How Turmeric Benefits Can Fight Fungal Infections

turmeric and fungal infections

Fungal infections commonly occur, and they are often difficult to eliminate. If left untreated, the problem often becomes more serious and invasive, increasing the risk of developing dangerous complications. Fungal infections can develop internally as well as on the skin, nails, or hair. Did you know that the benefits of turmeric can help fight fungal infections? Read on to find out how! 

What Are Fungi?

Although fungi exhibit similarities to animals as well as to plants, they are neither. As living organisms, they consume organic material and spread widely. Estimates vary as to how many different fungal species exist, but most sources now agree the numbers go into the millions. According to a source at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least three hundred of these can be harmful to humans.

Who Can Get Fungal Infections?

signs of fungal infection

While anyone can develop a fungal infection, certain types of people have a higher risk of doing so. In particular, anyone with a weakened immune system is more likely to experience a fungal infection than a healthy person. Individuals with weakened immunity often include the elderly, newborns, and patients with diabetes, AIDS, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Individuals who have recently experienced severe burns or had surgery are also prone to this type of infection along with anyone who is on long-term use of antibiotics or steroids. Alcoholics and malnourished individuals have a higher than normal risk of developing a fungal infection as does anyone who has had an organ transplant.

Common Fungal Infections

Some of the most common fungal infections include athlete's foot, ring worm, nail infections, yeast infections, candida, vaginitis, oral thrush, and septicemia.

Commonly Prescribed Treatments

If you have a fungal infection, the most likely response you receive from your medical provider is a prescription for an anti-fungal medication. Depending on your health coverage, this prescription can cost you a few dollars or several hundred dollars - and that is just for a one month's supply. 

Benefits of Combining Prescribed Drugs with Turmericturmeric antioxidant properties

(Please note, we always recommend talking to your doctor about this option before you take anything with prescribed drugs) While patients currently taking prescriptions for fungal infections should continue to do so, adding turmeric into their daily regimen of treatment may boost the effectiveness of these medications. Studies have shown that the curcumin found in turmeric actively improves the performance of commonly prescribed anti-fungal medications. Moreover, combining the use of turmeric with your existing prescriptions may lead to a quicker resolution for your fungal infection and provide the following benefits:

  • Lower or fewer drug doses
  • Fewer or milder side effects
  • Less toxic side effects

Benefits of Turmeric for Fungal Infections

Ancient medicinal strategies often included turmeric as a curative, restorative, or rejuvenating ingredient. Its benefits have long been studied, leading to the conclusion that turmeric and curcumin, its active ingredient, are effective in treating a variety of health concerns. More specifically, turmeric delivers anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory advantages, inhibiting the growth of fungi commonly affecting humans.

Laboratory Studies and Clinical Trials

Even though more clinical trials should be conducted, enough evidence exists tobenefits of turmeric suggest that turmeric is helpful in treating fungal infections to merit looking into it for personal use. More specifically, studies have shown that turmeric inhibits the growth of fungi and that it is as beneficial if not more successful than certain OTC anti-fungal medications in reducing the growth of fungi in an existing infection.

One study found that a turmeric paste provided relief from the itching associated with common fungal infections affecting the skin. Laboratory studies have also arrived at results showing that the use of turmeric is especially successful in treating all types of Candida overgrowth such as that occurring in oral thrush and vaginal infections.

Another study explored the benefits of using turmeric oil in treating fungal infections of the skin. The results suggested that turmeric oil also provides anti-fungal capabilities, effectively inhibiting and eliminating fungal lesions on the skin. 

Ways to Use Turmeric for Fungal Infections

Depending on your personal preference and situation, you can use turmeric topically to treat fungal infections as well as take it orally. To apply this remedy to your skin, you'll need to mix powdered turmeric with coconut or olive oil to create a paste that can easily be applied to the infected area at least two to three times a day. If the fungal infection is internal, taking an oral supplement or drinking turmeric tea is the recommended course of action.

Optimal Dosages of Turmeric for Fungal Infectinos

The optimal dosage of turmeric for the treatment of fungal infections hasn't been determined yet. However, several sources suggest taking one teaspoon three times a day or including a turmeric supplement in your daily routine. For optimal results, always choose a high-quality turmeric supplement and follow the directions on its label. 

Tips to Optimize Your Results

Since turmeric is difficult for your body to absorb, you may want to use the following tips to encourage positive results while avoiding unnecessary discomfort:

  • Begin with a small dose once a day
  • Gradually increase your dosage
  • Gradually increase the frequency of your dosage
  • Limit your intake to no more than three teaspoons a day
  • Limit the frequency of your dosage to two or three times a day
  • Choose only high-quality turmeric supplements
  • Include healthy fats and black pepper in your diet when taking turmeric orally to assist your body's absorption of turmeric

Precautions to Take 

While turmeric is safe for most people to include in their diets as a spice or in supplemental form, some individuals should not use it at all or should limit how much they take. A consultation with your physician should clear up any doubts you have regarding whether or not turmeric can be taken with your existing medical condition or prescription regimen. 

In general, people in the following categories should avoid the use of this spice:

  • Scheduled for surgery
  • Pregnant or lactating
  • Taking a daily regimen of blood thinners
  • High risk for internal bleeding
  • Managing a blockage in the gall bladder
  • Taking medication to reduce stomach acid
  • Taking medication to treat diabetes
  • Prone to gout or kidney stones

Fungal infections grow under optimal conditions. A weakened immune system, certain health conditions, and prescriptions can contribute in the likelihood of developing a fungal infection. Whether you want to treat a fungal infection or you simply wish to boost your immune system, turmeric offers a simple, non-toxic option that can help you to do so.