Turmeric Benefits for Cysts, How to Take & More

 Turmeric is a multi-purpose remedy for cysts, including ganglion cysts and sebaceous cysts due to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties. It may be applied topically or taken internally for beneficial effects. However, it is recommended to consult a healthcare practitioner before taking turmeric for any cysts.

A cyst which forms within any body tissue is a pocket of tissue that is filled with fluid, pus, air or other materials. Cysts in the lungs are usually air-filled and those in the kidney are fluid-filled.

Dog tapeworms, trichinosis, and other parasites form cysts in the liver, muscles, lungs, brain and eyes. Cysts on the skin are very common and are a result of acne.

These sebaceous cysts are so-called because they are caused by the clogging of sebaceous glands due to infections or dirt clogging the skin.

Sebaceous cysts are swollen hair follicles and form usually on the neck, trunk and face. They are painless but can become inflamed.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled and are relatively common in a woman during her childbearing years. They are harmless.

Polycystic ovary syndrome also forms cysts that are hormone-related.

Follicular cysts form during menstruation. Women taking fertility drugs are also at risk of developing large cysts on the ovaries. Ganglion cysts form on the wrists on hands around tendons or joints.

Turmeric Benefits in Cysts

There are many reasons for cyst formation and one of the common causes in microbial infections in most cases, while some are the result of cancer. Turmeric has antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties, which help in treating cysts and also the various conditions related to cysts.   

Antimicrobial action of curcumin

An in vitro experiment conducted by Sin-Yeang Teow, Cluster of Oncological and Radiological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Bertam, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia evaluated the synergistic antibacterial activity of curcumin with antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus.

Micro dilution assay results showed a significant reduction of bacterial cells in combined therapy of curcumin and antibiotics compared to monotherapy alone.

This proves that curcumin can be used to treat bacterial infections. [1] [2]

The British Journal of Radiology published an article  [3]

The common causes of cysts are bacterial infection and clogging of sebaceous glands in the skin.

A study investigated the antimicrobial potential of turmeric extract against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, and Candida albicans.

The results showed that water extracted curcumin reduced the growth of Escherichia coli and salmonella typhi whereas aqueous extracted curcumin showed significant results against staphylococcus aureus too. [4] [5]

What it means

Curcumin, by nature, contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. It is included in treating skin conditions such as rashes, cysts and also included in antiseptic creams. Curcumin can help in curing cystic acne, which is generally caused by bacterial infections.

Polycystic ovaries may be treated with curcumin

The Journal of Reproduction & Infertility publishes an animal study involving Wistar rats to study the effect of curcumin in treating polycystic ovaries.

The outcomes showed that curcumin inhibited the expression of specific inflammatory markers, and its anti-oxidant property helps in reducing the oxidative stress. [6] [7]

Another animal study involving Wistar rats is published in The Cell Journal.

Curcumin was administered to the PCOS group for 60 days, and it resulted in the reduction of liver inflammation and hepatic necrosis.

The outcomes of the experiment concluded that curcumin showed a protective effect against the inflammatory markers raised by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). [8] [9]

What it means

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is most common among women, and curcumin helps in treating the condition. It reduces the inflammatory markers and also protects other organs from damage caused by PCOS.

Curcumin helps in treating cystic kidney

An article published in The American Journal of Physiology demonstrates that curcumin inhibits cystogenesis i.e., the formation of a cyst.

The complex pathway involves in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) requires multitarget compounds such as curcumin as a therapeutic intervention.

Pkd1-deletion mice were treated with curcumin, and it inhibited the pathways which elevated in cystic kidneys. Renal failure in mice with severe polycystic kidney disease was significantly delayed. [10] [11]

Another study conducted by Jinsheng Gao, Hong Zhou et al. showed that curcumin inhibits renal cyst formation and enlargement in vitro by regulating signaling pathways.  

Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cyst model and murine embryonic kidney cyst model were used to evaluate inhibitory activity.

At the maximum concentration of curcumin, it inhibited cyst formation up to 62% and slowed down the cyst enlargement process.

The outcomes show that curcumin can be used as a drug for treating polycystic kidney disease. [12]

What it means

The in vitro studies and clinical trials proved curcumin as a useful compound for treating kidney cysts. It helps in inhibiting cyst formation and also in controlling the growth of the cyst. With many clinical trials on humans, curcumin can be developed into a drug for treating cystic kidneys.

Anti-cancer activity of curcumin

Some cysts are a result of cancerous growth, and anti-cancer activity of curcumin can be used in treating it.

A clinical trial published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology demonstrated the therapeutic application of curcumin for pancreatic cancer.

The higher bioavailable form of curcumin was developed to increase plasma curcumin levels without increasing toxicity in patients.

