Can Turmeric Help Treat Allergies? How To Use It?

Written by Ramona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach

Bouts of sneezing, cough, and stuffy and irritated nose may indicate allergic reactions and can be pretty annoying. However, you will be surprised to know that using turmeric for allergies is quite effective and may help you manage the symptoms.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that helps manage allergic symptoms and minimize inflammation. While the treatment for allergic reactions depends on your condition’s severity, you may rely on turmeric to manage mild symptoms. This article digs deeper into the efficacy of turmeric for allergies, how it works, and ways to use it. Read on.

How Is Turmeric Good For Allergies?

  1. It Can Help Treat Asthma Allergies Curcumin, the polyphenolic phytochemical in turmeric, can modulate your immune system and prevent the release of histamine (a compound that triggers inflammatory response and itching) from your mast cells (1).
  2. It Can Help Treat Allergic Rhinitis Curcumin can help alleviate nasal congestion, sneezing, and congestion, and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. In a study done on 241 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis, curcumin was found to improve nasal airflow in a period of two months (2).
  3. It Helps Reduce Itching

A mice study showed topical curcumin to be an excellent anti-itching agent. It could reduce itching triggered by histamine release. Curcumin blocked TRPV1 (the capsaicin receptor) in the sensory neurons of mice. TRPV1 receptors are responsible for the painful and burning sensations (3).

Both topical applications and oral intake of turmeric can keep your skin healthy. The spice has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps manage a number of skin conditions, including acne, atopic dermatitis, psoriasisalopecia, and vitiligo (4).

Here are the ways you can use turmeric to help treat allergies.

How To Use Turmeric For Treating Allergies

For Consumption

Ensure you consume the right amount of turmeric, and not too much of it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the acceptable daily intake of curcuminoids (a phenolic compound present in turmeric) should be within the range of 0-3 mg per kilogram of body weight (5). You can adjust the dosage accordingly after consulting your doctor.

1. Turmeric Powder

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. Curcumin also has anti-allergic properties and inhibits the release of histamines.

You Will Need

Method

Add turmeric powder to curries, fries, milk, salads, etc.

How Often?

You can consume turmeric at every meal; just be wary about the quantity.

2. Turmeric Milk

Milk is good for health (although it has nothing to do with your allergy). If you are lactose intolerant, however, you can go with coconut or almond milk. A high dose of honey can help you with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (AR) (6).

Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde, which is an anti-inflammatory agent (7). lack pepper contains piperine, which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (8). Ginger contains 6-gingerol, which, in a study, could help alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in mice (9). Cayenne pepper adds to the flavor of the concoction.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 cup of milk (you may use coconut or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • A pinch of cinnamon powder
  • A pinch of ground black pepper
  • A small piece of ginger
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Method

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it slightly.
  2. Add all the ingredients.
  3. Whisk until everything is dissolved. Ensure that it does not boil.
  4. Pour into a mug and consume.

How Often?

One glass a day, before going to bed.

Note: Raw honey often contains grains of pollen that may cause an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to pollen, avoid using raw honey. Regular or processed honey doesn’t contain any pollen. However, it may not be as effective as raw honey.

3. Turmeric Tea

Honey can help treat sneezing, runny nose, and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis (6). The turmeric in the mixture can further help improve the allergic symptoms. However, avoid raw honey if you are allergic to pollen.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 cup of water

Method

  1. Heat the water and add the turmeric powder to it. Stir well.
  2. Add the honey, stir, and consume.

How Often?

Twice a day.

4. Turmeric Water

The curcumin in turmeric has anti-allergic properties that inhibit histamine release and reduce allergy symptoms.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • A glass of water

Method

  1. Add the turmeric powder to the water.
  2. Stir well and drink it.

How Often?

At least once a day.

5. Turmeric With Apple Cider Vinegar And Honey

Lemon contains vitamin C, which effectively blocks histamine release in the body. A study found that consuming vitamin C reduces the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (10). ACV is touted as a natural remedy for allergic reactions (though there is no evidence to support this statement). Honey helps in easing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis  (6). Black pepper contains piperine that enhances the absorption of curcumin, the major component of turmeric that combats allergies (8).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 tablespoon of black pepper
  • Mortar and pestle

Method

  1. Using the mortar and pestle, grind the turmeric to make a fine powder.
  2. Add the honey, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper to the powder.
  3. Mix well.

How Often?

