Turmeric comes up short in psoriasis

Curcuma longa (aka turmeric) shows a favorable effect on inflammatory processes such as psoriasis in experiments in mice.

Here’s a study about curcumin taken by mouth. And a reader expands the discussion to include topical therapy.

First, the details.

  • 12 patients with plaque psoriasis were treated with Curcuma longa.
  • Physicians Global Assessment score (the standard for measuring change in psoriasis) and Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score (redness, thickness, and scaliness) were used to assess the patients’ response to treatment.

And, the results.

  • 2 of 12 patients had an “excellent” response.
  • The rest showed no benefit.
  • There were no side effects of treatment.

The bottom line?
The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania concluded that any benefit of turmeric in this study could have been due to chance or to a placebo effect.

Interest in the healing power of the Indian spice turmeric for psoriasis is high on Internet threads and encouraged by anecdotal reports.

But as GitOverIt observed, “If it were that simple none of us would have this affliction.”

3/3/08 19:58 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.