Turmeric for Liver Damage and Cleanse (Bad for Liver?)


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Can you use Turmeric for liver cleanse?

Turmeric is useful for liver cleanse because its active ingredient, curcumin, decreases oxidative stress and reduces inflammatory agents in the body. Curcumin may also increase the level of enzymes that help flush out toxins from the body.

Bile, which works as a liver cleanser, flows from the gallbladder to the liver through the bile duct. Curcumin facilitates the passage of bile ensuring a natural flow to the liver.  

Animal studies show that curcumin can help remove heavy metal toxins such as lead, arsenic, chromium, and copper and protect the liver from damage.  

However, a hepatologist from Johns Hopkins University suggests that more clinical data is required to recommend turmeric for routine use. 

Can you use Turmeric for liver damage?

Turmeric can be used for liver damage because studies show that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help remove toxins, heavy metals, and free radicals protecting the liver from their harmful effects. 

Curumin, the active ingredient can also help decrease the levels of cholesterol, and fatty acid deposits protecting the liver from inflammation. 

A clinical trial shows that supplementation with curcumin decreases body mass index, cholesterol levels, and liver fat content (by 78.9%) as compared to the placebo group suggesting its potential use as a liver protective agent. 

Studies also show that curcumin maintains the levels of glutathione and antioxidants and the proper functioning of mitochondria, thus helping to protect the liver from heavy metal-induced toxicity and damage. 

In the video below, “The Doctors” YouTube channel discuss how adding turmeric to food could potentially help to combat liver disease:

This is our recommended Turmeric supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Nature Made Turmeric Curcumin 500 mg, Herbal Supplement for Antioxidant Support, 120 Capsules, 120 Day Supply

Is Turmeric bad for the liver?

Although turmeric has a history of safe usage, and no side effects, is a part of Ayurvedic medicines, and has plenty of benefits, recently a few case studies have reported turmeric to be a cause of liver damage. 

Given turmeric is being evaluated as a potential agent to protect the liver against acute and chronic toxicity and injury, a few isolated cases of liver damage due to turmeric are a cause for concern. However, researchers have found that all the cases are linked to the high bioavailability forms of curcumin. 

But after discontinuing the turmeric supplementation, a swift recovery was reported. No treatment was recommended for turmeric-induced liver damage except in severe cases. 

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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

  1. Farzaei MH, Zobeiri M, Parvizi F, El-Senduny FF, Marmouzi I, Coy-Barrera E, Naseri R, Nabavi SM, Rahimi R, Abdollahi M. Curcumin in Liver Diseases: A Systematic Review of the Cellular Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress and Clinical Perspective. Nutrients. 2018 Jul 1;10(7):855. doi: 10.3390/nu10070855. PMID: 29966389; PMCID: PMC6073929.
  2. García-Niño WR, Pedraza-Chaverrí J. Protective effect of curcumin against heavy metals-induced liver damage. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Jul;69:182-201. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2014.04.016. Epub 2014 Apr 18. PMID: 24751969.
  3. Rahmani S, Asgary S, Askari G, Keshvari M, Hatamipour M, Feizi A, Sahebkar A. Treatment of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Curcumin: A Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial. Phytother Res. 2016 Sep;30(9):1540-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5659. Epub 2016 Jun 8. PMID: 27270872.
Turmeric for Liver Damage and Cleanse (Bad for Liver?)
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