Evidence of Turmeric's Benefit Against Fungal Skin Infections
Turmeric has been used in traditional medicine to treat skin conditions such as athlete's foot. Lab and clinical studies suggest that turmeric, turmeric oil, and its compounds could prevent and/or effectively treat some of these fungal skin infections, including: (v.73, 103-104, 110, 118)
- Ringworm (causes tinea pedis, tinea capitis, onychomycosis, etc.)
- Pityriasis versicolor
- Candida yeast infections
Is Ringworm a Bug?
Ringworm sounds like it might be a parasitic insect, but it's actually a fungal skin infection called tinea. In fact, the condition is caused by dermatophyte types of fungi, and by more than one fungal species. Experiments show that topical creams containing different concentrations of turmeric oil are effective against four different species of dermatophytes that cause ringworm infections: (v.103, 112)
- Trichophyton mentagrophytes
- Trichophyton rubrum
- Epidermophyton floccosum
- Microsporum gypseum
Clinical Evidence of Benefit Against Ringworm Infections
In a nine month clinical study, an herbal combination therapy successfully resolved chronic athlete's foot and other recurrent ringworm infections. The regimen included: (v.103)
- Calotropis procera (taken orally).
- Freshly prepared turmeric paste combined with crushed leaves and juice extract from C. procera (applied topically).
Patients were both male and female and ranged in age from children to elderly. The time of infection in these patients averaged from a week to over 10 years. Results were significantly positive for both conditions in those that completed the trial, despite past treatment failures with other therapies: (v.103)
|# Patients with Athlete's Foot
(out of 10 patients)
|# Patients with Ringworm
(out of 58 patients)
(less than 25 to less
than 50% response)
Although it is difficult to know the exact impact of the turmeric due to the nature of the study, the author notes that using either the oral or the topical treatment by itself was unsuccessful. And in another clinical study using essential oil from turmeric leaves, two weeks of treatment completely cured 75% of patients with ringworm. The turmeric oil significantly improved symptoms in the majority of the remaining 25% of patients. (v.103, 120-122)
Turmeric Oil — A Potential Antifungal Ingredient
Lab research suggests that topical combination creams made with turmeric and tea tree oil could inhibit Candida albicans yeast better than the antifungal drug ketoconazole. (v.119)
Preclinical studies indicate that turmeric may also help pityriasis versicolor, a fungal yeast infection that causes patches of discolored skin:
|Prevalence and Symptoms (v.110-111)||
|Risk Factors (v.110-111)||
|Effect of Turmeric Oil (v.110)||
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