13 Serious Side Effects Of Turmeric: When And Why You Should Avoid It?

Date
June
2
2022
Compiled By Michael Stuart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Donald Moore, MD FACT CHECKED

Herbs have been an inseparable part of medicine. A variety of herbs have been used since ancient times for several purposes.

Back when modern medicine didn’t evolve enough, herbs were the true saviors. Turmeric has made some significant contributions.

This herb has a reputed spot in Ayurveda because of its several health benefits. Turmeric works magically for skin, oral health, and immunity. These positive aspects of turmeric make it a commercial herb used in cosmetics and medicines.

There are numerous benefits, but it also has certain shortcomings. Several pieces of literature talk about its benefits, but only a few mention the side effects.

In this article, we will discuss all turmeric and its side effects.

13 Side Effects Of Turmeric

Turmeric is a relatively safe and beneficial spice. But sometimes people overuse it to get maximum benefits in less time which can cause serious problems.

Excessive use of turmeric can cause-

  1. Stomach Problems

    Turmeric can be helpful for digestion. But, if you are using an excess amount of turmeric, it can lead to an upset stomach.

    This might be due to the excessive production of gastric acids. Like any other spice, turmeric also has a healing effect on the body. Ayurveda terms it “garam taseer”.

    This can lead to immense heat production in the body. People with weak digestion may suffer stomach aches or digestion problems.

  2. Allergy

    Turmeric is a good cure for allergies, runny noses, and sinuses. But you cannot ignore the fact that it is possible to be allergic to turmeric.

    Symptoms of an allergy include heavy breathing, and swelling of lips, throat, and face. The skin can become itchy and you may experience rashes.

  3. Diarrhea And Nausea

    Since overconsumption of turmeric affects the stomach and it produces extra acid causing acid reflux, it can also show symptoms like diarrhea and nausea.

    Several cases have been reported by people after overconsumption or those having weak digestion.

  4. Kidney Stone

    Turmeric consumption can boost the excretion of urinary oxalate[1]. This has been confirmed by performing tests that turmeric affects the urine by increasing the levels of urinary oxalate.

    This aids in the formation of kidney stones.

  5. Excessive Blood Thinning

    Turmeric is a well-known natural blood thinner. But it can show negative effects on people having bleeding issues and suffering from thrombocytopenia.

    It can cause platelet aggregation[2] which is highly dangerous for people having thin blood and low platelet count.

  6. Could Be Harmful To Moms To Be

    Consuming a little amount of turmeric added to food is considered safe for the mother and baby. But, turmeric supplements are not recommended and should be avoided at all costs.

    Dietitians and health experts are not in favor of consumption of the supplements during pregnancy.

  7. Interaction With Several Medications

    Turmeric is known to interact with medications and should be avoided by people taking antidepressants and blood thinners.

    It is already known that turmeric is a blood thinner. People taking the medications already should avoid it because otherwise, it can cause excessive bleeding.

  8. Iron Deficiency

    It is reported that high doses of the spice turmeric block the absorption of iron. The percentage of inhibition is reported as between 20-90%.

    People having a lower amount of iron or taking Iron supplements should stay away from turmeric. Otherwise, it can cause iron deficiency[3].

  9. Affects Menstrual Cycle

    Excessive turmeric can cause heavy bleeding due to the heating effect and blood-thinning properties. Turmeric is used to regularise periods but including too much turmeric can be harmful.

    A counter study with some cases also reports an opposite effect where high levels of curcumin present in turmeric may lower the estrogen levels.

  10. Liver Damage

    Recent studies have shown a negative impact of turmeric on the liver. Earlier it was considered safe and used traditionally to treat and diseases.[4]

    But in recent times, some cases of jaundice, poor appetite, and nausea were reported. Hepatocellular damage was the most commonly reported due to the presence of curcumin in turmeric.

  11. Unusual Bruising

    Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, its regular consumption may slow down the tendency of blood clotting.

    Turmeric could further increase the risk of bruising. It may also trigger excessive bleeding in people with several bleeding disorders.

  12. Excessive Bleeding

    Turmeric on consumption may show its anti-coagulation effect. As a result, it may affect blood clotting and tend to reduce it.

    So, the Turmeric consumption could further enhance the blood-thinning process. But unfortunately, this may lead to excessive bleeding and heavy blood loss.

  13. Diabetes

    Turmeric consists of a significant component called curcumin. Therefore, it may enhance the working of blood sugar medications and affect glucose levels.

    Further, it could lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Therefore, a recommendation from a medical professional may be required for considering turmeric for regular consumption in diabetes.

What Is Turmeric?

It is obtained from the plant camera longa. The roots of this plant are what we know as turmeric. It is a yellow color spice that belongs to the ginger family.

It is native to Asian countries and has been used and grown here for ages. Its rich yellow color, numerous health benefits[5], and its contribution to medicine for ages have made it famous as the “golden spice”.

It is also the king of every Indian spice box and adds natural color to food. Except for the color, it also boosts immunity and is good for health.

Conclusion

Turmeric is the golden spice in a true sense. It is a cash crop with great economical and commercial value. 

The true meaning is added to its significance by its daily use in traditional medicine for the past 4000 years and in Asian households as a spice. 

It can cure bacterial infection, hay fever, and internal and external injuries. But like any otherworldly thing, it is not free from the negative sides. 

Excessive use can cause kidney and gallstones, upset stomach, and many other problems. Pregnant ladies or people using certain medications like anti-cancer, antidepressants, and blood thinners should avoid turmeric. 

It should be used at a limit of 5-8 grams to reap the benefits. 

+5 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed researches, academic and medical institution studies. 

  1. Minghua Tang, D Enette Larson-Meyer, Michael Liebman. Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1262-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1262. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18469248/.
  2. B H Shah, Z Nawaz, S A Pertani, et al. Inhibitory effect of curcumin, a food spice from turmeric, on platelet-activating factor- and arachidonic acid-mediated platelet aggregation through inhibition of thromboxane formation and Ca2+ signaling. Biochem Pharmacol. 1999 Oct 1;58(7):1167-72. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(99)00206-3. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10484074/.
  3. Thomas J Smith, Bimal H Ashar. Iron Deficiency Anemia Due to High-dose Turmeric. Cureus. 2019 Jan; 11(1): e3858. Published online 2019 Jan 9. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3858.
  4. Bethesda (MD). LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Last Update: May 11, 2021. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548561/.
  5. Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/.

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