Does Curry Cause Indigestion?

A large bowl of curry chicken.
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Indigestion typically refers to an unpleasant, burning or painful feeling in the lower area of the chest or upper part of the abdomen. It most commonly occurs after consuming something spicy or irritating to the stomach, such as a curry or a dish containing curry powder. If you notice indigestion after consuming curry, an ingredient within the dish is likely the cause. Indigestion is typically not treated as a condition, but rather as a symptom of a number of possible conditions.


Ingredients in Curry

Some of the most common ingredients in curry powder include turmeric, cumin, black peppercorns, ginger, coriander and cayenne pepper. All six ingredients are used commonly to treat indigestion in holistic and herbal healing. However, spicy curries often contain numerous hot chilies that can cause indigestion. Curry powder and curried dishes are often house recipes and can contain a multitude of other indigestion-causing ingredients. Some possible indigestion-causing ingredients include large amounts of dairy products, coconut milk and potatoes.


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Amending a Curry Recipe

If you make curry dishes at home and often experience indigestion, consider making your own powders and recipes so you can systematically eliminate the ingredients that might be causing your indigestion. This allows you to indulge in curry dishes whenever you like without fear of an uncomfortable or painful result. A basic, stomach-friendly curry powder recipe includes equal parts of ginger, turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek, nutmeg and cardamom. You can adjust these seasonings to your taste and indigestion until you find what works best for you.


Indigestion and Health Problems

Indigestion can be a sign of simple problems such as eating too quickly, nervousness, overeating, indulging in spicy foods or consuming large amounts of fats, grease, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate or carbonated beverages. Issues such as smoking, medications, emotional trauma, pancreatitis, peptic ulcers, gallstones and stomach cancer also could be the cause. If you experience indigestion regularly from curry or other foods, speak with your physician. She can determine the exact cause of your indigestion and treat it properly.


Avoiding Indigestion

If you have experienced indigestion from ingredients in curry in the past, abstaining from it is the safest route. However, with the indigestion-alleviating ingredients common in many recipes, curry powder might have no negative effects on your stomach. If curry commonly causes indigestion, eat it only in small amounts or eliminate it from your diet. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, stress management, changing medications, weight loss and management, eating smaller and more frequent meals and avoiding trigger foods can help prevent indigestion.



Self-treating indigestion could mean overlooking a serious medical problem. Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter indigestion medication or treating your symptoms in another way.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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