bowl of turmeric spice

Q. My stepdad has had a horrible case of psoriasis for over 10 years. The rash was all over his body, caked on his scalp and itched constantly.

The dermatologist he saw prescribed Dovonex and Capex and clobetasol. He has used these off and on since about 2001, but they provided minimal relief.

Mom found a suggestion in your book (Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy) that turmeric might help psoriasis. We went to the local food coop and picked it up in pill form. Within a week his scalp was halfway clear and now, three weeks later, it is just a tiny bit flaky with no itching.

This has been life changing for him. Nothing ever cleared up his psoriasis like the turmeric has. He had discontinued using Dovonex and wants to drop the Capex and clobetasol next. All of these medications are very expensive, especially in comparison to turmeric.

A. Turmeric is the yellow spice in curry powder. It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India for thousands of years.

Basic research suggests a number of reasons why curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, would have a beneficial effect in psoriasis (Biochemical Pharmacology, Aug. 19, 2007). We hope to see a double-blind study of the benefits of curcumin some day.

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  1. Lulu

    I can’t believe this. I’ve had rough sore skin on my right elbow for several years. I’ve taken turmeric 3 days, and the soreness has disappeared. I keep rubbing it cuz I can’t believe it. Also helped with scalp pain and boils that would appear in different places e on body. I am so happy I tried turmeric.

    I just purchased a chain store brand capsule. I open the capsule and place powder in water and drink. It doesn’t taste good but for the results, who cares?!

  2. ndalila

    I am suffering of psoriasis. I cannot even wear skirts pls help me.

  3. Eileen

    I have found turmeric was good for my husbands psoriasis and for us both regards to our osteo arthritis, we take our capsules with milk, and have had no problem, maybe it’s the milk that puts a lining on the stomach.

  4. Dr T.P

    I felt very happy as well as stressed to view all the sufferings of psoriasis, I took Ayurvedic (pancha karma) treatment, I could not find 100% result, but it was o.k. but It has reached to this stage only after taking medication for the severe headache, how about taking amrutha balli and garlic, because there was a slight betterment with the result. suggest me the food which are do’s and dont’s.

  5. Ladyliza

    If turmeric gives you an upset stomach, try mixing a tsp with milk first. If it is still a problem, just lower the dose.

  6. alevie

    Hi, I have psoriasis for almost 4yrs. I am still 24.. I have been using different corticosteroids but my friend who has psoriasis advised me to use turmeric and coconut milk, all natural since I am from Philippines, a lot of those were available here, it’s amazing how the itchy scalp was relieved. My flaky scalp is starting to fade, hope this helps.

  7. Thalita

    What result does your son has now after using the turmeric powder ?

  8. Harsh

    Hi, can someone please please explain to me whether to consume turmeric or apply them on the patches? I have psoriasis since 3 years now and apparently it’s something you inherit from your parents if they got it too. I have been doing an ayurvedic treatment at first the spots stopped but now have started reappearing on all my body. If someone can please tell me how exactly to use turmeric that would be really really cool. I am very young and feel like as if I’m in the darkest corner of my life already. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Peoples Pharmacy response: The turmeric is taken by mouth, either in capsules or in food.

  9. Pauletta

    Hi can u please give instructions about cooking the turmeric with ghee and black pepper etc My son is 12yrs old and have been suffering with this since he was 2 it’s really gotten worse and the dr’s can’t seem to find a good solution

  10. T G

    Hi Olivia
    I am suffering from psoriasis too. I was wondering what is the dosage of turmeric. I only found it in the powder form. Also should the treatment be forever or for how many days?

  11. LJ

    Hello, I have also been using turmeric w/pepper for several years to control the boils that suddenly started appearing. After reading that others had success with turmeric, I tried it and it was totally amazing. Now I take it everyday, increasing if necessary when I feel a boil wanting to pop out.
    Concerning the stomach upset, it will heat up or upset my stomach if I take it on an empty stomach. So now I make sure that I have a banana or some food before consuming turmeric. I’m gradually learning to like it as an added spice to things like squash soup (which can be soooooo bland) – I either empty a capsule into the soup or take it from a spice jar and grind fresh pepper into the soup to increase the bio-availability of turmeric. Milk will do the same I’m sure… it’s a buffer against the stomach lining. Probably whole milk works best. Or coconut milk.
    Good luck,

  12. SVM

    Masha Allah; I had the opportunity to read all your comments; Today I’m starting to take turmeric powder mixed with milk.

  13. kiers10

    Hello all,
    Just a note on the problem of stomach upset taking the turmeric or curcumin pills. It might be helpful to ingest in the traditional way—that is, sauteed in ghee (clarified butter) with fresh ginger and fresh cracked black pepper. Then add milk and bring to just under a boil for at least five minutes. Then serve with a few teaspoons of almond oil. Some people also add raw, local honey (don’t boil the honey or the almond oil), or cook it with rock sugar or with a fresh date or two (take out the pit first). Sometimes rose water and/or saffron is also added.
    Something about keeping the herb whole, cooking it down and using warming herbs like ginger and black pepper, and soothing substances like almond oil and ghee—I feel amazing after I drink this and my tummy itself feels really happy and good. Black pepper also makes the active substances in turmeric 2000% more bioavailable. So if you are taking the concentrated pills to get a good dose, but it’s hurting your stomach, try cooking the turmeric (ground or fresh) with black pepper (and ginger)—you will get a powerful dose without the tummy upset.