The outcomes show that curcumin can be used as a therapeutic kind for treating pancreatic cancer.  [13] [14]

Another study published in Cancer Letters evaluated the efficiency of turmeric extract in inhibiting tumor growth. The extract was cytotoxic to Dalton’s lymphoma cells at the concentration of 0.4 mg/ml. 

The time of action was found within 30 minutes at room temperature.

The active constituent of turmeric called curcumin was the active constituent in inhibiting the tumor growth and cytotoxicity. [15] [16]

What it means

Many research has condemned that curcumin is a valuable therapeutic option in treating cancer. The cysts formed can be a cancerous one, and curcumin can be used for treating it, and it is also used as a therapeutic agent for different kinds of cancer.

Turmeric for sebaceous cyst- Can it help?

A sebaceous cyst is a lesion that is mostly regarded benign and harmless. It develops when the opening to sebaceous glands becomes blocked. It usually arises on the face, upper back, and upper chest.[17] [18]

Turmeric is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-neoplastic properties.

Hence it may help reduce inflammation and infection in the sebaceous gland. It may be applied topically as a paste on the site of infection or had as a supplement to improve sebaceous cysts.[19]

However, currently available studies are limited and more studies are required to understand the therapeutic benefits of turmeric for sebaceous cysts.

Can you use turmeric paste for cysts? How?

Turmeric paste may be applied topically to treat cysts due to its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties.[20]

It is made by mixing three tablespoons of turmeric powder in 3 cups of water and boiled till it becomes a thick paste.

Cooled the paste completely and applied a light coating of it to the cyst. Make sure to cover the cyst completely and tie it with the cotton gauze.

You may reapply the paste each day till needed. Also, be cautious while using turmeric directly on the skin as it may cause irritation or stain the fabric.[21]

Turmeric for ganglion cyst- Can it help?

A ganglion cyst is the soft tissue swelling in the hand and wrist. Most of these cysts are asymptomatic swelling, while others have pain, weakness, or paresthesia.[22]

Turmeric may provide relief for different types of pain and reduce inflammation due to a ganglion cyst.

Curcumin, the bioactive component of turmeric, may regulate cytokines, protein kinases, redox status, enzymes, adhesion molecules, and various transcription factors linked to inflammation. [23][24]

Fresh turmeric juice may be applied directly to the affected area 2-3 times daily until required. Turmeric supplements may also be taken.

However, it is recommended to consult the healthcare practitioner for the dose to avoid unwanted reactions.[25]

Turmeric for ovarian cyst – Can it help?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filling sacs within or on the surface of the ovary.

They usually are formed when the ovary releases an egg during ovulation.[26]

A health problem that involves ovarian cysts is polycystic ovary syndrome.

Preliminary studies suggested that curcumin may play a role in decreasing ovarian cysts associated with PCOS.

An animal study showed that ovaries treated with curcumin had decreased ovarian cysts and inflammatory markers.[27]

In another study, curcumin exerted a beneficial effect by disappearing cysts in the ovaries of letrozole-induced PCOS female rats.[28]

However, more controlled human studies are required to elucidate the molecular mechanisms.


There is no specified dosage for curcumin or turmeric for cysts.

The usual dosage of curcumin is 400-600mg thrice daily.

Adding piperine or bromelain can increase the bioavailability of turmeric supplements.

The supplement should contain a standardized curcumin extract of at least 95% to be beneficial. Always ensure that turmeric supplements you buy are manufactured according to GMP compliances.

Check the detailed article on dosage here


Using turmeric spice in food is safe for everyone. Reported side effects are minimal and confined to mild stomach upsets, indigestion, nausea or dizziness.

That too when taken in high doses for a long period of time. Some evidence is available that long-term use of large doses of turmeric could cause liver toxicity.

Hence those who are on hepatotoxic medications or have liver cirrhosis should consult their doctor. Some people with skin allergies could develop contact dermatitis if turmeric is used on the skin.

Anyone with gallbladder problems like gallstones, pregnant and breastfeeding women, those taking diabetic or anti-coagulant medication like warfarin are advised to avoid turmeric.

Anyone planning to include herbal supplements in their medical regime must consult their doctor first.


Can turmeric help reduce cysts with PCOS?

An animal study showed that curcumin was beneficial in Letrozole-induced PCOS. It helped in restoring all the parameters to normal and the disappearance of cysts in ovaries. In another study, in the PCOS group treated with curcumin, the number of cysts and antral follicles was reduced.

Can turmeric shrink cystic acne?

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that may potentially decrease the redness and size of cystic acne. A thick paste of turmeric and water may be applied directly to the cystic acne breakout and rinsed off. It may be used till required to reduce cystic acne eventually.

What are the side effects of applying turmeric on the skin?

Turmeric may treat inflammatory conditions. However, it may be an allergen and cause contact dermatitis when applied topically. It may cause irritation, redness, and swelling. It is advisable to do a patch test before using turmeric on the skin.

