If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure increases risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, and may even lead to death (see reference 1 para 1). In a majority of cases, anti-hypertensive medication is the most effective and primary mode of treatment for high blood pressure (see reference 1 para 4). Currently, there is no consistent evidence to suggest that turmeric is helpful in treating blood pressure.
Turmeric and Blood Pressure
Turmeric is a bitter yellow spice used in folk medicine as a remedy for a number of different ailments, including heartburn, gallstones, peptic ulcers and cancer (see reference 2 under Introduction para 3). Animal studies indicate that the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As for blood pressure, an October 2011 study published in "Nutrition and Metabolism" found that curcumin improved blood pressure in chemically-induced hypertensive rats (see reference 4 under Results under blood pressure para 2). However, human studies need to be conducted to verify the potential benefits.
Concerns and Warnings
Turmeric is a spice and considered safe to consume by most adults, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (see reference 2 under Side Effects and Cautions). However, consuming too much has caused indigestion, nausea and diarrhea (see reference 2 under Side Effects and Cautions bullet point 2). It's also important to note that high doses have lead to liver problems in animals, but there have been no reports of liver problems in people (see reference 2 under Side Effects and Cautions bullet point 3). Additionally, if you have gallbladder disease you should not take turmeric supplements (see reference 2 under Side Effects and Cautions bullet point 3). Always consult with your doctor before adding alternative therapies to your health regimen.
Is This an Emergency?
- Journal of the American Medical Association: 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults
- National Center For Complimentary and Integrative Health
- Official Publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Approaches to Blood Pressure Reduction
- Nutrition and Metabolism: Spice Up the Hypertension Diet - Curcumin and Piperine Prevent Remodeling of Aorta in Experimental L-NAME Induced Hypetension