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DisclaimerThis article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. WLM researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.

What is it

Curcumin is a natural molecule obtained from a spice, turmeric (ginger family). The underground stem (rhizome) of Turmeric is dried and made in powder to be used widely as a curry powder in many Asian countries. Curcumin gives turmeric its yellow colour and is the active molecule that is responsible for providing the multiple health benefits of turmeric. Curcumin is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. Curcumin on its own it not well absorbed by the body, which is why it is frequently combined with piperine (derived from black pepper) which enhances curcumin absorption in the body by up to 2,000% magnifying the effects.

How does it help

Curcumin increases the level of anti-oxidants in the brain and body. Curcumin neutralizes various toxic substances called free radicals and therefore prevents damage to the brain. The cognitive function of the brain including memory and concentration increases with the regular use of curcumin. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin decreases the inflammation of the joint and decreases the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis. With the increase in the age of menopausal women, there is an increase in the chances of joint pain due to osteoarthritis. The benefits of using curcumin in older people have strong clinical evidence although the research has not been conducted specifically in menopausal women.


As curcumin slows blood clotting its best not to combine it with taking other blood thinners such as aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin. Curcumin is also know to decrease blood sugar levels, so its important for you to speak to your physician before taking it if you are also taking medicines for diabetes. Curcumin increases the absorption of sulfasalazine (frequently prescribed for Crohn's disease), so the dose of sulfasalazine has to be adjusted accordingly. Curcumin should not be taken if you are also medicines for cancer as it will decrease the effectiveness.

Side effects

There are little/no side effects of curcumin when it is used for up to 8grams daily for up to 2 months. Nausea, dizziness, and diarrhoea are mild side effects that can occur when it is taken in larger doses.

Scientific Evidence

What else you should know

Curcumin should be avoided if you have diabetes and High Blood sugar. Curcumin can decrease blood sugar and blood pressure excessively and can be fatal in extreme cases.

Ayurveda. Curcumin has been long used in ayurveda as a turmeric paste to treat variety of common clinical conditions. Turmeric is natural source of curcumin and is used in ayurveda to ease mild symptoms (hot flushes, night sweats, arthritis, and low mood) of menopause.


What are supplements

“Supplements” is an umbrella term encompassing vitamins, minerals, and botanicals that support our body’s functions


Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods. 2017 Oct 22;6(10):92. doi: 10.3390/foods6100092. PMID: 29065496; PMCID: PMC5664031.

Priyadarsini K.I. The chemistry of curcumin: From extraction to therapeutic agent. Molecules. 2014;19:20091–20112. doi: 10.3390/molecules191220091

Gupta S.C., Patchva S., Aggarwal B.B. Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. AAPS J. 2013;15:195–218. doi: 10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8

Written & Reviewed By
Dr BalKrishna Subedi
Dr BalKrishna Subedi
Women Like Me Team
Women Like Me Team
Last Updated
September 6, 2022 9:02 AM