7 Ways Turmeric Can Help Your Belly Issues

Updated: Mar. 11, 2021

The earthy spice used in curry can help relieve heartburn, gas, and more, as Britt Brandon explains in 'Turmeric for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Turmeric.'


Relieve heartburn

More than 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month. If you keep experiencing it, despite avoiding alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, and cigarettes, look to turmeric for a natural remedy. A study in the journal Systematic Reviews found that volunteers who ate a teaspoon of the spice twice a day aided esophagus and colon function, helping them recover from indigestion faster. “The potent compounds in turmeric also relieve the underlying issues of acid and bile overproduction, thereby promoting benefits to the body instead of painful conditions and helping to produce good bacteria, minimize bad bacteria, and improve the colon’s ability to absorb beneficial nutrients,” writes Britt Brandon in Turmeric for Health. Try these other natural remedies for heartburn too.


Aid digestion

Digestion is a complicated process that involves the mouth salivating, the esophagus muscles moving food, and the gallbladder releasing bile to break down food. “Because there are so many organs and functions involved in digestion, the process can easily be disrupted, especially if you don’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary to support those organs and their functions,” writes Brandon. Instead of immediately committing to major dietary changes to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, start by adding a tablespoon of turmeric to your food every day. Its vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants, and fiber will help acid production, muscle movement, and nutrient absorption to keep things moving like they should. Also, make sure to avoid these foods that are bad for digestion.


Reduce stomach pain

Chronic stomach pain could be from a serious medical condition, so check with your doctor if the pain is constant. But if you, like millions of Americans, get mild stomach pain every now and then, your diet or lifestyle maybe to blame. In those cases, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds in turmeric can help alleviate pain that comes from fattening or spicy foods, alcohol, or lack of exercise. (Find out if turmeric coffee could be the answer to your tummy woes.)


Ease diarrhea

Medications, food poisoning, allergies, viruses, and food intolerance can all lead to sudden, potentially embarrassing bouts of diarrhea. Consuming a teaspoon of powdered turmeric up to three times a day, paired with drinking more fluids and washing your hands often, can offer relief when you have a loose stool. The magnesium and potassium in the spice help you fight dehydration and rebalance your fluids, while other vitamins and chemicals improve digestion and immunity. Read this to find out what your bowel movements say about your health.)


Make you less gassy

Not only is gas embarrassing and unpleasant, but you could end up bloated when there’s air stuck in the digestive tract. “For fast flatulence relief, turmeric can be used as an effective, all-natural remedy that’s not only able to treat the symptoms of gas but the underlying issues as well,” writes Brandon. Compounds in turmeric aid digestion and help your body stop overproducing the acids that cause flatulence. Try stirring a tablespoon of turmeric into an eight-ounce glass of juice when you have gas, and fix these unexpected sources of gassiness.


Relieve irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a treatable condition that causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramping, and more. Turmeric acts as a natural remedy, with the help of vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals that reduce inflammation, reduce abnormal muscle movements, and soothe digestive issues. Add a tablespoon of the spice to your food every day to find some relief. Learn the 11 turmeric benefits for glowing skin and hair.


Reduce nausea

Nausea can be hard to treat because it can come from so many different conditions, including dehydration, infections, and stress. “Natural remedies are a great option because they are gentle but effective,” writes Brandon. A chemical in turmeric called curcumin can help fight the inflammation, bacteria, and viruses behind your queasiness. Plus, turmeric’s phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals combine to make antioxidants that support healthy brain chemistry, which can ease mental causes of nausea like stress and anxiety. Try these other home remedies for an upset stomach.

Via amazon.com

See how else turmeric can help you

Britt Brandon, CFNS, CPT, is a fitness and nutrition author and blogger. To learn more about the health and beauty benefits of turmeric, pick up a copy of her book Turmeric for Health: 100 Amazing and Unexpected Uses for Turmeric.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest