Turmeric (Curcumin) for Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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75 Responses

  1. diana reese says:

    my horse is on Previcox can he take turmeric. ALSO a human question. I take 2400 mgs of advil daily for my arthritis. I have had adverse reaction to Vioxx and Celebrex which are COX2 inhibitors. I just started drinking GOlden Milk-turmeric tea yesterday. but now I read in your article that turmeric acts as a COX2 inhibitor and shouldnt be used with nsaid such as advil. my hope was to decrease advil as I increase turmeric, but can i take them together thanks

    • Casie says:

      Hi Diana, I am not a doctor or a vet, but my understanding is that there are possible turmeric/ drug interactions if taken together with NSAIDs, so personally, I’m not sure I would want to risk it. But you can talk to your doctor about it. There’s a chance he/she might have a little knowledge of turmeric!

  2. Roxee says:

    do you know if this can be given to dogs? I have a corgi that has developed arthritis.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Roxee, Yes, turmeric can be given to dogs. I recently read that it’s fed at 1/4 tsp per 10 pounds for dogs. If you’re on Facebook, there is a turmeric users group which is really helpful–they have files for people and pets.

  3. Gloria says:

    HI Cassie!
    This is a nice article overall but as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist I have to point out a few things. I hope this doesn’t sound too critical.

    Horses and humans alike have a Gall Bladder meridian. Horses do not have actual Gall Bladders so their digestive function is different than a human.

    You mention your horse’s reactivity on his liver points. Increased sensitivity may be for any number of reasons. Gastric ulcers, feed through daily wormers, laminitis and digestive issues also result in reactive liver points. Further investigation is required.
    In Chinese herbal medicine we do not have a detox function or detox herbal category per say. This seems to be recent jargon becoming commonly used. I see a trend with lot of people wanting to detox and flush various organs and attributing these more modern terms to Chinese Medicine.

    Turmeric is called Yu jin in Chinese, traditionally is used more of a warming digestive, to break up stasis (blood clots and tumors), jaundice and to clear heat (anti inflammatory) and with traumas and to treat a a TCM condition called liver qi stagnation. (Associated with PMS and emotionally stressful type conditions).
    That said, Turmeric is proving have wonderful anti-inflammatory attributes and new uses.

    Thanks for your hard work and wonderful blog
    Gloria – wholehorse.com

    • Casie says:

      Hi Gloria and thank you for your comments. Hershey is not necessarily sensitive to liver points, but has other issues that go along with a liver imbalance such as cracks in the hooves that won’t heal despite a balanced diet, etc. The hooves are an extension of the ligaments (as I’m sure you know) which the liver meridian controls. This has been an ongoing issue for several years. Hershey has been retired as a riding horse for some time now, but the main issue is his back legs–he has trouble holding them up when I trim his feet. I have already noticed a difference with the turmeric though. He is due for another trim next week, so hoping to see more improvement!

    • Casie says:

      And yes, of course you are right about horses not having a gall bladder–it took me a minute to realize why you’d mentioned this, but then I realized I’d described the gall bladder’s function in relation to the liver (in humans). I’ve taken this line out since it does not apply to horses!

  4. Susan says:

    I’m assuming you are mixing the powder into his feed, not giving him a capsule. Just wondered about his reaction to the powder and taste. I’ve used turmeric myself and find it’s better to start with a low dose and build.

    • Casie says:

      Yes, I am. Started at about 1/2 tablespoon and eventually went to 1 tablespoon. I’m also feeding it to 2 of my other horses now. They all eat it without a problem.

      • Tari says:

        Hi Cassie, I have a 16yr old gelding, just tested borderline Cushing’s. Been checking out using turmeric for him, any suggestions?

        • Casie says:

          Hi Tari, I think turmeric would be great for your gelding. It’s best absorbed when fed with oil (such as coconut or flaxseed) and a bit of black pepper. There are lots of recipes for turmeric paste online if you do a search.

