Turmeric is a spice that has been touted as nothing short of a miracle cure for many things. Its antioxidants, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties have been expounded at length, and it has moved from being a favorite spice in Indian cuisine to an extremely popular supplement. Thanks to the extensive publicity it received due to its beneficial properties, it can be found in its raw root form or as a food supplement.
The question that is now arising is, can you have too much of it? And if you can, what effect will it have on you?
Safe Levels of Consumption
Before looking at the consequences of consuming too much turmeric, what would be a safe dose? This would largely depend on your body size and general state of health. In basic terms, a dosage of no more than 1,000mg of turmeric per day should be consumed.
How you ingest this dosage will depend on your personal preferences. It is quite simple to find root turmeric in many grocery stores and health shops, so it can be added to drinks, stir-fries, baked vegetables and many meat dishes. Adding it during the cooking process will give you smaller doses in a day, so if you want to maximize the anti-inflammatory properties of the spice, it would probably be better to take it as a supplement.
Again, ensure that you purchase supplements from reputable agents and not through some unknown source. That way, you can ensure that the turmeric you are taking is of high quality and not contaminated with other additives. Also, make sure that you check each dietary supplement that you choose to verify that the total amount of turmeric consumed does not exceed the recommended daily dose.
Risk of Bleeding
Turmeric can slow down the clotting of blood, so any person suffering from bleeding disorders should be very cautious about using this spice. People taking blood-thinning medication should also be careful, as turmeric can affect the efficiency of this medication and cause excessive bleeding.
Patients facing any kind of surgery are advised not to take large doses of turmeric before the operation, as it causes excessive bleeding during the procedure.
When used as a spice in food, turmeric has not been shown to have any effect on the digestive tract. When taken as a supplement, however, it can cause dyspepsia or hyperacidity, leading to heartburn and indigestion.
The chemical oxalate is naturally found in turmeric and can combine with calcium to form gallstones. If you already suffer from gallstones or any kind of bladder obstruction, it is better to avoid any consumption of turmeric.
One of the chemicals found in turmeric, curcumin, has the potential to lower the blood sugar of people who have diabetes. Consumption of turmeric in supplement form may decrease blood sugar levels to a dangerous degree.
The chemical curcumin can also act similarly to the hormone estrogen and theoretically make any hormone-sensitive condition worse. If you suffer from any hormone-sensitive issue, such as breast, uterine or ovarian cancer or uterine fibroids or endometriosis, avoid taking supplemental doses of turmeric without medical approval.
It is not recommended to take additional doses of turmeric during pregnancy, as it could induce bleeding and stimulate the uterus.