It seems like every week there is a new article about all the wonderful health benefits of turmeric. One of the more interesting applications for turmeric is how it can help with acid reflux. Let’s look more closely at the potential benefits of taking turmeric for acid reflux.

Inflammation and acid reflux

Inflammation is a direct cause of acid reflux damage, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas VA Medical Center. For years, doctors have presumed that the cause of damage to the esophagus associated with acid reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was due to stomach acid. But damage is caused by inflammation. Research indicates that acid reflux damage is the result of an inflammatory response spurred by the secretion of proteins called cytokines. This means that addressing acid reflux may be a matter of targeting the inflammatory cells that cause the damage.

Turmeric and inflammation

Dr. Randy J. Horwitz, the medical director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, wrote a paper for the American Academy of Pain Management in which he discussed the health benefits of turmeric. “Turmeric is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available,” Horwitz states in the paper. The anti-inflammatory power of turmeric comes from one compound called curcumin. The list of benefits from consuming curcumin is impressive.

Studies have shown curcumin to potentially have anti-tumor and anti-oxidant activity in addition to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects.  The anti-inflammatory action of curcumin comes from its ability to inhibit the body’s production of pro-inflammatory signaling compounds called eicosanoids.

Using turmeric to slow the body’s production of eicosanoids brings their levels in the body back to normal levels and as a result, chronic systemic inflammation in the body decreases significantly.

Taking turmeric for acid reflux

Indigestion or dyspepsia is considered one of the biggest offenders behind acid reflux. In a clinical trial that aimed to analyze the effects of curcumin or turmeric on patients with dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome and other stomach conditions, it was found that patients taking 1 gram curcumin twice daily for 6 months recovered faster from indigestion. According to an article appearing on the Turmeric for Health website, here are a few ways turmeric and curcumin possibly aid in treatment of GERD.

  • It may reduce stomach inflammation
  • It potentially promotes antioxidant defenses
  • It may reduce damage causes by bile acids
  • It may reduce damage caused by laryngopharyngeal reflux
  • It possibly protects from gastric side effects of painkillers

If you suffer from acid reflux, ask your physician or health professional if taking a turmeric extract might help your symptoms. Taking turmeric for acid reflux just might be the solution keeping your symptoms under control.