasing on using herbs to treat these diseases since they cause few side effects and are inexpensive. Curcumin in turmeric has long been touted as a chemical to combat autoimmune diseases since it can regulate inflammatory cytokines.

Turmeric used in diets at low levels and for long periods does not cause any side effects. However large doses of turmeric supplements used for therapeutic purposes could crease side effects and hence must be used with caution.

According to some researchers curcumin could treat the pathophysiological progress of MS since it has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. MS damages the blood-brain barrier leading to injury of myelin sheaths and axons. Prophylactic treatment using turmeric could prevent this damage and prevent such damage. This could go a long way in preventing symptoms of multiple sclerosis before they appear.


As such there is no recommended dosage of turmeric for MS. This is true with most herbal supplements as they are never disease specific.

Capsules containing turmeric powder, fluids or tincture turmeric supplements are all commercially available. The dosage usually depends on the specific condition. Bromelain can improve the anti-inflammatory and absorption levels of turmeric and is often combined with this supplement.   In fact 40mg thrice daily of bromelain is said to reduce inflammation and pain.  400-600mg thrice daily is the recommended dosage of standardized curcumin powder. 

But I suggest using turmeric in your daily diet and not as a supplement. This ensures there is regular supply and also no overdose and related issues.


Since turmeric spice included in food does not cause any side effects, people are advised to use this as much as possible. Some people like those with diabetes, gallbladder problems and pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid turmeric supplements. If you require surgery, avoid these supplements 2 weeks before the scheduled date since turmeric can slow down blood clotting.

If taken in excess and for long periods, turmeric supplements could cause dizziness, nausea, diarrhea and indigestion.  Always consult your doctor if you wish to include turmeric supplements to your treatment regime.

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  1. Hi all! I’ve had MS for over 20 years. I’m constantly reading about new treatments. I have read the benefits of turmeric. My brother in law eats pickled raw ginger every day (in 2 inch long pieces). The arthritis in his hands has improved greatly. I currently take Tysabri every 6 weeks. Does anyone else out there use Tysabri and consume raw turmeric? Thx

    1. Hi. It is safe to consume raw turmeric in diet when taking any medication.
      You can take Golden Paste for MS. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks.
      Best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take meds, if taking large doses.

      1. I’ve had MS for 7 years now. I started with Copaxone the first few years, but still saw progression. I started Tysabri a couple of years ago and it’s been working well for me. The worst side effect I’ve experienced is a weird metallic taste in my mouth during and after the infusion that clears up by the end of the day. It’s usually prescribed to have the Tysabri infusion once a month (takes about an hour or two). Depending on what your doc prescribes based on certain anti-body numbers from your blood test, the frequency could change to once every 6 weeks or two months (like me).
        Down side/risk: MS has been proven to cause a very rare dehabilitating and sometimes fatal brain infection called PML (look it up) in a couple of cases [out of thousands]. The reason they check your blood before starting this treatment is to see if you have JC-virus antibodies – if you do, you increased risk for PML when on Tysabri. (JC virus antibodies are something that a lot of people develop when they’re kids. I have JC antibodies, but determined with the doc that I would go forward with Tysabri. Tysabri’s medication guide says that the longer you’re on Tysabri, the risk of PML increases.

        I had a new set of MRIs last year and the progression has halted with no new lesions. For someone that has over 50 lesions in his brain and dozens in the spine, this is fantastic news.
        By God’s Grace, I do not have any mobility challenges , but pain is an unwelcome guest that’s made itself welcome without an invitation (due to the damage from the previous lesions’ growth before I started Tysabri.

        MS sucks, but it doesn’t have to suck the life out of you. You may have MS, but MS doesn’t have you.

