Q. Six months ago my doctor diagnosed me with psoriasis and prescribed creams and lotions. I searched the Internet and found that some people use the spice turmeric to treat this skin problem.
After one day taking turmeric I quit the topicals because my itching had stopped. Soon my psoriasis disappeared from my scalp and my body has started to clear. This stuff is the bomb!
It is natural and safe and so much better than the creams. Why don’t doctors tell us about this remedy, instead of just prescribing topical drugs?

A. Doctors like evidence. While there are many testimonials on the benefits of the yellow spice turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin, placebo-controlled trials are inconclusive (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, April, 2008).
Taking turmeric is not always safe. Some people develop an allergic reaction, and patients on Coumadin should avoid turmeric because of a possible interaction.
Another reader is pleased, though: “My daughter had psoriasis on the soles of her feet with open sores that steroid creams and Dovonex did not heal. After two frustrating years, I made an ointment by mixing pure curcumin powder in Vaseline. I applied it thickly every night and covered it with bandages. Her feet were stained yellow from this mixture but we didn’t mind because her psoriasis was healing.
“Within three months her feet were clear and have remained so for six years. Curcumin pills now keep her condition under control.”

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. lydia
    Reply

    I am thirty years old and have had psoriasis 25 of those years. They tend to pop up anywhere on my body and outbreaks are on and off. Two summers ago i had a severe outbreak and my dermatologist continued prescribing gels and creams. Like the person commented earlier, the psoriasis would go away but then come back shortly. After researching about psoriasis I found that it is part an inflammation in the skin cells and has nothing to do with dry skin.
    So then I researched herbal anti inflamatories and the first thing that popped up on google was turmeric. Although it does not rid my skin of psoriasis completely, the herb does keeps it well under control and I have not has a severe breakout since.

  2. katherine
    Reply

    I will try turmeric I hadn’t heard of this treatment as this is my first visit to this site. I’ve had psoriasis for 9 years and it covers 40 per cent of my body. I’ve recently been taking soaks with dead sea salt. I use about 5 cups in warm water (NOT HOT) every other day and my hands and arms are almost all cleared up. My legs and feet are taking longer because I’ve had the lesions there longer I suppose. Been on these baths for about 2 weeks and I’m much better.

  3. toni k.
    Reply

    Where can I buy curcumin powder and turmeric?

  4. PV
    Reply

    I have suffered from scalp psoriasis for as long as I can remember. It has gotten severe in the past 5 years and seems to be worsening every day. My dermatologist prescribed every medication available over time. They all worked for a short period of time then the condition would come back. About 2 years ago, my doctor prescribed Clobex lotion & shampoo. I used according to directions. Again, it worked for a short time and I am now back to constant itching from dry crusty scalp.
    Not to mention the embarrassment of skin flakes on my clothing and backs of chairs. I tried taking Turmeric Extract pills, 900mg, 2xs per day (am & pm) for about 1 1/2 months. It did nothing. Now I’m going to try curcumin powder mixed with vaseline after reading one of the comments on your site. I’ll report my results after a couple of weeks.

  5. MB
    Reply

    I have been suffering with Psoriasis for a year. I have been to my dermatologist 7 or 8 times for this condition. It is on the entire soles of my feet an hands. Extremely painful from itching and cracking. No relief after every cream and steroid you can name. Plus hundreds of dollars in treatment. I am now trying Taclonex and am starting Photo therapy 3x a week.
    I am at the end of my rope. If this does not work, I will try turmeric. I am desperate. Thank you for this information.

  6. cdr
    Reply

    I do not have psoriasis but I do have stasis dermatitis and wonder if turmeric would help this condition. You advise people who are taking Coumadin not to take turmeric. Does that also apply to the blood thinner Plavix and Aspirin 18mg that I take? Thank you for responding.

  7. PP
    Reply

    To get turmeric stains out of clothing use lemon juice salt and sun!. Cover the spot with salt, put a few drops of lemon or lime juice on it and sit it in the sun for a few hours.

  8. RDM
    Reply

    Two years ago, I had a severe case of psoriasis and tried the turmeric and curriculum as treatment. Unfortunately, my condition was to severe (covered from head to toe) for the turmeric to have any affect. It took a very dangerous steroid to clear my condition. I never had it before or since.

  9. Sally
    Reply

    I have started taking turmeric, but have developed a slight peeling on the right side of my face,forehead, and right ear. I’m not sure if this started after beginning the turmeric. Have you heard of this reaction before?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: SOME PEOPLE REPORT A RASH. WHY NOT STOP AND SEE IF THE SKIN CLEARS UP.

  10. Buzz
    Reply

    What if you use the spice as a paste applying directly onto the afflicted area?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: SOME PEOPLE HAVE HAD GOOD RESULTS WITH THAT APPROACH. CAREFUL: TURMERIC STAINS!

  11. LH
    Reply

    What kind of tumors are you taking turmeric for?

  12. Ron W
    Reply

    To treat psoriasis, you say patients on Coumadin should avoid turmeric because of a possible interaction. Is there any evidence showing that for patients on another blood thinner, Plavix, turmeric should also be avoided for the same reason?

  13. abigail
    Reply

    My mother cured her psoriasis by eating pureed baby food liver. It came in a glass jar put out by Beechnut or Gerber. This is no longer made. Have you any idea what might have been in the baby food liver that would heal psoriasis?

  14. Foodie Amateur
    Reply

    Turmeric is a wonderful spice. Sprinkle it on many of your foods at lunch or dinner. I buy a large container at the local Indian market.

  15. lm
    Reply

    I’m taking turmeric powder in soup or orange juice to shrink my tumors…

  16. margaret d.
    Reply

    I read today’s column re psoriasis and would like to say that when I was 11 years old, my brother, my father and I had severe cases of it. That winter we took cod liver oil to avoid getting colds and by spring, there wasn’t a sign of psoriasis on our skin. I have continued using cod liver oil and never have an outbreak except for three times when I experimented and didn’t take it. In about a month, the outbreaks started and it took close to three months to clear them up each time. I’m now 88 years old and just did a half marathon in 2:52. I also finished my 7th LA marathon this year. I owe my strong healthy joints to good genes and cod liver oil! Thanks for all you do.

  17. DZ
    Reply

    How do you take the turmeric and what amount each day?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: SOME PEOPLE MIX THE SPICE INTO THEIR FOOD, 1/2 TO 1 TEASPOON DAILY. OTHERS TAKE CAPSULES, FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.