  14. Anna

    Hi guys, read on your site about turmeric and thought I would give it a try, not in capsule form, but the powder, added some milk, worked it into a paste, and applied to my red sore scaly patches on my buttocks. That was three days ago, and for the first time in years, the soreness and swelling has practically gone, no more itching, feels comfortable, just very light pinkish patches left. This is wonderful… PS , I have had psoriasis for most of my life from five years old, I am now sixty.

    • LaNita
      United States

      How often did you apply the turmeric paste to your bottom for it to be gone in 3 days?

  15. Nimmi

    I couldnt understand as how to use turmeric if one has got itching all over his body. Pl advice.

  16. Connie

    I am taking Turmeric for psoriasis of the scalp. I developed this condition after my child was born. I have never ever had any type of skin condition so I spent the money on going to multiple derms. and all the same prescriptions everyone else has had little relief from as well. It was as if the issue was just something that completely and negatively changed my world. Itching and the flakes that fall from the extra layering of skin production drove my crazy!
    I am of the researching type of person. With all the information out there here is what I have found works best for me: swimming in the ocean (salt water), being in the sun, washing my hair every day, and finally after only a week TURMERIC. It also bothered my stomach, like a nausea type feeling. I decided I had to keep on trying it so I waited one day and then just before bedtime I took the turmeric.
    I have no longer had any of the upset stomach feelings like I was having (which by the way is a listed side effect). I am not kidding when I tell you I have noticed a change in my scalp in just 6 days. I am still looking for more visual changes to occur. I will try and keep an update. Oh, I just had to tell the comment one derm. gave me. She asked if a had any stress going on. I asked her why. She began to explain that stress can make it flare, yadda, yadda. I immediately said, “well, yes. Having this psoriasis is stressing me out!”. I knew then it was really going to be a great battle – me versus psoriasis.

  17. ladyliza

    Organic raw coconut oil also works. My psoriasis is gone. I have a small scar but it’s gone. I don’t know if it was that I was eating 1T/day but I was also applying it topically after a shower. The skin on my face also improved. I had to stop consuming it as my bad cholesterol went up with the good cholesterol.

  18. Maria

    Dear JK1944.
    My son takes it in powder form. Just the normal Turmeric you buy for cooking. One level tea spoon in a small glass of milk twice a day. While it does not clear it completely, it certainly stops it from flaring up.
    The very best of luck

  19. JK1944

    I am a patient of Psoriasis for the last 38 years. Now I 68 years old. I had been controlling my disease with several methods i.e. homeopathy, Ayurveda and naturopathy. I was always avoiding alopathic medicines. However for the last one year I am having Urticaria with Psoriasis and this is very bad.
    First time in my life my whole body is full with Psoriasis and whenever Urticaria is there my whole body itches very badly. I want to try Turmeric but in India I cannot get these capsules. Can I take raw turmeric or in powder form which is used in Indian Kitchen for cooking? Please help me out to get out of this severe problem. Thanks every body whosoever reads it and gives me some advise.

  20. Maria

    My son has suffered psoriasis for 8 years. Breaking out all over his body once or twice a year. Followed all the medical routes, Dovabate etc, after 3 to 4 months it would disappear. He broke out again about 3 weeks ago, from head to toe. A friend suggested Turmeric, half a teaspoon twice a day. I cannot believe the results. It has almost disappeared. Now he is also taking Udos oil in conjunction with the Turmeric. But again I cannot stress strongly enough the difference in 2 weeks. It really is heart warming. We are delighted with the results.

  21. Vani

    Hey! Thanks for the info… M suffering from psoriasis since young.. when I was abt 8 yrs old.. Its been 10 years.. Yet I have not gotten rid of this illness.. After seeing your msg/info, I have confidence that turmeric powder will help me reduce/cure psoriasis… THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN… I can certainly feel your dad’s pain becoz I’m undergoing the same problem.. Would definitely pray for him to get cured fully! Take Care Bro/ Sis! :)

  22. George

    I have just started taking 1000 mg per day. I also read that taking cod liver oil will help with psoriasis. Is it OK to take both simultaneously?

  23. ej

    I first started noticing signs early in the fall. For 6 months assumed it was just dry skin. A month ago I used aloe and the first morning it looked a lot healthier. No more scales and redness was down. After that all it does is keep the flakes from coming back. The redness is worse, if anything, and I’m noticing tiny spots appearing in other places on my body other than my face. I hate it so much! People think I’m dirty and don’t shower. I will pick some turmeric TODAY! And I will keep you updated. Wish me luck!

  24. cmld

    I have suffered from psoriasis for over 10 years. I have used many different treatments, none of which have worked.
    Two months ago, I learned about Turmeric and give it a try. I took once a day a 400gr Turmeric pill from the health store, to my surprise the symptoms have healed up considerably.
    Also my son suffered serious Eczema, I went to the Indian grocery store and buy some Turmeric powder and mixed with raw honey, I keep adding the Turmeric powder to honey and stir until I could not stir anymore.
    He takes half of small spoon once a day, and after a few day his skin improved a lot, the roughness and scaling is gone, the smoothness of the skin is visually better.
    This is awesome

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