Can Turmeric Naturally Fight Bacterial, Viral, and Fungal Infections?

Antibacterial and antivirals protect from infection
Fun Facts

Have you heard about MRSA in the news? MRSA is a type of staph infection that is resistant to drug treatments. Alarmingly, MRSA is not alone-a growing number of bacteria (especially in the Enterobacteriaceae family), viruses, and fungi are becoming multiple drug resistant (MDR). This is why the healthcare community is urgently searching for new treatments-including herbal options. (v.1-3)

Turmeric has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties that could make it a natural herbal alternative to fight off these infections. Turmeric compounds can also block MDR-1, a gene responsible for resistance to multiple antimicrobial drugs. (v.4-5)

In fact, turmeric and its active compounds are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for antiseptic and disinfectant solutions. Modern applications that take advantage of turmeric's antimicrobial properties include: (v.4)

Types of Infections

Infections that turmeric and/or its compounds show activity against include: (v.26-17255)

Turmeric compounds may even be able to prevent and stop infections from parasites and insect bites(v.26-17)

How Can Turmeric Help?

Sometimes the benefits of turmeric compounds with infections aren't directly antimicrobial. However, they are just as beneficial:

Anti-Inflammatory Activity Reduce Risks Caused by Infection

For example, with toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and HPV the benefits of curcumin compounds from turmeric are mostly anti-inflammatory: (v.6817)

  • In TSS infections, curcumin's anti-inflammatory properties suppress a potentially deadly response by the immune system.
  • HPV triggers inflammation that can lead to cancerous changes in cervical cells. Curcumin moderates the immune response to HPV and prevents HPV's inflammatory, carcinogenic activity.

Immune-Boosting Effects Block Opportunistic Microbes

People with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of serious infection. Those with healthy immune systems are less likely to acquire conditions from microbes that typically live on our skin. Even when infected with bacteria that cause tuberculosis, people with healthy immunity typically do not develop the disease. (v.19-21)

Turmeric compounds and its essential oils could also help treat and prevent some of the conditions that increase the risks of fungal infection, pneumonia, or activate TB(v.22-24)

For example, studies suggest that turmeric helps:

Such as E. coli, Salmonella, Haemophilus influenza, and the bacteria that cause tuberculosis. (v.3)
The polyphenols curcumin and turmerones (from essential oils). (v.8)
Human papilloma virus.

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