A bright yellow-orange rhizome, turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is well-known for its distinct color, flavor, and medicinal properties and sometimes called the Golden Spice or Indian Saffron. This spice has been used for many centuries in a traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine and as a component in religious ceremonies in Southeast Asia.
The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin has powerful medicinal properties and might be beneficial for preventing and treatment of a variety of health issues including cancer, arthritis, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, liver diseases, and much more. Read more about Impressive Turmeric Health Benefits.
Turmeric Side Effects
Turmeric is generally safe. If used correctly, the risks for turmeric side effects appear to be minimal. It was found that there were no significant toxicities of curcumin even consumed at a highly daily dose of 12 g (2).
However, in rare cases, turmeric might cause problems in some people. Here are a few things to consider.
Do not consume turmeric if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stop taking turmeric before scheduled surgery. Due to turmeric is a blood-thinner, it can slow blood clotting.
Do not take turmeric supplements if you have gallbladder diseases. Due to the gallbladder contracts in response of curcumin, even a small amount of it can cause a gallbladder obstruction.
Turmeric is high in oxalates and 91% of them are soluble. Soluble oxalates bind calcium forming insoluble calcium oxalates. High doses of supplemental turmeric may increase risk of hyperoxaluria (kidney and bladder stones formation) in some people (4).
Due to curcumin binds absorbable iron in the gut, high doses can cause iron deficiency anemia (12). Individuals on a low-iron diet or those who have iron deficiency anemia should look for a medical advice about turmeric extracts use. On other hand, this property might be useful to tread conditions such as hemolytic anemias and sickle cell disease.
Curcumin can block sperm motility and function (13). These findings may have application in development of a non-steroid contraceptive.
High doses of turmeric can lead to headache, dizziness, rash, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and similar digestive issues.
Some turmeric powders may also be high in lead, a heavy toxic metal. In the past several years, 13 brands of lead-contaminated turmeric have been recalled in the United States (5). Turmeric extracts are unlikely to be contaminated with heavy metals, insect and rodent body parts (6).
Interactions with Medications
Interactions with anticougulants & antiplatelets. High amounts of curcumin havepiperine can increase risk of bruising and bleeding. If you already take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), aspirin, dipyridamole (Aggrenox, Persantine), or others, you might have to avoid curcumin.
Curcumin may increase stomach acid interfering with drugs that reduce the stomach acid production: Cimetidine (Tagamet), Famotidine (Pepcid), Ranitidine (Zantac), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Omeprazole, and Lansoprazole (Prevacid) (3).
Turmeric supplements can intensify effect of drugs that lower blood sugar. Be cautious if you take diabetes medications to lower blood sugar.
Curcumin may interfere with iron supplements that treat iron deficiency anemia.
Some turmeric supplements contain a chemical ingredient piperine which helps enhance curcumin absorption. However, piperine can slow down process of decomposing some medicine in the liver that, in turn, can cause side effects from medications. Also, piperine can have a blood-thinning effect and can cause gastric irritation and bleeding (14) (15).
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medicine.
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