          • Mary Davidson says:

            I melt some coconut oil in warm water, add the tumeric as well as garlic and mix with my mare’s pellets. She licks her lips. 🙂

  5. Eileen Coe says:

    HI Casie! Thank you for this blog post. I am considering trying Tumeric for Mohna. I had heard that you have to add black pepper to the Tumeric. I had also read in one group that they add an oil to the Tumeric and pepper. Are you familiar with either of these recommendations?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Eileen–I learned this little tidbit after I wrote this post, but yes adding black pepper and oil is supposed to make the turmeric more absorbable. The Turmeric Users Group on Facebook lists the measurements and recommendations for this. Personally, I’ve been feeding it with flaxseed, but I did add the pepper to enhance absorption. Hope that helps!

  6. Emma Rose says:

    Hi Eileen, I’m currently working on a dissertation on turmeric and its place and importance in the equine world and have found your blog post very useful and informative. I have created two questionnaires for my dissertation, one for anyone and everyone in the equine world and one specifically for those who have used/already use turmeric for their horses. Bit of a cheeky question here, but if I sent you a link to them, is there any possible way that you could put them up on your blog and encourage people who follow you to complete please? It would be such a huge help as I need as MANY people to complete them as possible and it would be immensely appreciated!! (Obviously you can remove them once my data has been collected!) Many Thanks, Emma

    • Eileen Coe says:

      Hi Emma, I believer you response is meant for Casie? She is the author of this blog 🙂

    • Casie says:

      Hi Emma-I sent you an e-mail about this.

    • Jeff says:

      How long have u been researching tumeric ? My phone does not work well so u will need to reply directly to
      my email h2o3water@gmaIm.com

    • Diana says:

      Have been using turmeric successfully on my horses for about 8 months. If your research is still going on, send me the link.

    • Joann says:

      Hi my horse has been box rested since may 15 and has to stay in until feb 16. Her legs started filling from standing. I have started her on tumeric and rapeseed oil with a pinch of black pepper mixed. Her legs went down within 24 hrs and have remained down.
      It has also changed her coat from dark chestnut to a dark liver chestnut. She is now blooming and has lost the look of depression that she formally had. I also give garlic and ground black salt from global herbs as it contains trace elements that found in grass. Plus a spoon of general purpose supplement for her vitamins and minerals.
      Try it guys it works. !! Joann

  7. Sandy Grissom says:

    I have a horse that recently had a very bad experience. He had to be put on fluids for over a week and lots of tubing. He did make it after a 8000.00 dollar vet bill but due to some non experience vet techs he has tromphlebitis in his right neck vein which I am having a lot of trouble with. Would this turmeric powder help him at all ?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Sandy–Sorry to hear about your horse (and the $8,000 vet bill!) I had to look up this condition as I had never heard of it. Sounds like a blood clot which slows down circulation–am I right? I’m not sure if turmeric would help in this case or not. What kinds of problems is he having?

  8. Bryn Barror says:

    I just stumbled upon this. I care for an aging polo pony who a few days ago lay down in her paddock and couldn’t get up. She has some significant arthritis in one of her hocks and we have been searching for solutions to help make her more comfortable. As far as the interactions with NSAIDS, do you know if it’s as simple as not giving turmeric if she receives a dose of bute, or if it needs to be off it for a few days? She doesn’t get bute regularly, just on occasion as needed.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Bryn–I’m Sorry to hear about your old horse. As far as the specific interactions between turmeric and bute, I can’t really say–even if bute is only given on occasion. I do know that turmeric has been shown to be just as effective as bute in studies, so it’s possible that if you added turmeric to your horse’s diet on a regular basis, he might not need the bute at all. If you’re on Facebook, I highly recommend joining the turmeric user’s group. You’ll find lots of information and support there. I wish you and your horse the best of luck!

  9. amanda says:

    hi i feed termeric to my pony for sweetitch but it does not seem to be helping, is it good for this use as i heard it was good for allergies or should i be giving her something else, many thanks.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Amanda–Turmeric is good for many things, but not sure it’s the best choice for sweet itch. I would try something like spirulina and/or chondroitin. Also flaxseed is great. Here’s an article with some more information: http://holistichorse.com/equine-therapy/curing-sweet-itch-from-the-inside-out/

    • jazzanova says:

      I have a 21 yr old sec D I must have tried countless things for his sweet itch this year I stumbled across a cream called anthisan for bites and stings as he has a sting on his neck where his mane should be and he stopped rubbing straight away so I continued using it sparingly on his mane and tail and I am amazed and relieved at the results

      • Casie says:

        Hi Jazzanova–thanks for sharing! I’m curious as to what ingredients are in the cream. Do you know?

        • jazzanova says:

          I did read it but couldn’t tell you off hand they sell it at the chemist & online at chemist direct
          I shared because it is so distressing for them and this worked for my old boy I tried turmeric he didn’t like it at all shame really he is a fussy old man

  10. Sally says:

    ive used turmeric with great success on my sweet itch pony. She is out naked now instead of a onesie and a fly sheet. It’s also had miraculous results on my 34 yr old tb x- I was just about to ring the vet for that last visit when I decided to try turmeric. He can canter, kick out and stand for the farrier again.
    Several of my dogs take it and I take it for rheumatoid arthritis.
    Research well away from the fb groups or use the files of Doug English the vet in Australia’s group rather than the other groups.
    It can also lower blood sugar and irritate ulcers.
    If your turmeric isn’t working check it contains 2.5-5% curcumin
    Increase dose
    Make sure you feed 2 or more doses a day
    Use black pepper ( 4 grinds per tea spoon of turmeric) and Virgin olive , flax or coconut oil. Linseed meal or cool stance copra are fine to use- triple the amount of meal that you in stead of a tea spoon of oil.

  11. Kris Hughes says:

    I would suggest that you do not use “turmeric” and “curcumin” interchangeably. Companies that like to turn every beneficial plant into a pill are always looking to isolate the “active ingredient”, but those with a deeper understanding of herbalism know that’s not quite how things work. Often, the trace elements, minerals, vitamins and other phytochemicals in a plant part buffer and/or support the actions of the “main” constituent, increasing the benefit and reducing side effects. There is already anecdotal evidence that people taking isolated curcumin in capsule form are having problems that don’t seem to be as prevalent in those taking whole ground turmeric root.

    It is also worth noting that turmeric is not water soluble, and may cause digestive upsets and lack effectiveness if not taken in tandem with an appropriate source of oil.

  12. Barbara says:

    So i am wondering is there is any study done about dried powder Turmeric vs fresh puree Turmeric.

    I am lucky enough to own 3 aging Mares and also work at I Love Produce- selling Organic Turmeric. Thinking I need to take home a few cases and give it a try!

    • Casie says:

      Hi Barbara–that’s a good question. I haven’t heard of a study like that, but that would be interesting to find out. And yes, you should definitely try out the turmeric!

  13. rachel says:

    hi there just looking at turmeric and its uses. i have been giving my horse turmeric at 2 tablespoons in morning along with micronised linseed and organic black whole peppers, and then again in the evening. he has about 12 sarcoids, he is a 3 yr old andalusian. i have been feeding this for about 10 months now.when i got him as a yearling he was skinny and not in a good state just skinny and not getting what he needed. his diet is good ad lib hay, i also feed a young horse balancer with all he needs in there, he is also barefoot and will always be. along with brewers yeast, ration plus, flowers of sulphur, and alfalfa pellets, unmollassed beet bulp, wheat bran and oats in small rations for phosphorous. his sarcoids have changed and some are crumbling away. i think you have to be patient. but sarcoids are a result of a low immune system and need to detoxify blood. would you agree here.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Yes, I agree that sarcoids are a problem when the immune system is stressed and they seem more common in younger horses (I had a 3 year old who developed them as well). I think a good diet and reducing stress in the horse’s life can play a big part in preventing/ reducing them and I’m sure turmeric will help boost the immune system as well. And like all herbs and natural products, it will take more time to take effect. Sounds like you’re on the right track!


  14. Pamela says:

    I have been told that this turmeric Can help with osteoarthritis in horses… Is that true.?

    Many thanks

    • Casie says:

      Hi Pamela–yes, that is true. Works best when combined with an omega 3 oil and black pepper. I take a turmeric capsule myself for my TMJ issues (jaw arthritis).

  15. Pamela says:

    And how long does it take to start working do you know? My mare has osteoarthritis in her hock, she got injected for it a few months ago into the joint itself but it’s starting to wear off, the injections are very expensive and can be very hard on her kidneys, liver and stomach after a while of getting the injections. So if this natural remedy can work I’d be so happy..!!

