Can I use turmeric for infected wounds?

An infected wound typically occurs among individuals who have a weakened immune system due to certain conditions such as diabetes, malnutrition, old age, HIV or extended hospitalization.  The infections are characterized by warmth, redness and tenderness at the site of the wound, fever and drainage of pus.

The infection can spread to other parts of the body and lead to septic shock, health failure and death. The treatment usually depends on the type of wound, severity of infection as well as age of the individual. In most cases, antibiotics are given or even surgery is required. Certain herbs such as turmeric can be used to help control infected wounds.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a savory yellow powder acquired from the finger-like underground stems of the Curcuma longa plants that are native to South Asia. This has been utilized traditionally to add color to various Indian curries and contains vitamin E and C with a biologically active compound called as curcumin that is responsible for the high medicinal value of turmeric.

Turmeric for infected wounds
Certain herbs such as turmeric can be used to help control infected wounds.

The turmeric supplements are available in the market as capsules, powders, tablets, liquid extracts, tincture and ointments. These have been utilized to manage various conditions including arthritis, ulcers, diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers. The dosage is different for each individual depending on their age, overall health and condition being treated. In most cases, the doctor can also help determine the dose and form suitable for the individual.

Wound infections

The wound dressings that are packed with curcumin and combined with visible light radiation can help drastically lower the concentration of bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis at the site of injury.

In a study conducted, curcumin was discovered to prevent the growth and reproduction of various bacteria including Staphylococcus species, Enterococcus and Bacillus species by preventing the division of cytoplasm during reproduction. Curcumin also improves the maturation and cross-linking of collagen as well as preventing the free-radical mediated damage of the wounds.

What are the side effects?

The turmeric supplements are generally safe to use by most individuals. Extended use of high doses of supplements might cause stomach upset and even ulcers. In some cases, they can also help lower down the blood sugar levels if taken along with diabetes medications. Just remember though that the herb can also interfere with some antacid and antiplatelet medications.

Precautions

The individual should not utilize turmeric supplements without consulting a doctor first. The doctor should be informed of any current conditions and other medications that the individual is taking. A pharmacist can also be consulted so that a turmeric product that is effective and safe can be recommended.

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