Powdered curcuma in a white bowl on a white background

Curcuma is also the common spice turmeric, used in cooking. It is in the ginger family and gives mustard its classic yellow color. Curcuma is also used as an alternative medicine to treat a variety of conditions.


Asians have been using curcuma for centuries to treat gastrointestinal disorders and arthritis pain.


More recent uses for curcuma include cancer prevention, anti-aging treatments, and battling high cholesterol, heartburn and scabies (when used topically).


Curcuma is taken as a capsule or drank as a tea.

Side Effects

Gastrointestinal issues may occur when taking curcuma. Upset stomach, heartburn, nausea and vomiting are the most frequently reported side effects when it is taken for a lengthy time or in high doses.


Women who are pregnant be cautious when taking curcuma. Curcuma may increase bleeding and should be stopped if surgery is pending. Individuals who are immune-suppressed should avoid curcuma because it is thought to weaken the immune system.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration can not guarantee the safety of curcuma products. The FDA does not regulate herbs and supplements. Consult a doctor before starting any herb or medication.