Before I start talking about how turmeric can help in ulcers and nausea, let me discuss a bit about what the actually are and why they occur at first place.
Our digestive tract is made up of the stomach, esophagus, duodenum, and intestines.
Ulcers are sores that form on the lining of the digestive tract. Depending on the area where they are formed, ulcers are given different names – duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers that form on the stomach lining and esophageal ulcers.
Ulcers are usually caused when the digestive tract gets infected by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
When too much of acid gets formed in the body, this can eat up stomach linings and make us more susceptible to infections. Emotional and physical stress can aggravate ulcers.
Symptoms of ulcers include uncomfortable feeling an hour or two after eating, stomach pain especially at night, feeling of dull pain, burning or bloated sensation in the stomach, vomiting and unexpected weight loss.
An uncomfortable feeling in the stomach that could result in an urge to vomit is nausea. Nausea is often a side effect of certain cancer therapies.
Persistent nausea is dangerous and you must consult your doctor.
Turmeric for Ulcers and Nausea
Turmeric with the botanical name of Curcuma longa is better known for its culinary use in curries and as coloring and flavoring agent.
Peptic ulcers are also called duodenal or gastric ulcers. Studies have been conducted on the long term benefits of turmeric in healing ulcers.
One study examined 45 patients – both men and women – with known symptoms of peptic ulcers in the 16-60 age groups. 25 patients had gastric or duodenal ulcers.
They were given 300mg of turmeric filled capsules 5 times daily, ½ to 1 hour before meals and at bedtime for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, tests revealed that in 12 cases, the ulcers were absent and in 18 cases, further treatment for 8 weeks cured the ulcers. In 19 patients, the ulcers disappeared after 12 weeks.
The remaining 20 patients did not have ulcers when tested.
Instead, they suffered from dyspepsia, gastritis, and erosions to the stomach lining. They were given turmeric filled capsules for 4 weeks.
Within the first 2 weeks, stomach discomfort and pain disappeared. They could also return to a normal diet. Hematological system, renal and liver functions and blood chemistry of all patients displayed no significant changes before and after taking turmeric capsules. Turmeric indeed did the trick here!
In another study, rats infected with H.pylori bacteria were given turmeric (Curcuma longa).
Their gastric acid secretion lessened and they did not develop gastric ulcers. This was believed to be because of the ability of turmeric to block H2 histamine receptors which then inhibited secretion of gastric acid and prevented the formation of gastric ulcers.
This strengthens the ability of turmeric to fight harmful microbes.
Turmeric is also found useful in case of Dyspepsia. Symptoms of dyspepsia include indigestion, nausea, upset or sour stomach, gas and bloating.
A study was conducted on 116 patients with various types of dyspepsia – acid, atonic and flatulent. Of this 41 patients were given a placebo and 39 and 36 in the Curcuma domestica Val. and flatulence groups.
In the placebo group, 53% showed signs of improvement whereas the figures were higher in the flatulence (83%) and Curcuma groups (87%). This difference in response demonstrates the benefits turmeric can offer to patients with dyspepsia.
A study by Swedish and Vietnamese scientists was conducted on the benefits of turmeric for duodenal ulcers. Patients suffering from duodenal ulcers were divided into 2 groups.
One group was given the placebo and the other 6g daily dosage of turmeric supplements. Investigations were done before and after treatment on all the patients. The ulcers were of similar size (5mm diameter) in the patients and they were not given other drugs.
In the follow-up study 4 weeks after treatment, the healing rate was the same in both groups.
After 8 weeks, the turmeric group demonstrated a healing rate of 27% and the placebo group 29%. Both groups tolerated their drugs well.
Another study was conducted on the anti-ulcer benefits of turmeric on rats. The rats were given an oral dosage of 500mg/kg turmeric.
The turmeric extract provided protection against cystodestructive agents and there was significant anti-ulcer activity.
Turmeric supplements helped by increasing gastric wall mucus levels and restored the content of non-protein sulfhydryl in the stomach glands of the rats.
Another study was done on fasting rats which were given turmeric root extracts to determine whether it protected the stomach during the acute phase of gastric ulcers.
When the stomach was examined, it was found that there was an improvement in the development of ulcers.
It as concluded that this could be because of the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of turmeric.
Turmeric supplements are available as capsules, extract or tincture. Some turmeric supplements include bromelain since this improves the anti-inflammatory and absorption levels of turmeric. There is no recommended dosage of turmeric for children.
The recommended dosage for stomach problems like dyspepsia is 500 mg turmeric at least 4 times daily.
Precautions while taking turmeric
Turmeric is generally safe when used in appropriate doses and does not cause serious side effects. Mild side effects include nausea, dizziness or diarrhea when high doses are taken for long periods of time.
Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, suffer from gall bladder problems or are scheduled for surgery must avoid taking turmeric.
Always inform your doctor before taking turmeric powder or supplements for it could interact with other herbs and supplements or anticoagulant drugs.
Have you used turmeric for ulcers and nausea, if yes please share your experience here with all others!