13 Easy To Understand Tips On Using Turmeric For Eosinophilic Esophagitis

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Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH

Eosinophilic esophagitis is quite a mouthful to pronounce and sounds kind of scary. However, it simply means to many white blood cells of a particular type (eosinophils) building up in the esophagus. As a result, this leads to inflammation of the esophagus, which is what the “itis” means at the end of the word. For those who get diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis, it can be an ongoing problem. That leaves many looking for alternatives treatments, which is where Turmeric comes in.

Because your esophagus connects your mouth to your stomach it is the only pathway your food can take on its way to being absorbed. When the white blood cells build up and cause inflammation, problems can arise every time you eat.

1. Eosinophilic Esophagitis Symptoms

Similar to if you pinched a garden hose while the water is running you are bound to get symptoms from this blockade in the esophagus. Therefore, symptoms occur after eating or drinking and can be painful and make you not want to eat.

Common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing, probably the number one issue patients report.
  • Reguritation of food, also sometimes called acid reflux.
  • Chest pain, both from food being stuck and probably from stomach acid causing pain.
  • Food gets stuck in the esophagus.

This buildup, which is a reaction to foods, allergens or acid reflux, can inflame or injure the esophageal tissue. Consequently, damaged esophageal tissue can worsen swallowing issues or cause food to get stuck when you swallow.

2. What Are Treatments For Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

There are several strategies doctors use to treat eosinophilic esophagitis. First, diagnosis to confirm the presence of excessive eosinophils may include endoscopy or using a tube down the throat. Furthermore, your doctor may want to use endoscopic treatments as well to open up the throat.

Similarly, other treatments include:

  • Diet modification
  • Steroid medications
  • Immune modulating drugs
  • Luekotriene blocking medication
  • Acid blocking drugs

Eosinophils have come to be known as the part of the immune system that overact in most allergies. That is why working with an allergist after being diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis is important. Above all, having an understanding of foods that can trigger your body is important to keep this disease under control.

3. The Most Important Thing to Remember!

Most importantly, make sure your doctor(s) know everything you are trying for this condition. Trying other therapies besides prescription medications is acceptable, but make sure your doctor knows about them. This ensures you don’t end up doing more harm than good.

4. How Do You Treat Eosinophilic Esophagitis Naturally?

First, remember that your immune system is reacting to the foods you eat and causing inflammation in your esophagus. Therefore, healing naturally is possible if you can eliminate foods that cause the most problem. Also, there is no way to fully understand this without doing an allergy sensitivity food test.

These tests can be done at home or for more severe cases under the direction of your allergist.

Also, remember these other natural treatments:

Lose weightEat smaller meals
Drinking plenty of water with mealsTurmeric

5. What Is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice that is found in the rhizome of the curcuma longa herb. It has also been used in Asia for thousands of years as a spice for cooking as medicinally. Turmerics benefits are derived from the active ingredient known as curcumin. This ingredient is also known as a phytochemical. To clarify, that simply means it is a plant chemical which is responsible for it’s taste and color.

“Curcumin actually gives the Indian curry dish and mustard their golden yellow color. “

Typically, the root of the Turmeric plant is the part used to make medicines.


Turmeric has long bee used in Chineses Ayrvdeic medicine for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, it scored the highest of any food on the dietary inflammatory index. This is why it is commonly used for conditions that are due to inflammation such as osteoarthritis.

How Does it Work?

The more research is done on Turmeric, the more activity it seems to have in the body. Curcumin seems to regulate signals that many different parts of the immune system give to each other. Therefore, today there are many different uses for curcumin. To sum it up, the table below shows how many different immune system components curcumin seems to interact with.

CytokinesApoptotic proteinsCOX-25-LOX
STAT3NF-KBProstaglandinsC-reactive protein
Prostate specific antigenTriglyceridesAdhesion moleculesPhophoylase enzymes

Proposed Uses For Turmeric

With all these different chemical reactions it is no surprise it has been used in many different diseases. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) confirms that Turmeric has a variety of interesting activities. The table below lists potential uses for Turmeric.

HeartburnHay feverMemory improvement
Inflammatory bowel diseaseFlatulenceDiarrhea

Keep in mind there is not clinical evidence to support its use for all these conditions. It is also being studied for other activities as well such as to treat viruses and bacteria. There are even studies looking at Turmeric for fighting cancer.

