Couple of people have in the past few months mentioned they are taking curcumin or turmeric supplements to help with their Lichen Sclerosus and while it’s impossible to say if curcumin has been the main reason their symptoms have improved, they believe in it strongly, and it certainly isn’t hurting. Curcumin is a component of turmeric, the main ingredient in curry powder, and the spice that gives it it’s strong yellow color. So I decided to spend some time looking up studies and articles on this wonder spice and found compelling evidence that
- Turmeric can be effective in helping with inflammatory disorders and autoimmune conditions – which is why some people are using it for Lichen Sclerosus and psoriasis.
- Turmeric extract worked as well as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee in a study published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
- Several studies have shown that curcumin seems to have cancer protective effects especially for breast and prostate cancer, as well as healing benefits for prostate, breast and colon cancer (but it can interfere with some chemotherapies so should only be used under the advice of doctor).
- Curcumin suppresses the inflammation in the GI tract associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has even acknowledged that turmeric is helpful in minimizing psoriasis flare-ups, and there are two research studies published on the PubMed.gov website that specifically studied its effects on treating different skin ailments. They also concluded it was an effective ingredient for skin-care products as an antioxidant, but that it was also specifically helpful in treating psoriasis. Several doctors are also recommending it to patients with oral Lichen Planus. But there just isn’t much research based information out there about turmeric and Lichen Sclerosus, just what people have been saying from personal experience.
There seems to be differing opinions on whether to use curcumin supplements (which are isolated from turmeric) or whole turmeric as a supplement. Most people are taking 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times per day or whatever dose is directed on the product label. Also, make sure your supplement includes black pepper or piperine (black pepper component) because that is crucial for absorption. You can also just add turmeric to your cooking regime, don’t just make curries, turmeric alone is much milder and a good addition to rice or pasta boiling water as it also gives that great yellow color. Just also add black pepper when cooking with turmeric. As with most supplements, it can take a long time to see any results, months in fact. Also, if you use it in cooking only you might not be getting enough of it so you might have to take the supplements anyway.