Turmeric Benefits for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It develops at any gastrointestinal organs and can spread all over the gastrointestinal area. The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but immune system disorder and hereditary factor are involved in Crohn’s disease development. Initially, it develops as a patch; but gradually it spreads and become inflammatory chronic bowel condition. Complication of Crohn’s disease includes ulcer, fissure, fistula. Nutritional absorption problem is associated with Crohn’s disease, which leads to malnutrition.  [1]

Crohn’s disease is noncurable; but medication, diet control, surgical interventions and alternative treatment options can provide symptomatic relief. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory property and can control Crohn’s disease progression. [2]

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease involves unbearable pain symptoms. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are as follows:

  • Occasional finding of blood in stool
  • Mucus finding is not frequent
  • Pain is one of the major problem
  • Presence of fistula is significant
  • Gut obstruction is frequent
  • Significant colonic obstruction
  • There is a possibility to recurrence after surgical intervention [3]

How Turmeric is effective in Crohn’s disease?

Turmeric controls inflammation by altering multiple anti-inflammatory pathways. Following are a mechanism of actions of turmeric.

  • Curcumin present in turmeric can block phosphorylation of inhibitory factor I-kappa B kinase IκB and thus it suppresses the activation of nuclear factor kappa B and pro-inflammatory gene expression.
  • NF-κB activation suppressive effect of Curcumin can down regulates cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and lipoxygenase enzymes. Thus administration of turmeric leads to blockage of inflammatory mediators synthesis and inflammation is controlled. [3]
  • Oxidative stress also increases the discomfort associated with Crohn’s disease. The antioxidant property of turmeric also effective to reduce the intensity of the Crohn’s disease-related discomforts.

Study evidences Turmeric Efficacy Against Crohn’s disease

One human study conducted in 207 patients and study result showed the different concentration of active constituents present in turmeric extract formulation able to reduce the symptoms after 8 weeks of therapy. Almost 22 to 25 percent pain and gastrointestinal discomfort were reduced with the treatment of turmeric. Bowel pattern also improves with turmeric treatment. The patient also reported that they have symptomatic improvement with turmeric tablets. Thus patients with Crohn’s disease may be benefitted with turmeric treatment.[2]

A pilot study conducted in Crohn’s disease patients. In this study, the study participants took 360 mg thrice daily oral dose of curcumin for one month. then the dose was modified and study participants took 360 mg four times a day curcumin for an additional two months period. The result showed that symptomatic improvements in all the participants. They had less frequency of bowel movements, reduced diarrhea, and decreased the abdominal pain and cramping symptoms.[3]

The anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric is well-established. The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin is comparable with phenylbutazone, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, turmeric does not cause side effects like bleeding disorder, ulcer progression, anemic condition; thus it is a safe alternative in comparison to other synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs. [2]

Animal study reported that low dose of turmeric is effective to reduce symptoms of IBD. It has been observed that 10 days treatment with 50mg / kg body weight of curcumin can cause less colon disruption and diarrhea. The effect is same with higher doses of curcumin; therefore, turmeric with less amount of dose can provide effective symptomatic relief from Crohn’s disease. [2]

Curcumin is effective nutraceutical in juvenile Crohn’s disease

Juvenile Crohn’s disease is one of the reasons for weight loss and impaired growth due to mal-absorption of the nutrients. Curcumin with a combination of other nutraceuticals able to provide benefits against Juvenile Crohn’s disease by reducing the intensity of the symptoms and assist to reverse the growth failure. [4]


The exact dose of turmeric is not evaluated through a clinical trial. However, some study evidence showed that 1 to 2 gm of turmeric is effective to control Crohn’s disease symptoms. In the market, different turmeric formulations like tablet capsule, tinctures are available. However, organic turmeric powder with appropriate dose can also be used. [2]

Safety profile

Turmeric is considered as a safe herbal therapeutic agent. However, some precautionary measures are suggested by experts, which include pregnant women and nursing mother, pre-surgery patients and individuals with gallbladder problem should not take turmeric therapy. Turmeric can interact with anti-platelet drugs, antacids, anti-diabetic and analgesic medications. [2]


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353304
  2. https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/turmeric-and-crohns-disease
  3. http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/14/2/141.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20150601
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