  16. Pamela says:

    Thanks for the help, do you know how much I should give her once mixed with the olive oil and black pepper? Is there a recommended dosage ?

    • Casie says:

      I can’t remember off the top of my head, but if you’re on Facebook, join the Turmeric Users Group–they have lots of information, including recipes for turmeric paste.

  17. Pamela says:

    Brilliant thanks.!

    • J Wilson says:

      Hi I would like know if it has to be flaxseed oil. I could not get any so am using rapeseed oil. Will it be ok ? And today I was told if you buy global herbs tumeric it has the black pepper already in it. As I was given some from their supply I have no idea if it is true. Don’t want to give extra pepper !! Can u advise ?

      • Casie says:

        It doesn’t have to be flaxseed, just an oil higher in omega 3 (as opposed to omega 6, like vegetable oils). I haven’t heard much about feeding rapeseed oil to horses, but if it’s food grade and you can keep it from going rancid, it will probably work.

        As far as that brand of turmeric, I have no idea. But if the black pepper is already in it, then I wouldn’t add any. I have seen some human-grade capsules with either oil or pepper added in (but not usually both for some reason!)

        • B Wilson says:

          Thanks for your comments. Are you saying that if you use oil you don’t need the pepper. That you don’t need to use both oil and pepper. One of these will suffice.
          Can you use water instead of oil ? And then use pepper.
          I am using olive oil because I cannot get flax. It’s an expensive way to give tumeric. !

  18. Patsy Alcock says:

    You really shouldn’t use the words turmeric and curcumin interchangeably. Curcumin is the chemical which is thought to be the ‘active ingredient’ in turmeric. However, by extracting curcumin from turmeric, you remove other chemicals which likely act synergistically with curcumin to improve it’s function and possibly negate any harmful effects. Compare this with aspirin which is the chemical name for salicylic acid found in willow bark and some other plants. In their natural form, these plants contain mucilages which protect the stomach and intestinal linings from the harm that ‘pure’ aspirin can cause.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Patsy,

      Thanks for your comment. I did note that curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, but it seems there is some contradictory information out there as to whether it’s curcumin or turmeric which is most effective on specific conditions in horses (as well as other species). I would tend to agree with you though, and say that it’s likely the whole spice which is most beneficial. I did take out the statement about using the terms interchangeably though as I don’t want to confuse people.


  19. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve had my 35 year old Quarter Horse gelding on Turmeric for his Navicular for about 3 months and he’s developed diarrhea…… not real bad but his manure has no form to it. I can’t believe how well it has helped him though….so much freer to move and tons more mobility. Should I discontinue it or just give him a break for a while? I’ve been giving 2 tbsp a day.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Elizabeth. I would back off the turmeric a bit–maybe 1 tbsp a day. Also, it’s good to give a break with herbs. A common rule I’ve heard is the 6 and 1 rule: 6 days on, 1 day off, or 6 weeks on, 1 week off.

  20. Rachel says:

    Hi Casie, I came across your blog whilst searching for information about turmeric as I’d like to start integrating it into my pony’s diet. She is 22 and has quite stiff arthritic hind legs. My only concern is that, it is recommended that when feeding turmeric you also use an Omega 3 oil to enhance it’s effectiveness, but on reading further about these oils (particularly flaxseed as I know this is very highly recommended as a super food) I have learnt that they reduce body fat. Especially at this time of year I want to make sure that she can hold her body weight over the cold months. I wonder if you could give me some extra advice? Maybe the reduction in body fat caused by Omega 3 is minimal and something I don’t need to be too concerned about?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Rachel,

      I have never heard that flaxseed reduces body fat. Where did you read that? Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve fed flaxseed with absolutely no problems at all and it sounds like your pony could definitely benefit front the turmeric. Also make sure to add in a bit of fresh ground pepper.

      Good luck!

      • Rachel says:

        Thankyou so much for your help and encouragement Casie. I’m definitely gonna go ahead and use the turmeric as I started using it myself a couple of weeks ago too. Maybe I miss-worded when I said the Flaxseed might reduce body fat, I read that it plays a ‘role in burning body fat’ from globalhealingcenter.com.