Have a tablespoon of the mixture every day. Store the rest of the mixture in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. It should last for about a week.

6. Turmeric With Lemon And Honey

This smoothie could especially be used to treat sinus allergies. Lemon juice contains vitamin C, which helps block histamine release (10). Raw honey has propolis, which is known for boosting the immune system (11). Cayenne pepper is believed to reduce nasal congestion and stuffiness; however, more research is warranted in this aspect.

You Will Need

  • 2 medium pieces of turmeric root
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Water
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A banana (optional)

Method

  1. Blend the turmeric roots to make a paste.
  2. Add freshly squeezed lemon to it.
  3. Add honey, cayenne pepper, and water.
  4. Stir well to make a turmeric smoothie.
  5. You can also add a banana for taste.

How Often?

Once a day, whenever you want. You can replace your breakfast with this smoothie.

7. Turmeric With Olive Oil And Water

Natural plant polyphenols are said to have anti-allergic properties. Olive oil is rich in these polyphenols that may help relieve allergic symptoms. Moreover, it is also rich in antioxidants that could help boost your immune system (12). Both black pepper and turmeric help in soothing allergic symptoms.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil
  • A pinch of black pepper powder
  • A glass of water

Method

  1. Add the turmeric powder and olive oil to water.
  2. Add the black pepper powder to the mixture.
  3. Stir the ingredients together.

How Often?

Consuming this once daily will help you get relief from seasonal allergies.

For Topical Application

8. Turmeric Juice With Honey

Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and could help soothe the affected areas (13). Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (4). These may help combat rashes.

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric juice
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Method

  1. Mix the juice and honey.
  2. Slather it on the affected areas.
  3. Keep it on for half an hour.
  4. Wash it off.

How Often

Once a day, before taking a bath.

9. Turmeric Paste

Chilled milk (or chilled water) may feel soothing on your skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can further soothe the skin allergy and promote skin health (4).

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • A few drops of chilled milk (or water)

Method

  1. Mix the turmeric and milk to form a paste.
  2. Apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

How Often

Once a day, before taking a bath.

10. Turmeric With Sandalwood Paste

Sandalwood oil has antiseptic, astringent, and anti-inflammatory, properties that could help alleviate skin issues (14). Hence, the sandalwood powder may also have similar effects and could helps calm allergic skin reactions along with turmeric. However there is no direct research to establish these effects.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of red sandalwood
  • Lukewarm water

Method

  1. Mix equal quantities of red sandalwood and turmeric powder with water to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the affected areas.
  3. Let it stay for about half an hour.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.

How Often

Twice a day.

In addition to these remedies, it is important to follow a few tips and precautions. These are listed below.

Precautions To Follow While Using Turmeric For Treating Allergies

Curcumin is a contact allergen (15). Although it has therapeutic and skin benefits, it might cause allergic reactions. Hence, before using turmeric, you need to ascertain a few things:

  • Find out if you are allergic to turmeric (curcumin, to be specific). If yes, avoid turmeric altogether.
  • Never use or consume more than the prescribed amount of turmeric. Anything excess is not good for health. Stick to the measurements.
  • If you are taking curcumin supplements, never self-medicate. Talk to a doctor or a nutritionist and follow their advice on supplements.
  • If you are pregnant or lactating, be careful with turmeric intake. Consult a doctor to ensure safety.
  • When applying turmeric, be wary of the possible stains. It might leave stains on your clothes and your skin. These are not harmful usually and can be washed away.
  • Oral consumption of turmeric may cause nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea in some people (if you are allergic to turmeric). Hence, exercise caution.
  • Never intake a large dosage of turmeric. It is said to cause abnormal heart rhythm although the reason behind it is still unknown.
  • If you have gallbladder issues, turmeric might worsen it.
  • If you have undergone any surgery, avoid turmeric as it might slow down the blood clotting process (16).

Turmeric is a spice known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Using turmeric for allergies is quite effective and relieves the associated symptoms. It contains curcumin, which helps minimize inflammation. This polyphenolic phytochemical may help treat asthma allergies and rhinitis and reduce itching. It can be used in the form of powder, milk, tea, and water – alone or with other ingredients. However, oral consumption of turmeric may cause diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness. Hence, use it in moderation and consult your doctor in case of emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can turmeric supplements cause an allergic reaction?

Yes, they can.

How much turmeric do you have to take for treating allergies?

As suggested by the doctor or between 0-3 mg/kg every day.

16 sources

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