6. Is Turmeric Good For Esophagitis?

Turmeric has been extensively studied for being a protective agent to the esophagus, stomach and GI tract. Although the curcumin active ingredient does not directly prevent the IGE reaction that causes eosinophilic esophagitis, it still holds promising potential.

The immune system pathways that curcumin affects have been studied and shown to be protective of the esophagus. It is may also prevent ulcers from forming. In fact, it was studied and shown to be superior to the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) lansoprazole at preventing acid and bile reflux esophagitis in rats. Researchers believe turmeric was able to produce these effects due to it’s strong antioxidant activity. However, that has not been proven in humans yet.

7. Is Turmeric Bad For Acid Reflux?

Turmeric is actually an effective treatment for acid reflux. Several studies point to curcumin found in turmeric to be protective of the stomach and esophagus. Acid refluxing outside the stomach and into the esophagus initially causes pain. However, if acid reflux continues for long periods it can damage the esophagus even leading to esophageal cancers in some cases.

The problem with turmeric for treating acid reflux is it is not absorbed well. However, studies have found that metabolites, or the way your body breaks down turmeric, may actually be what provides its benefits. This has led to the creation of products that create turmeric in a form that may be better absorbed. Therefore, they would last longer and in theory be better at treating acid reflux problems.

Regular Turmeric ProductBetter Absorbed Turmeric Procut
Nature Made Turmeric Curcumin 500 milligram. Capsules (Antioxidant) Value Size 180 CtLiposomal Turmeric-Curcumin | 500mg per pill | Piperine + Cyclodextrin | Nature's Essentials | Maximum Absorption Formula ...
500mg, 180 capsules $35*500mg, 60 tablets, $39
Cost per capsule = $0.19Cost per capsule = $0.65

As you can see the cost is substantially higher for the products that claim to have better absorption.

*Prices subject to change.

8. What Is The Right Turmeric Dose?

Turmeric can be found in foods and drinks such as turmeric tea. However, getting enough from these sources to help with eosinophilic esophagitis would be challenging. Therefore, doctors will typically recommend supplementation in these cases.


The first consideration as with any supplement should be the safety of the product. Not all supplements are created equally. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and efficacy. Therefore, you should look for products that meet one of the following:

  1. United States Pharmacopeia (USP) seal.
  2. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) label.

The World Health Organization recommends up to 1.4mg of turmeric per pound of body weight. This comes out to 210mg for a person who weighs 150lbs. That should be considered a dietary intake amount.

In studies doses with supplements range from 500mg up to 2,000mg. Indian diets often have large amounts of turmeric up to as much as 2,500mg per day.

The best idea is to start low and go slow to prevent any unwanted side effects. As with any medication or supplement you take bullet journaling medication effects is always essential to determine benefits.

9. What Time Of Day Should You Take Turmeric?

Turmeric supplements typically are not absorbed very well. That means taking them at the right time can be important to getting them to work best for you.

The fat found in your food can help turmeric to be absorbed. Curcumin actually binds to fats in the intestine making it more likely to be absorbed. Consequently, taking turmeric with a meal may increase absorption rates.

However, it may be a good idea to experiment a bit with turmeric supplements. The reason is that research has shown that the curcumin metabolites actually give the clinical effects. To have the best shot of the metabolites working it would be best to try turmeric at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Also, avoid taking turmeric supplements before bedtime as they may cause sleep disturbances.

Tip for Testing How Turmeric Works for Your Eosinophilic Esophagitis

  • First try taking it an hour before a meal in the morning for one week.

During this time note if your symptoms are improving or not.

  • Next try taking it with breakfast for a week. It should be taken with some form of healthy fat, such as almond milk.

Again, note if any symptom improvement occurred. Then compare your results and choose the best method for you.

10. Is It Okay To Take Tumeric With Omeprazole?

The answer to this question is, it depends…

If you have esinophilic esophagitis then taking turmeric is going to help with the inflammation that is being caused by the increased immune system activity. However, many times patients with this condition will be told to take omeprazole or other antacid drugs. These drugs block the secretion of stomach acid that can damage the lining of the esophagus.