  21. Hannah says:

    Hi Cassie,
    I have a 21yr old ex racing mare with arthritis and a history of stomach ulcers. She is on a daily supplement for her stomach but no medication.
    Do you know if it is safe to feed tumeric to horses with a history of stomach ulcers?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Hannah–it is my understanding that turmeric is fairly safe, but it can occasionally be irritating to some horses’ GI systems. You could always try it and if you see loose stools or any other negative effects, back off or stop feeding it completely.

  22. holz says:

    My horse is 15 and I currently have him on grass, small amounts of hay, NRM balancer and equiguard plus he is a really really good doer, gets fat on the smell of a oily rag, he has some issues in his hindquarters, falls out at the back a lot when we are trotting cantering, We think there is a old injury there from his racing days in his back right leg, My farrier recommends glucosimine however the price of it is extreme, Would tumeric help with this do you think??

  23. Laura guthrie says:

    Hi there I have found a lot of good info in this string. I have a 17 yr old mare with copd and now epm which she is on protazil. I am going to try the turmeric as a last effort. No antibiotics work and are starting to cause reactions. This is a last prayerful effort.

  24. Daphne Hoffen says:

    Does a daily dose of Turmeric have any affect on Pergolide?

  25. Jody6 says:

    Can I use the spice Turmeric from the grocery store?

  26. Courtney says:

    I made this today for my horse and added some extra. Bought enough supplies from my local health food store for $40 to make a few months worth – flax seed is the only think I may need more of, feeding 2 spoonful’s twice daily!

    • 1 ½ cups Turmeric Organic Powder
    • 4 heaping teaspoons of organic garlic powder
    • 1 cup of grinded organic licorice root
    • 1 ½ cups organic flax seed
    • 1 cup organic coconut oil
    • 40-50 grinds of fresh ground black peppercorn

    How much garlic is needed to have any effect on the horse? I have a bag of Chia seed around, so I am going to add that next time.

  27. Julie says:

    Is it ok to give turmeric with yucca root powder (yucca schidigera) which is also an anti inflammatory? My 13 yr old gelding has arthritis and I’m giving 1 Tbsp/day of the yucca and have been giving 1 tsp of turmeric (he objected to the taste so I’m easing it in). Sounds like I also need to add the oil and a little pepper.

    • Casie says:

      Hi Julie. As far as I know, it is safe to give yucca with turmeric. And yes, I would recommend the oil and pepper too for absorption.

  28. horse lover says:

    Really good article regarding the benefits and dosage of turmeric in horses. Can it be used for sarcoids as well as Alzheimer’s disease which mainly seen in horses? I learnt it reading online that it an be used as my partner have somewhat an old age horse so when he consulted a vet he told like that. Also, Can you also suggest some best place in online where I can get organic turmeric ?.

  29. Debra Land says:

    I have a 6 yr old horse that has a sarcoid on his ear would you recommend this to help get rid of it and if so what else should I use ? the vet suggested xterra but I heard that was painful

  30. Diana says:

    Hi Casie, I have been giving turmeric to some of our older rescues with good success. We just took in a yearling with some fetlock swelling and am wondering what you think about giving her turmeric to help with the inflammation. I would prefer to use this over Bute. Would this be safe for a young horse? Naturally I would start out with a small dose. Also, any thoughts on using Rice Bran oil instead of Coconut or Olive? I have this on hand and Coconut solidifies which is a hassle. Thanks

    • Casie says:

      Hi Diana, I think it would be fine for your young horse too. I don’t see a problem with using the rice bran oil either. Best of luck!

  31. Suzy Q. says:

    Hi Casie! I have a 17 year old TB gelding, he has been lame for a while now and was once diagnosed with navicular syndrome. He has a pretty bad limp and always seems to be stiff. I am considering using tumeric on him? What do you think? Also, should I be mixing it with coconut oil and pepper grinds too like what I have read on other websites? Thanks 🙂

  32. Suzy Q. says:

    Also, how many grinds of pepper do I put in one tablespoon of oil and tumeric if I do use oil and pepper?

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