What turmeric might do for animal health
Many people that own animals, from dogs to horses to cats, give turmeric supplements, paste or powder to their furry friends to help promote optimal health. A simple online search yields much information about the potential benefits of the spice as an anti-infective, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory agent and more. But is turmeric good for animals? What do studies show?
The spice turmeric contains curcumin which is the active ingredient that has been studied to promote health. Curcumin is in the roots and balls of the turmeric plant that is popular in Ayurvedic medicine.
Turmeric uses in animals
Curcumin has the ability to help keep animals healthy, based on studies showing it has anti-cancer activities and so much more, highlighted by Dr. Karen Becker in the video below.
In fact, one study discussed by Dr. Becker states turmeric has more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds to help block an enzyme that cause inflammation associated with arthritis, which many of our animal friends suffer from with aging.
Other uses for turmeric for your animal friend include prevention. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that might help:
- Stave off cancer
- Promote liver function
- Keep the digestive tract healthy
- Help control blood sugar levels
- Keep skin and eyes healthy
- More - the list is almost endless
There is also potential for turmeric to treat sarcoma in cats and slow the progression of autoimmune diseases and studies are ongoing. The Indian spice can also help your animal friends better cope with stress.
One of the best ways to give turmeric to your pet is to add it to food. If you want to give a supplement, look for one with a high absorption rate. If you have a holistic veterinarian you'll want to discuss how much to give your pet.
You can also buy ground turmeric and make a paste using a high grade oil, such as coconut oil. Adding pepper increases the absorption of turmeric. You can add the spice to your animal's food. Again, dosing should be discussed with your Veterinarian. If you read pet food labels, many commercial products already contain some turmeric.
Horse owners will be happy to learn you might be able cure horse hoof abscesses with turmeric, based on the video below, which is not intended to replace Veterinary care. Owners also use the spice for arthritis and other skin disorders that affect horses.
It should be noted that there are still questions about how curcuminoids are absorbed in the body, making it important to look for high grade turmeric or curcumin supplements. Piperine, the active ingredient in pepper is one such ingredient that aids turmeric absorption.You can also add pepper to your pet's food.
Dr. Michael Greger discusses ways to increase turmeric's absorption to get maximum health benefits.
From all indications turmeric's ingredient curcumin is healthy for animals and can be used topically or internally. Like any supplement, food or spice it is important not to give too much. Some evidence suggests turmeric could cause bleeding or gastric upset. High doses can also lead to as yet unknown negative health effects.
"Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: the Golden Pigment from Golden Spice"
Cancer Res Treat. Jan 2014; 46(1): 2–18.
Published online Jan 15, 2014. doi: 10.4143/crt.2014.46.1.2