        God Bless,


        1. I also take turmeric powder supplements daily. I just know turmeric helps reduce inflammation and is beneficial for MS. Tell your doc about all meds and supplements because certain supplements can have negative inferactions with meds you take. I also recommend doing this check at home on the internet. Just google “drug interaction checker” and plug in the info. Remember that you have to be your own medical advocate – the doctors are there to guide and direct you, but you have to take the lead. Good job researching turmeric! 🙂

          1. Thanks Chuck, in particular for your last statement “You have MS but MS doesnt have you. As a mother of an MS patient, its taken me several years to come to terms with not being able to keep me ‘child’ safe and not see her primarily as having MS. She certainly isnt defined by MS. After Refib and Gilenya failed, she is doing well on Tysabri, but if tumeric might be able to help, its worth looking at.

  2. Hi to all, does any of you take Turmeric with Resveratrol ? I read that the combination of these is very good, and thinking whether I should take them. I have interferon B and take amantadine pills for fatigue.
    thank you!

    1. Many studies have reported the synergistic use of curcumin and resveratrol so based on the combination is safe and has health benefits. If opting for supplements consult a health practitioner prior.

  3. I used, for my demyelination, medication since 2009. I have two months now, i stopped using medication ..and replaced them with turmeric. Every morning, first thing when I wake up, ½ teaspoon turmeric + ½ lemon (juice) +half glass water.. This is it…!!! Feel really good up to now
    And no more side effects from medication

    1. Hi Christina,

      Please can you advise if since then you are doing well without medication since i have just been diagnosed with MS and afraid to take any medicine.
      Can you tell if there is any reversal effects o demyelinasation.

  4. I too have MS and am currently taking tecfedira
    is it safe to take a tumeric supplement at the same time?

    1. The drug interaction between turmeric and tecfidera hasn’t been studied. It is best to consult a herbalist or a doctor before taking turmeric supplements. Dietary turmeric is not found to cause any side effects. You could start with small doses of Golden Paste 1/2 teaspoon daily and increase the dose gradually to 1-2 teaspoons 2-3 times a day or as it suits you.

    2. I’m a 66 year old male diagnosed with m.s. over 25 years ago the most effective drug I’ve found is Naltrexon I also consume lady finger + curcummin daily + aloe vera and oysters. Upon my return to the States 4 years ago was diagnosed with squamish cell stage 3 cancer and told by the VA I had 6 months to live that was over 2 years ago. Positive thinking and excersize

  5. I have MS and took turmeric, I stopped because it made me stink. I still eat Indian food, at least 2-3x a week, but would like to take a turmeric supplement that does not make you stink, are there any out there ?

    1. Make sure it is just Turmeric and not curry powder that contains multiple ingredients like fenugreek(aka..methi) that can cause an odor.

  6. I was suffering from severe dizziness and vertigo (I have MS). When it hit me, I was down for days and violently ill. I started taking tumeric via a supplment called CuraMed. I AM NOT promoting any individual supplement – this is just what I happened to take… Within 48 hours, the dizziness went away and I have not had an issue with dizziness or vertigo in over a year.
    The stuff is expensive ($87.00 for 120 capsules – taking 2 a day), but definitely worth it (ask anyone with MS that has to deal with vertigo).
    One less issue I have to deal with!

    1. Try Andrew lessman Tumeric with ginger root — awesome works great and I don’t think that expensive but I get a year’s supply for about 100.00.

      1. He was a lawyer and didn’t like it so he was a Health nut and has a solar factory in Las Vegas making all types of vitamins and uses and finds top notch ingredients. I have no affiliation to him — I just started watching him on HSN about 8 years ago and learn new things every time. I’ve tried the turmeric 200mg with ginger root 200 and it has made a big difference with the burning sensation and tingling in my arms. He sells a 400 and I am going to buy these when mine are done. With 400mg of turmeric you would think he would increase ginger root to 400 but he doesn’t he decreases it to 120 — he has a ton of knowledge out there for free too. I just love his products — made a huge difference in my life with ms.

    2. I take the same supplement cuamed with then black pepper added one everyday , I also have ms and had severe vertigo ! Cut out gluten n sugar n read dr terry whals book and I take 12 supplements a day n eat kale n spring mix salads ,

    1. I have MS and the best way to remove all symptoms of inflammations,
      its to remove meat, dairy and sugar.
      I also take curcumin Novasol.