For centuries, turmeric has been used to treat a number of diseases and illnesses due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The root of the Curcuma longa plant is boiled and then dried and made into powder to give us this fragrant spice. It has also been used as an additive in curry dishes as well as in cheese and butter and helps add flavor and color to any dish. Turmeric has a number of healing benefits and can even cure bronchitis, arthritis, diarrhea, liver and kidney disorders etc but it must be used in moderation. If it is used in excess, it could have a number of damaging side effects. Let us explore what should the right dosage of turmeric be and the side effects of heavy dosages.
The Right Dosage
Ideally, the correct dosage on a daily basis is 500 mg and doctors recommend not going beyond twice or thrice the times of this dosage. If you are eating the roots, then you should consume only about 3g every day.
Side Effects of Excessive Usage of Turmeric
Just because turmeric has healing properties, it doesn’t mean that you go overboard using it as it could to a number of problems like the following:
Turmeric when taken in excess can stop the clustering of blood platelets and thus cause excessive bleeding. It should generally be avoided by people who have clotting problems or bleed severely as turmeric can affect the clotting process in the liver and increase your bleeding to a large extent.
If you are pregnant, you should avoid consuming turmeric in any dosage as this root can cause vaginal bleeding, miscarriages and premature uterine contractions. This is because turmeric stimulates the activity of the uterine muscle cells.
If you consume up to 1500 mg/day, you should generally be okay but sometimes even this amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea in some people. It is best to contact a doctor to ascertain whether you are allergic to this root and he will also advise you on how much to use. You should avoid turmeric ointments as it could lead to rashes and allergies if you have sensitive skin. If used in excess, it could also lead to anaphylaxis, hives, and contact dermatitis.
A high dosage of turmeric can affect your gall bladder and liver and cause inflammation as well as duct obstruction or gall bladder stones. Consult a doctor as to how much is beneficial for you and when you should stop consuming this root.
Gastrointestinal and stomach problems
When you consume turmeric in small doses like in a curry, it does not lead to any inflammatory reaction or gastric irritation. But when used in excess, it could cause gastric issue especially in individuals who are suffering from aching joints and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because turmeric is acidic and helps secrete gastric acid, and thus should be avoided by people with hyperacidity or dyspepsia. Those who smoke and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should also avoid excessive usage if turmeric as it can cause heartburn, peptic ulcers, indigestion, and gastro esophageal reflux disease. You should generally consume it as part of a dish only or drink lots of water to prevent its accumulation in the body.
A heavy dosage of turmeric can cause a number of liver problems in those people who are suffering from indigestion and jaundice. Turmeric has been shown to be harmful on animal hepatocytes and though there are no conclusive studies of its effects on humans, you should just take the normal dosage or consult a doctor before consuming it. If you are suffering from any liver dysfunction, you should completely avoid this root.
A heavy dosage of turmeric can also affect the functioning of drugs like warfarin, clopidogrel and aspirin as well as anti-inflammatory drugs and non-steroidal medication. This root reduces the blood sugar in the body that is useful for curing diabetes but if you use it in collaboration with hypoglycemic medication, it can cause hypoglycemia. This could be life threatening and you may need immediate medical care.
There are also a number of other side effects if this root is take in excess like inflammatory skin blisters, agitation and nausea.
When You Should Avoid Using Turmeric
- Pregnant women should refrain from using turmeric at all as it can cause miscarriages and uterine contractions and is harmful. Even lactating mothers should avoid consuming this root and you should always consult a doctor.
- If you are suffering from bile-duct obstruction turmeric will only aggravate the gall bladder dysfunction and thus must be avoided.
- Avoid consuming turmeric about 2 months before any surgery as it prevents blood clotting.
- If you suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease and dyspepsia, you should not consume turmeric as it helps secrete more gastric acid.
- You should avoid consuming turmeric if you have any allergic reactions to any natural dyes like curcumin. You should also avoid consuming this root if you are allergic to ginger as they both belong to the same family.
Thus, though turmeric is one of the best medicinal roots that you will come across but using it in excess will have a negative effect on your body. Stick to the normal dosage and try it consume as part of a curry or dish and stay hydrated. If you are suffering from some medical condition, you should consult a doctor as to whether it is safe to consume turmeric and also ask how much should you consume. Even on a general basis, ask your doctor how much turmeric you should consume as it can have side effects on some people.