Turmeric, touted as the healthiest spice on Earth, has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments. Going from detoxing the body and improving digestion, to fighting chronic inflammation and cancer. Turmeric truly seems to have it all.
However, for a small group of people, this natural wonder spice can do more harm than good.
Before you start adding it to your daily diet – whether it is the fresh root, the powder or capsules/supplements – make sure you don’t fall into any of the groups mentioned below, or this miracle spice may become your worst nightmare.
6 Side Effects of Turmeric You Should Know About
- May worsen gallbladder issues
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) it is best to avoid turmeric supplements when struggling with gallbladder issues such as gallstones or bile duct obstruction. They may get worse.
- Ups oxalate level
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that turmeric increases the amount of oxalates excreted through the urine. This may increase the risk of kidney stone formation in people who are prone to get them.
- Increase stomach acid
Although turmeric has shown a lot of beneficial effects in treating a wide range of digestive complaints, if you are struggling with stomach acid, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn you should go easy on it. Turmeric may stimulate acid production, something you don’t want to happen when you’re already having too much of that.
- Blood thinner
According to the NIH, turmeric, especially high doses and supplements, should not be taken by people who struggle with blood clotting or for people who have bleeding disorders. Turmeric can thin the blood and has also shown to interact with medication that prevents blood clotting. These include: aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and warfarin (Coumadin).
According to the NIH, turmeric should not be combined with certain herbal supplements that thin the blood, too. These include: angelica, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, red clover, and willow.
It is also advisable to stop taking turmeric supplements at least 2 weeks before a surgical procedure to avoid extra bleeding during and after the operation.
- Pregnancy and turmeric
Although it is safe to eat (fresh or powdered) turmeric in moderation while pregnant or breast feeding, turmeric supplements should be avoided at all cost. Like mentioned above it may thin the blood or stimulate the uterus and menstruation, which puts the pregnancy at risk.
Although there are not much studies looking into turmeric and pregnancy or turmeric and breast feeding, better play safe.
- Interferes with diabetes medication
Turmeric is a wonderful spice to control blood sugar levels. People around the globe, struggling with pre-diabetes or diabetes type II, have seen some amazing results through supplementing with turmeric.
However, turmeric can only, safely, be used by people who don’t take blood sugar lowering medication. When combined, blood sugar levels may drop so low that it can cause hypoglycemia.
How Much Turmeric to Consume to Avoid These Side Effects
People who don’t have any medical condition included in this list above, may use 3 gram dried ground turmeric a day. This is about 1.5 teaspoon turmeric powder or 1-2 tablespoons fresh grated root.
As for the supplements, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a dose of 400-600 mg, up to 3 times a day, while the NIH suggests you can take up to 500 mg, 4 times a day.
If you are experiencing any of the issues above, speak with your health care provider or doctor. Adding the root or powder to your diet, in moderation, will in most cases be alright. Supplements are more concentrated and should be handled with more care.