I’ve been feeding turmeric to my horses on and off for years. I’ve used it to treat digestive issues, sarcoids, sore muscles, and itchy skin.
The results have varied, but for the most part, I’ve observed turmeric to have a positive effect on my horse’s health.
My one mare’s diarrhea cleared up within a couple of weeks, and a small sarcoid on a young gelding I had disappeared after several months of daily dosing.
I also found that using a turmeric supplement on older horses helped to alleviate joint pain and inflammatory symptoms.
Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Click to learn more
Turmeric is a delicious culinary spice, although not necessarily something horses find particularly mouth-watering.
Despite that, I’ve never had a horse refuse to eat turmeric-flavored meals and have giggled at their yellow-stained muzzles when they’ve finished.
However, you can’t just throw a spoonful of turmeric powder into his meal and expect positive results!
The active ingredient in the spice is curcumin, and you need to activate this if you’re going to capitalize on the potential anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric has poor bioavailability, meaning it isn’t easy for the body to absorb. You can combine turmeric with piperine – found in black pepper. Doing so enhances the bioavailability and makes it more effective.
Does Turmeric Benefit Your Horse’s Health?
The effects of curcumin are extensive, and it has a rich history in both Indian and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent.
While there is little scientific evidence to prove turmeric’s efficacy, it has a famous reputation for potentially easing a wide array of ailments.
Anthony's organic turmeric is a fantastic source of 100% organic, gluten-free, and high purity turmeric. USDA organic. Raw, non-GMO, and non-irradiated. No artificial colors!
Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric:
- inflammation and joint stiffness
- skin rashes and irritations
- digestive disorders and stomach ulcers
- wounds and facilitate healing
- bacterial and fungal infections
- some types of cancer
Again, we urge caution that these potential benefits are not scientifically proven. However, many homesteaders and farmers tout turmeric as beneficial.
As always – we advise you to consult with a trusted veterinarian or reliable equine nutritionist before you start any health regime with your horse!
Safety first – especially when it comes to the health of your beloved equines!
Despite the lack of scientific research, many owners feed turmeric to horses to treat several equine ailments.
To get the best results, you need to prepare your turmeric correctly! Also – try to introduce the turmeric slowly rather than too much at once. That way – you can make sure your horse doesn’t get an upset stomach.
How to Make a Simple Golden Paste
I make my golden paste from home! I find it the most effective (and least messy) way of feeding turmeric to a horse.
Combine turmeric with black pepper, a little water, and oil. That formula helps bring out its beneficial properties and makes it easier to maintain a consistent daily dosage.
Here’s my favorite recipe that I use from Twelve on Main.
- Turmeric powder
- Coconut oil
- Ground black pepper
I love Starwest botanicals for organic black pepper because it's 100% organic! The pepper is certified organic by QAI (Quality Assurance International) using strict USDA guidelines.
Golden Paste Recipe Preview
- Mix the turmeric powder with the water in a small saucepan.
- Heat the paste gently while adding the coconut oil and black pepper.
- As soon as the mixture thickens, turn off the heat.
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator! Your golden paste should last for up to two weeks.
If you’re interested in making golden paste, then check out the full article from Twelve on Main. They go into much further detail – with photos to help follow along!
Get the Full Golden Paste Recipe on Twelve on Main’s blog!
Are Curcumin Benefits Proven on Humans?
I was disappointed to learn that we couldn’t find any reliable (and large-scale) scientific studies involving curcumin and horses.
This disappointing lack of data made me question if anyone has ever analyzed the health benefits of curcumin on humans? The answer is yes!
I’ve been reading a review of the health effects of curcumin on human health from the National Library of Medicine.
The review indicates that curcumin may have tremendous health benefits for humans! Potential health benefits may include helping manage inflammatory conditions, anxiety, arthritis, hyperlipidemia, muscle soreness, and metabolic syndrome.
How Much Turmeric to Feed Your Horse?
I can’t find any clinical trials that determine how much turmeric is suitable for horses. So, we can’t comment regarding proper dosage instructions.
(We searched PUBMED high and low and couldn’t find any oral turmeric studies on horses. Period!)
But, I can tell you my philosophy and routine. How much golden paste you feed your horse daily will depend on its weight.
I usually give my 1,000 lb Arab one heaped tablespoon per day. If I’m aiding a more critical condition or chronic disease, I might increase the serving to one heaped tablespoon twice a day.
I have also applied turmeric paste directly onto sarcoids. Although this approach hasn’t been particularly successful for me, according to a study conducted by Dr. David Marlin, “61% of [horse owners] who had used turmeric topically rated it as “highly effective.”
(You can read more comments from Dr. David Marlin’s turmeric and horse study on Facebook. The study seemed to be on a small scale – but it’s interesting nevertheless!)
I recommend making your turmeric supplement rather than relying on commercial supplements which contain very little curcumin and therefore are unlikely to provide the benefits of turmeric in its pure form.
Although turmeric for horses is among the most popular nutritional supplements, caution is required!
Taking too much turmeric has a reputation for causing loose droppings and diarrhea. Yikes! Although I’ve seen no evidence of this despite treating at least five different horses with it, we still issue a word to the wise.
Does Turmeric Work for Horses? Our Two Cents!
I think the results are still inconclusive – and there’s no clinical proof one way or the other.
The benefits of turmeric may not be scientifically proven. But – I’ve seen it have a positive effect on my horse’s health. I’m a believer. No doubt!
Having used it to treat stomach upsets, joint stiffness, and skin disorders, I’m confident that curcumin in horses is beneficial as a dietary supplement and topical treatment.
Nevertheless, I recommend steering clear of popular and expensive supplements and sticking with a homemade golden paste! All you need is some organic turmeric and high-quality black pepper.
Also – please let us know your thoughts!
Do you think turmeric is good for horses? Have you seen it treat horses or other animals?
We’d love to hear about your experience!
Rapid Flex is an all-natural blend of 9 herbs to help your older horses with sore muscles. It contains turmeric, glucosamine, nettle leaf, devil's claw, black cohosh root, ginger root, and other herbs.