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Article by Dr Doug English (BVSc)

As a Veterinarian, I have been using turmeric successfully for years with animals to control inflammation and pain, in itchy skin conditions like allergy, atopy, arthritis, infections, age degeneration and for various cancers.

Turmeric has been used for over 4,000 years in India and is a food spice that has long been proven very safe.

I have seen benefits in all animals in my care: dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, crocodiles, reptiles, chickens, ducks, cage birds, cats, alpacas, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.

With the limited follow-up opportunity that a sole-practitioner has, I asked clients to post their anecdotal results on a Facebook page called Original Turmeric User Group so that I could follow results.  This group has almost 290,000 members;  the evidence presented is overwhelmingly positive as to the curative and positive health supporting effects of the regular use of turmeric.

Feedback in these numbers has given me a huge confidence boost to increase my recommendations.  I use turmeric to replace or reduce the dose of hard drugs like Non-Steroidal anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs)  and cortisones.  Turmeric has no bad side effects and can be used in conjunction with many drugs.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to horses - click HERE.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to dogs - click HERE.

If you want to know HOW to feed turmeric to smaller animals - click HERE.

Skin Health

Specifically helps with Queensland Itch (Sweet Itch) in horses,  Atopic Dermatitis in dogs (skin allergies), and Demodectic mange dogs (along with a specific treatment for mites taken orally such as Doramectin – Zoetix Dectomax).  Turmeric can also help stop ongoing skin infections caused by various yeast, bacteria and fungal infections that can gain a foothold in skin see my home-made yeast spray.

Turmeric improves the skin shine and coat condition in all animals.  Many horses and dogs show a marked increase in colour depth and skin health with an obvious bloom in their coats.

A trial conducted at a commercial crocodile farm, resulted in a 50% increase in growth rate, and a 30% increase in Grade A hides.


There are many hundreds of stated positive outcomes in alleviating pain and movement constriction in arthritic dogs, humans, cats and horses.

There are many stories of dogs and horses barely able to walk, being able to run and frolic seemingly free of all pain. You’ll find these in our "Turmeric Stories" section.


There is lots of evidence in the published literature of curcumin causing apoptosis (cell death and elimination by phagocytosis) cancer cells such as melanoma, mastocytoma, mesothelioma, sarcomas, and osteosarcomas, etc.

In my Original Turmeric User Group Facebook there has been evidence of turmeric being successfully used in a number of equine sarcoid cases.  Firstly it must be fed, and optionally it can be applied topically.

I am interested in an experimental trial, treating sarcoids with Turmeric orally, and also adding a topical form of curcumin dissolved in a carrier.

Immune Stimulant

Turmeric is a very effective stimulant to fight and prevent infection with viruses and bacteria.  It increases the effect of antibiotics, particularly those that act by bacteriostatic effects. Turmeric noticeably shortens virus activity in such maladies as pneumonia, herpes lip sores and canine coughs.

Wound healing is enhanced by Turmeric;  it can be dusted onto fresh wounds where it stops bleeding and infection and stimulates healing.


Turmeric works well in improving activity levels and socialisation in old dogs.  It also relieves brain fog in humans and stimulates clear thinking.  Turmeric decreases amyloid plaque in human brains with Alzheimer’s, and it slows the development of Multiple Sclerosis.


Turmeric is effective for depression. A component of turmeric, “turmerone” (see #2 Reference below) has recently been identified to induce Neural Stem Cell proliferation which can explain somewhat the positive effects on brain function.

Greasy Heel

Orally Turmeric increases the health and thickness of skin, thereby increasing resistance to the infection and speeding curative effects of medicines.

See my post on greasy heel - click HERE to read.

Founder (Laminitus) in Horses

Hoof quality and strength in horses, is improved with Turmeric.

Turmeric for horses provides good results for treating pain, infection and inflammation, and increases the rate of hoof regeneration.

Irritable Bowel Disease

Reduces inflammation, and along with the elimination of gluten can result in the sudden cessation of diarrhoea and gut cramping.

Turmeric reduces the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in people.

Liver Detoxification

Turmeric increases levels of glutathione in the liver by several times.  This compound is a major antioxidant and conjugating agent which is used to detoxify and eliminate harmful compounds.

I have noticed that alcohol elimination is noticeably increased and is the best by far, hangover prevention and treatment.

Uveitis in Horses

One of the most common eye diseases and the most common cause of blindness in horses is equine recurrent uveitis.

Through using Turmeric, there have been three cases of good curative responses and literature in human medicine backs this.

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Very good anecdotal evidence to give confidence that Turmeric can considerably reduce or cure lung disease. 


The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, but to date, at least 235 compounds, primarily phenolic compounds and terpenoids have been identified from the species, including 22 diarylheptanoids and diarylheptanoids, eight phenylpropene and other phenolic compounds, 68 monoterpenes, 109 sesquiterpenes, five diterpenes, three triterpenoids, four sterols, two alkaloids, and 14 other compounds.

Curcuminoids (diarylheptanoids) and essential oils are major bioactive ingredients showing various bioactivities in vitro and in vivo bioassays.  Curcuminoids in turmeric are primarily accumulated in rhizomes.  The essential oils from leaves and flowers are usually dominated by monoterpenes while those from roots and rhizomes primarily contained sesquiterpenes. (see #1 Reference below).

Curcumin, like the other carotenoids etc. in turmeric is soluble in fats, oils, lipids, alcohol, short chain fatty acids like acetic, butyric but not water, and so for digestion it must be in contact with any of the above so that the complex is absorbed through the intestine.  Fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K are also only absorbed in oils etc. Water-soluble vitamin complexes are B and C.

The metabolism and absorption of all of these are best when all the associated complementary compounds are together in what we call a whole food.

Piperine, the compound in ground black pepper, and is responsible for its pungent smell and taste, is fairly necessary for the metabolism of curcumin because it considerably slows its excretion (also other drugs) and prolongs the positive metabolic effect.

PLEASE NOTE: Absorption and length of activity of curcumin are the limiting factors for attaining a desired effect. 

#1 – Pharmaceutical Crops, 2011, 2, 28-54.  Chemical Composition and Product Quality Control of Turmeric  (Curcuma longa L.)  Shiyou Li*,1, Wei Yuan1, Guangrui Deng1, Ping Wang1, Peiying Yang2 and Bharat B. Aggarwal3
#2 – Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014; 5(4): 100. Published online 2014 Sep 26. doi:  10.1186/scrt500 PMCID: PMC4180255 Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Joerg Hucklenbroich, Rebecca Klein, Bernd Neumaier, Rudolf Graf, Gereon Rudolf Fink, Michael Schroeter, and Maria Adele Rueger corresponding author

You’ll find examples of turmeric and cancer in our BLOG section.