Q. I accidentally learned that turmeric could help reduce my high blood pressure. It went from 160/80 to 140/60 after eating an Indian meal of curry.

After I made this discovery, my nutritionist daughter advised me to use 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric daily. I add it to a small clove of garlic and blend it with fruits in a soy shake I make daily. I have now lost weight and my blood pressure runs about 109 to 120/65.

A. What an interesting discovery. We don’t think doctors will prescribe curry, but rodent research suggests that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can lower blood pressure (Journal of Clinical Investigation, March, 2008).

Turmeric is the yellow spice used in curry and yellow mustard. Although yours is the first report on using this spice for hypertension, readers have found a number of other uses for it. We have included their stories about arthritis, bursitis, diabetes, gout, leg cramps and psoriasis in our new book, Favorite Home Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy (online at www.peoplespharmacy.com).

Some people may be allergic to turmeric. In addition, this herb may interact with the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin) to cause dangerous bleeding.

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  1. Hadassah E P
    Wichita,Kansas
    Reply

    I have been having some trouble with my blood pressure lately without using curry seasonings and noticed a big difference in the pressure when I used curry seasonings including Turmeric and Corriander Cumin Ginger and Red chili powder and when I used those my blood pressure was really good. That is why I did all the research today on the benefits of eating curry food. High Blood Pressure runs on both my natural birthmom’s side and my adopted parents sides of the family so that is why I watch what I eat and don’t use regular salt. I just use the curry seasonings and that is all with my chicken or hamburger with rice and in the chicken I even put potatoes carrots and onions and have that cook with the chicken boiling on the stove and all too. It turns out very well and keeps me healthy too.

  2. J.B.
    Creston BC
    Reply

    I have been taking a tsp. of turmeric powder mixed with a tsp. of honey on a daily basis. I notice my bp has lowered immensely. I am on high bp mrds and do take one in the am. But my bp sometimes drops to around 107/68. see my physician to discontinue meds or not. Any ideas from anyone.

  3. BGL
    Reply

    I have been researching foods or herbs that are both Non-estrogenic and also are safe for people with LOW blood pressure (90/60 or 85/55). It seems that many healing, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory foods and teas
    are a risk for people like me. I also have to limit fruits with fructose, any molds/yeast/fungi and sulphur/cruciferous foods to some extent.
    I also am gluten intolerant and underweight, so I want No foods that cause weight or fat loss. I need some help to build up my immune system and strengthen the liver. So far, all that I find that is safe is warm lemon water, but I can’t have that everyday. Any help out there?

    • Lisa
      Asheville, nc
      Reply

      I too have low blood pressure. I am using licorice, not deglycerized but regular, which is also good for adrenals. I watch how much magnesium I take, which I guess must dilate blood vessels, hence, lower bp. I think hot weather makes it worse, too, because it, too, dilates blood vessels. I was told by doctor, also, that I can use salt as I like. Another thing is that my weight is a bit low. I read that vegans who are low weight, like me, need increase nuts and seeds for healthy fats.

  4. MM
    Reply

    I had the same problem about 3 years ago. I could be sitting still watching tv and all of the sudden my heart would start racing, blood pressure would skyrocket, and head felt as if it would explode. I wound up making 2 trips to the emergency room in a 3 day period. Both times, blood pressure was so high that it took almost 5 minutes to get a reading. After CAT scans and all other kinds of testing, they could find nothing wrong! Yet, even with IV administration of drug they use to immediately reduce dangerously high blood pressure (I forgot the name of it), blood pressure only could be lowered just to the range where the hospital could release me (around 180/100).
    After several trips to my doctor over the next 8 months, weight loss, no sodium, etc., blood pressure increased! I started paying attention to when I had the spikes and it always happened after I ate meat substitutes. I had started suspecting a few months earlier that I was having some sort of reaction to them. However, it seemed strange that after eating them all of my life(raised vegetarian), I was starting to get indigestion after eating them in my late 40’s.
    I went online and discovered it could be gluten intolerance or celiac. I immediately cut all wheat products from my diet and within 2 days was off of ambien & prescription anti-anxiety drugs. I tried to ween myself off of the blood pressure medicine but had to abruptly stop taking it 2 weeks later after taking it at work and nearly passing out because the pressure went too low. Over the next several months, my sinus infections and allergies were greatly reduced. I still am amazed at how something as simple as gluten turned my health upside down. Hope this experience helps someone.

  5. hy
    Reply

    I am in my 20s and my bmi is probably 26, don’t drink alcohol but once a month, no coffee/soda. Low sodium and quit smoking totally.
    However for the last few weeks my blood pressure has been spiking as high as 208/130 several times a day/night. The spikes typically last 2-10 minutes and I get a HORRIBLE headache every time.
    I read about turmeric and after multiple trips to Dr and ER + tried 3 different BP meds I finally got some turmeric capsules and some relief! I have to take a capsule every 3 hours to reduce my severe headaches and BP spikes. It helps so much but I’m afraid too much turmeric will cause other issues.
    Anyone have advice on this?

  6. Misery's Fence
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I suffer from stage 4 osteoarthritis in both knees, and after rounds on every arthritis drug you can think of, my BP shot up to 160/100 (normally about 103/50). I stopped taking my drug du jour (Mobic) and my BP only dropped to 150/100 after 2 weeks. I’d often heard about turmeric being helpful for arthritis and was going to give it a try–but did an online search to make sure it wouldn’t raise my BP. How thrilling to find out it might help both problems! I make a curry smoothie with frozen mango, coconut water, ginger, cilantro, and curry powder.
    Now I definitely must have at least one a day! ;-)
    Love and Light,
    Miz

  7. Paul
    Reply

    And that is why natural foods, herbs, and spices beat medications which can carry all sorts of risks.

  8. jls
    Reply

    After using 1 tsp of curry through out the day for 4 days my BP is down 20 points. If it stays, back to the dr to get off lisinopril and stop this coughing and muscle cramps. Thanks to all for this advice.

  9. dw
    Reply

    Is turmeric the same as curry or should I look for turmeric instead of using the curry powder I have in my cupboard? Thanks.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: TURMERIC IS A MAJOR COMPONENT OF CURRY POWDER, A MIX OF SPICES THAT MAY VARY SLIGHTLY IN ITS PROPORTIONS. TRY YOUR CURRY POWDER, THEN GET SOME TURMERIC IF YOU THINK THE CURRY IS HELPING.

  10. robert a.
    Reply

    lipitor keep me in constant pain, side -lower back -weak -rash on feet, etc. I changed over to turmeric and in 4 days pain reduced by 50%, in 4 weeks pain was gone. Also blood pressure staying 120-70. I am 82 yrs old and free of pain. thanks turmeric

  11. csm
    Reply

    We do this too–add turmeric to a soy milkshake made with blue berries, banana, ground flax seed, green tea powder, whey, cinnamon and a few home grown broccoli sprouts. The cinnamon masks the peppery flavors of sprouts and turmeric. It’s a good way to start the day–lots of nutritional bases covered!

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