39 thoughts on “Turmeric Benefits for Cysts, How to Take & More”

  1. I heard of an indian doctor who treated his pactient for an arthritic cyst on his spine.I can not find out how, what dosage, or application he used,any though on this ?

    • Hi. We have not come across any research that suggests the possible use of turmeric/curcumin for tarlov cysts. Theoretically, it has many properties that could assist in treatment or as an adjunct therapy such as neuroprotective action, anti-inflammatory activity, painkiller activity.
      You could consider including it in your diet. Turmeric supplements might be more suitable for your health condition but it is advisable to consult your health practitioner about this. Hope this helps.

  2. Hi I’m suffering from cyst over my scalp but I went to several doctor they said it’s folliculitise another one said it’s hair root and another one said it’s cyst I don’t know I get confused

  3. I have a cyst in my maxillary sinus cavity. Any recommendations for how to use turmeric in this instance?

    Thank you!

  4. I am having oily skin and I am havingcystic pimples on forehead and area around nose on chin.. they are painfull and red .. will regulr applying turmeric help to remove this pimples and their marks

  5. Hi. I have just recently been diagnosed with a 16x9mm (roughly 1.6cm) cyst on my pancreas. I am 38 Yrs old and this was found during a c.t scan for constant kidney infections. I don’t drink, smoke and I am actively fit and on my feet all day, although I could do with losing a stone. :/ I am really worried about the cyst and I have to go for yearly mri scans. My question Is, will turmeric help and how much should I take? I am not expecting a miracle, but I am willing to try anything.

    • Hi. Please consult a health practitioner with regards to this. You can apply turmeric paste topically to the affected region. Conduct a patch test prior. Mix adequate amount of turmeric powder with olive or coconut oil and apply this to the region affected. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and wash with water. Repeat 2-3 times a day and observe for a week.

  6. I have a large sebaceous cyst, benign per dermatologist, that is now mostly scar tissue inside the dr said. Would a turmeric paste help to shrink it still and stop the pain? I do not want surgery as she suggested. I cannot take turmeric internally due to no gallbladder and the heart burn pain from it is intense and painful. Would using it as a paste be safe with no gallbladder? Thanks

    • Hi. We have not come across specific studies that investigate the role of turmeric and curcumin in relation to brain cysts. But curcumin is a natural neuroprotective agent- it benefits brain health. Additionally its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property can help in such a condition.

  7. Hi, my father has a cyst on his back, i think almost 5 years already and its getting bigger, and the doctor said that my father will undergo operation to take the cyst, is it possible that we try to use turmeric first instead of operation? How we can apply this?

    • Hi. We recommend taking Golden Paste orally. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1-2 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 other meds.
      Topical application of turmeric would involve making a paste of turmeric with coconut/olive oil and applying it to the affected region 2-3 times in a day. Please conduct a patch test prior. Without knowing the cause of cyst, we can’t comment to what extent turmeric would help in this case. Please consult a herbalist or naturopath about the same.

  8. I had been diagnosed with cysts on my pancreas, ovaries, liver and cervix will tumic help to get rid of these? How much should I take?

  9. How much do you need to take for ovarian cyst? The last 1 i had was a size of a watermelon an i lost an overy ..they found another on a test .i want stop it b4 its to late i plan pregnancy this year.

  10. I have been diagnosed with a complex liver cysts, 2 of them. One is 3 1/2inches and the other 1″. Will turmeric help in reducing these.. Im not looking for a miracle but help..

    • Hi Reginald. Depending on where the cyst is located you can opt for topical application of turmeric powder. If it is an external lesion such as on skin you can apply turmeric but in case it is on mucosal surfaces then please avoid topical turmeric.
      To apply turmeric topically, mix required amount of organic turmeric powder and extra virgin coconut/olive oil and apply it. Leave on for 30 minutes or till it dries and wash with cool water. Repeat at least 2-3 times in a day and observe for a week for reduction in size. Conduct a patch test prior.
      It is also advisable to take turmeric orally. You can take Golden Paste. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1-2 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 other meds. https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste

  11. What is the recommended dosage of turmeric for treating a subaceous cyst on a dog. Current weight 45 lbs? Would a paste made from powdered (store spice) turmeric have any beneficial effects. I am afraid that it may cause the puppy to lick the cyst, which he is not doing now.

    • My friend has used Turmeric for her dogs when they get fatty tumors with great results and her dogs love it. She sprinkles less then a teaspoon on their food once a day until it’s gone. Usually takes a week. If it is near the surface/skin, she will also make a paste by adding a little olive oil and rub it on the area.
      Works the same for people with boils; apply the paste or drink a cup of broth with 1 tsp. turmeric once a day for 3-4 days.


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