Ironically, turmeric may actually increase the release of stomach acid. While this would be a problem if the patient just had GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), it may not be an issue with eosinophilic esophagitis.

The bottom line is you need to talk to your doctor about this. They may well want you on both drugs. However, you will see information on websites that says you should not take turmeric with acid suppressing drugs like omeprazole.

The table below lists two other classes of medications that are similar to omepraozole. They include Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s) and Histamine 2 receptor blockers (H2’s).

Proton Pump InhibitorsH2 Blockers
Omeprazole (Prilosec)Famotidine (Pepcid)
Lansoprazole (Prevacid)Ranitidine (Zantac)
Pantoprazole (Protonix)Nizatidine (Axid)
Rabeprazole (Aciphex)Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Esomeprazole (Nexium)
Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)

11. What Are The Negative Effects of Turmeric?

The good news is that Turmeric is safe to ingest from your diet or via supplements. Doses up to 8 grams per day have been used with little risk of serious side effects. Keep in mind most recommended doses are lower than this threshold. Typically in the 1-2 gram per day range. Some of the common side effects reported with higher doses include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset

Turmeric is also sometimes used topically on the skin or administered rectally. Both of these routes have been shown to have low potential for adverse effects also.

12. Things To Confirm Before Using Turmeric

You should discuss your medical conditions with your doctor prior to using turmeric. This is especially important in the following situations:

You take blood thinners

Turmeric can have blood thinning effects. If you take this medication with other blood thinners it could subsequently you at risk for having a bleeding event. This could be as minor as bruising but as dangerous as a stroke. The table below lists common blood thinner medications that turmeric may enhance the effects of.

Warfarin (Coumadin)Apixaban (Eliquis)
Dabigatran (Pradaxa)Edoxaban (Savaysa)
Fondaparinux (Arixtra)Heparin (Lovenox, Fragmin)
Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)Aspirin
Clopidogrel (Plavix)Dipyridamole (Persantine)
Prasugrel (Effient)Ticagrelor (Brilinta)

Also, if you have a surgery make sure to tell the surgeon ahead of time. More than likely they will have you stop taking Turmeric.

You have diabetes

Turmeric actually has many beneficial effects on lowering blood sugar. This is normally a great thing for a diabetic. However, if you are taking other medications to lower blood sugar and add on turmeric, it could lead to hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia can be dangerous because it means the blood sugar gets too low and this could lead to coma or even death if untreated. If you actively monitor your blood sugar with a home testing kit you may observe this.

It is important to discuss with your doctor prior to using turmeric though as they may change the dose of your other medications to prevent hypoglycemia. Communication is the key to using supplements, make sure to do so early and often.

Other things to be Aware of with Turmeric Use:

A few other key points to discuss with your doctor prior to using turmeric.

  • You may read it worsens acid reflux. That may be true for some, but remember for eosinophilic esophagitis it is reducing inflammation. Don’t confuse the conditions.
  • Iron absorption may be reduced. Low iron levels can lead to anemia. Having your iron levels checked with an at home test or by your doctor would be a good idea if you use turmeric long term.
  • If you have a history of kidney stones, keep in mind that turmeric could increase this risk.

13. Final thoughts on Turmeric for Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Turmerics active ingredient curcumin has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including decreasing inflammation. Consequently, that makes it an interesting option as part of an overall plan to treat eosinophilic esophagitis.

Different forms of Turmeric tout their ability to be absorbed better than others. These products that claim better absorption often cost more. The best practice for esinophilic esophagitis would be to start with the regular lower cost options to see if they are beneficial. If so, there is no need for the “better absorbed” brands. This is because the benefits have been shown to come from metabolites of curcumin.

Click here to get Dr. Jason Reed’s exclusive list of medication questions you MUST ask your doctor, for FREE!

Share your story

Have you tried turmeric? Also, please share how it worked for you. Chime in below with your comments and thoughts.


Slawomir, Kwiecien et al. Curcumin: A Potent Protectant against Esophageal and Gastric Disorders. Int J Mol Sci. 2019: 1407-1410.

Hatcher H., et al. Curcumin: From ancient medicine to current clinical trials. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2008;65:1631–1652.

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