6 Side Effects of Turmeric and How to Avoid Them

Although there are numerous health benefits associated with eating turmeric, but high doses or prolong use of turmeric may cause certain side effects.

There are no official recommendations for the intake of turmeric, and the maximum tolerable intake level has not been identified. However, a typical dose of standardized curcumin is 400 to 600 mg three times per day.

If you are taking aspirin or any other antiplatelet drugs, consult with your doctor before taking turmeric. Those who are about to undergo surgery should stop taking turmeric because it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery.

What are Possible Side Effects of Taking Too Much Turmeric?

Commonly reported side effects associated with turmeric include:

1. Increased bleeding risk

Taking turmeric may slow blood clothing so it can lead to bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Stop taking turmeric if you are suffering from any bleeding disorders or taking any medication that prevent blood clothing such as antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.

2. Gallbladder problems

Curcumin has been shown to be useful in preventing gallstone formation due to its ability to cause gallbladder contraction [1]. However, if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction, you should try to avoid taking turmeric because it may worsen the condition.

3. Gastrointestinal problems

Turmeric is slightly acidic in nature and taking too much of it can cause stomach upset. If you have a current history of hyperacidity or indigestion, it is strongly suggested to avoid turmeric in high doses.

4. Iron deficiency

Although turmeric contains iron, it is high in plant compounds like flavonoids and tannins. The plant compounds are believed to inhibit iron absorption.

In fact, clinical trials confirmed that the compounds in turmeric could bind iron and cause iron deficiency in mice. Moreover, further studies showed that turmeric supplementation can inhibit iron absorption by 20%-90% in humans [2].

If you think you have anemia or iron deficiency, stop eating it until you are cured from the condition.

5. Uterine contractions

Turmeric is known as a uterine stimulant which could cause a pregnant woman to have early contractions, leading to miscarriage. For this reason, pregnant women are advised to avoid turmeric until the baby is born.

6. Allergy reactions

Since turmeric belongs to the ginger family, individuals who have allergy to any member of ginger family may also develop reaction to turmeric. Turmeric can also cause skin outbreaks like rashes and shortness of breath. Reactions can occur from both skin contact and ingestion.

If you are allergic to ginger or other yellow colored agents that include curcumin, it’s best to stay away from turmeric.

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