Is turmeric good for acid reflux? Benefits and side effects

A bioactive compound in turmeric called curcumin can affect the digestive system. However, there is little scientific evidence that turmeric can alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux.

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of a person’s stomach rise up into the esophagus or food pipe. If acid reflux becomes chronic, doctors call the disease gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In this article, we discuss the properties of turmeric and whether this spice can reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. We are also looking at other treatment options.

Turmeric could help protect the mucous cells of the esophagus from damage caused by stomach acid.

The authors of a 2019 review suggest that this protective effect is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the curcumin compound in turmeric. However, researchers need to conduct more studies comparing the effectiveness of curcumin to that of clinical treatments.

When a person has acid reflux, the contents of their stomach, which includes digestive fluid, move up into the esophagus. The liquid contains hydrochloric acid, which irritates and inflames the lining of the esophagus. In the long term, acid reflux can lead to complications, such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.

Learn more about acid reflux here.

Before using turmeric as a treatment for acid reflux, a person should discuss their symptoms with a doctor. People should also be careful not to consume too much turmeric during pregnancy or while breastfeeding or breastfeeding.

There are different ways a person can take turmeric. Many grocery stores sell it as a powder, which people can add to meals or combine with boiled water to make turmeric tea. Alternatively, people can get the powder by grinding dried turmeric stalks or rhizomes.

People who don’t like the taste of turmeric powder or can’t find it in the store might take herbal turmeric supplements instead.

Combine turmeric with black pepper can help the body absorbs more curcumin, which in turn could amplify its health benefits. Black pepper contains piperine, a compound that helps stabilize curcumin so that the body can absorb it before it breaks down.

Before taking turmeric for acid reflux, a person should talk to their doctor about potential health risks, including:

  • Consuming excessive amounts turmeric could cause side effects, such as headache and diarrhea.
  • People with a history of kidney stones should ensure that they don’t consume too much turmeric. When turmeric is broken down in the body, it releases oxalates and high levels of oxalate can lead to kidney stones forming.
  • If someone has celiac disease or gluten intolerance, they should be careful when purchasing turmeric powder. Some indisputable manufacturers may swell the powder with gluten-based fillers, but not disclose this on the ingredient label.
  • According to a 2018 review, turmeric is an anticoagulant. For this reason, it could interact with drugs that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin and warfarin. People who consume turmeric while taking these medications may notice that they bruise and bleed more easily. If someone has a prescription for blood thinning medication, they should talk to their doctor before increasing their turmeric intake.

Learn more about the side effects of turmeric here.

People who frequently suffer from acid reflux or GERD can make several lifestyle adjustments to reduce symptoms, including quitting smoking. Changing diet and managing body weight by increasing levels of physical activity can also help.


Making dietary changes can alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. A person may find it beneficial to limit or eliminate certain foods and drinks, including:

  • acidic foods
  • Chocolate
  • high fat foods
  • drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and tea
  • mint
  • spicy food
  • alcoholic beverages

People may also notice a reduction in acid reflux symptoms if they eat small meals. at least 4 hours Before bedtime.

Learn more about foods to eat and avoid with GERD here.

Physical exercise

A doctor may recommend that a person who is overweight increases their activity level to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults aim for a minimum of 150 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity per week. A person could spread this out over 5 days, devoting 30 minutes a day to staying active.

Examples of aerobic exercise include swimming and running. Strength training workouts, such as resistance training and hill climbing, are another good option. People who are starting to exercise should gradually increase the duration and intensity of their workouts to improve their fitness.

Learn more about aerobic exercise here.

Turmeric may not be suitable for some people with acid reflux. These people can talk to a doctor about trying the following treatments:


A person can take antacids for heartburn relief. Antacids are suitable for mild symptoms and a person should not take them every day. Side effects can include diarrhea or constipation.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

A doctor may prescribe PPIs for chronic acid reflux or GERD. PPIs reduce the amount of acid in the stomach and can heal the lining of the esophagus. They are available over the counter (OTC) or by prescription.

H2 blockers

When a person takes H2 blockers, their stomachs may not produce as much acid. These drugs can also help the esophagus to heal, but PPIs are more efficient. Both over-the-counter and prescription H2 blockers are available.

If a person experiences frequent acid reflux after reducing their intake of acidic foods, they should see a doctor.

While waiting for an appointment, a person may try using turmeric to reduce their symptoms. However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of turmeric in relieving symptoms of acid reflux.

For this reason, a person may wish to try over-the-counter medications first.

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin. This compound may have several health benefits, including reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

However, there are not enough studies to confirm the effectiveness of turmeric as a treatment for acid reflux. Therefore, people who suffer from acid reflux should discuss their symptoms and treatment options with a doctor.

Standard treatment options for acid reflux and GERD include antacids, PPIs, and H2 blockers.

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About Keith Johnson

Keith Johnson

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