How to make a wound heal faster with Turmeric

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Tumeric root and powder
Turmeric root and turmeric powder, close up

Introduction

A friend picked this trick up in India and was kind enough to pass it on.

The story goes that she had cut herself and was in the process of applying a band aid. With limited English the locals communicated that a band aid was not the best treatment and that she should instead apply turmeric powder to the cut.

She did so and apparently the cut healed quickly without further incident.

When I heard this story, I raised one eyebrow and thought ‘Really?’.

However, I do like a good folk remedy and was aware that one the actives ingredients in turmeric has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties12 so eventually I gave it a go.

My experience

One day after cutting myself in the kitchen (with no band aid nearby) I decided to try a ‘turmeric band aid’.

I applied enough turmeric powder to stem the flow of blood and left it applied to wound. The blood flow quickly ceased as a turmeric crust was formed over the wound site. I left it be until I accidentally knocked the congealed crust off later in the day.

Since that day I have regularly used turmeric powder instead of band aids. My personal experience is that my cuts have not gotten infected, have healed quickly and have not scarred.

I don’t even bother keeping band aids in the house anymore.

Supporting Evidence

As already mentioned turmeric has properties that fight bacteria and other microorganisms.

There are also studies that show that the active ingredient in turmeric

has been shown to act at all stages of wound healing by enhancing granulation tissue formation, collagen deposition, tissue remodelling and wound contraction. 3

These characteristics appear to lend themselves to helping wounds heal faster and to a decent band aid substitute.

I searched through the internet to see if anyone had any similar stories. I found this site (link opens in a new tab) which romantically relates a story much like my friends.

Conclusion

If you have a serious cut you should seek medical treatment. If you have a small cut, you are healthy and you like discovering new things then consider trying the ‘turmeric band aid’.

Note that not all turmeric powder is created equal. Try to get high quality turmeric with no adulterants and a high percentage of Curcumin.

See it in use

I made this Youtube video showing Turmeric in action.

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional and have had no formal medical training. This article is based on experience both personal and anecdotal, and my layman’s interpretation of academic literature.

References

For anyone who wants to delve a little deeper. Some of these articles are about Curcumin which is one of the active ingredients in turmeric and represents approximately 1-4% of the total weight of turmeric powder. To be clear this means some of them are not directly relevant as they are conducted with a refined substance rather than dried turmeric powder and all that it contains.


  1. Moghadamtousi, S. Z., Kadir, H. A., Hassandarvish, P., Tajik, H., Abubakar, S., & Zandi, K. (2014). A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin. BioMed research international, 2014, 186864. (opens in new tab)

  2. Gunes, H., Gulen, D., Mutlu, R., Gumus, A., Tas, T., & Topkaya, A. E. (2016). Antibacterial effects of curcumin: An in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration study. Toxicology and Industrial Health, 32(2), 246–250. (opens in new tab)

  3. Watts, R. Evidence summary: Turmeric (curcumin) in wound management – (Limited Resources Communities – LRCs) [online]. Wound Practice & Research: Journal of the Australian Wound Management Association, Vol. 25, No. 3, Sep 2017: 158-159. (opens in new tab)