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Health benefits of Turmeric

Posted By  
13:00 PM

Article by Dr. Doug English (BVSc)

I, as a Veterinarian, have been using turmeric successfully for years with animals to control inflammation and pain in itchy skin conditions like allergy, atopy, arthritis, infections, age degeneration and various cancers.

Turmeric has been used for over 4,000 years in India and is a food spice that has long been proven very safe.

I have seen benefits in all animals in my care: dogs, humans, horses, cattle, sheep, crocodiles, reptiles, chickens, ducks, cage birds, cats, alpacas, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.

With the limited follow-up opportunity that a sole practitioner has, I asked clients to post their anecdotal results on to a Facebook page called Turmeric User Group so that I could measure results.

This group currently has in excess of 270,000 members and the evidence presented by the users is overwhelmingly positive as to curative and good health supporting effects of regular use of turmeric.

This has given me a huge confidence boost to increase my recommendations and I have been using it to replace or reduce the dose of hard drugs like Non-Steroidal matories Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs)  and cortisones. It has no bad side issues and can be used in conjunction with many drugs.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to horses - click HERE.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to dogs - click HERE.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to smaller animals - click HERE.

Skin Health

Specifically helps with Queensland Itch (Sweet Itch) in horses,  Atopic Dermatitis in dogs (skin allergies), and Demodectic mange dogs (along with a specific treatment for mites taken orally such as Doramectin – Zoetix Dectomax). It can also help put a stop to ongoing skin infections caused by various yeast, bacteria and fungal infections that can gain a foothold in skin see my home-made yeast spray.

Improves the skin shine and coat condition in all animals. Many horses and dogs show a marked increase in colour depth and skin health with an obvious bloom in their coats.

A trial conducted in crocodiles resulted in a 50% increase in growth rate and 30% increase in grade A hides.


There are now many hundreds of stated positive outcomes in alleviating pain and movement constriction in arthritic dogs, humans, cats and horses.

There are many stories of dogs and horses barely able to walk being able to run and frolic seemingly free of all pain. You’ll find these in our "Turmeric Stories" section.


Lots of evidence in the published literature of curcumin causing apoptosis (cell death and elimination by phagocytosis) cancer cells such as melanoma, mastocytoma, mesothelioma, sarcomas, and osteosarcomas, etc.

On my Turmeric User Group Facebook site there has been evidence of turmeric being successfully used in a number of equine sarcoid cases. Firstly it must be fed, and optionally it can be put topically.

I am interested in doing an experimental trial beginning later this year, treating sarcoids with Turmeric orally and also adding a topical form of curcumin dissolved in a carrier.

Immune Stimulant

Very effective stimulation to fight and prevent infection with viruses and bacteria.

Increases the effect of antibiotics particularly those that act by bacteriostatic effects. Noticeably shortens virus activity in such maladies as pneumonia, herpes lip sores, canine coughs.

Wound healing is enhanced. Can be dusted onto fresh wounds where it stops bleeding and infection and stimulates healing.


Works well in improving the activity level and socialisation in old dogs.

Also relieves brain fog in humans and stimulates clear thinking. Decreases amyloid plaque in human brains with Alzheimer’s. Slows development of Multiple Sclerosis.

Effective for depression. A component of turmeric, turmerone (see #2 Reference below) has recently been identified to induce Neural Stem Cell proliferation which can explain somewhat the positive effects on brain function.

Greasy Heel

Orally it increases health and thickness of skin thereby increasing resistance to the infection and speeding curative effects of medicines.

See my post on greasy heel - click HERE to read.

Founder (Laminitus) in Horses

Hoof quality and strength are improved in horses.

Turmeric for horses gives good results for treating pain, infection and inflammation and increases the rate of hoof regeneration.

Irritant Bowel Disease

Reduces inflammation and along with the elimination of gluten can result in sudden cessation of diarrhoea and gut cramping.

Reduces symptoms of human Crohn’s Disease.

Liver Detoxification

It increases the levels of glutathione in the liver by several times. This compound is a major anti-oxidant and conjugating agent which is used to detoxify and eliminate harmful compounds.

I have noticed that alcohol elimination is noticeably increased and is the best by far, hangover prevention and treatment.

Uveitis in Horses

One of the most common eye diseases and the most common cause of blindness in horses in equine recurrent uveitis.

There have been three cases of good curative responses (through using turmeric) and literature in human medicine backs this.

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Very good anecdotal evidence to give confidence that it can considerably reduce or cure lung disease. 


The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, but to date, at least 235 compounds, primarily phenolic compounds and terpenoids have been identified from the species, including 22 diarylheptanoids and diarylheptanoids, eight phenylpropene and other phenolic compounds, 68 monoterpenes, 109 sesquiterpenes, five diterpenes, three triterpenoids, four sterols, two alkaloids, and 14 other compounds. Curcuminoids (diarylheptanoids) and essential oils are major bioactive ingredients showing various bioactivities in vitro and in vivo bioassays. Curcuminoids in turmeric are primarily accumulated in rhizomes. The essential oils from leaves and flowers are usually dominated by monoterpenes while those from roots and rhizomes primarily contained sesquiterpenes. (see #1 Reference below)

Curcumin, like the other carotenoids etc. in turmeric is soluble in fats, oils, lipids, alcohol, short chain fatty acids like acetic, butyric but not water, and so for digestion it must be in contact with any of the above so that the complex is absorbed through the intestine. Fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K are also only absorbed in oils etc. Water-soluble vitamin complexes are B and C.

The metabolism and absorption of all of these are best when all the associated complementary compounds are together in what we call a whole food.

Piperine, the compound in ground black pepper, and is responsible for its pungent smell and taste, is fairly necessary for the metabolism of curcumin because it considerably slows its excretion (also other drugs) and prolongs the positive metabolic effect.

PLEASE NOTE: Absorption and length of activity of curcumin are the limiting factors for attaining a desired effect. 

Turmeric products available at Waggy Tails