Comprehensive List of Turmeric FAQs

I receive so many emails asking for basic queries related to turmeric.

This is because most of the readers are new to it.

Rather than answering them individually, I thought I should create a FAQ page to help them.

Based on the queries I receive, I will keep updating the FAQ section with more entries.

If you do not find your answer here, please message us ([email protected]) or comment below and we will try to answer asap.

Turmeric – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. About Turmeric – An Overview of the Golden Spice

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is one of the species of genus Curcuma.

Out of total thirty five species present, turmeric or halad (Curcuma longa ) is the most famous member of genus Curcuma. The species is native to tropical regions of South East Asia.

It has been used for thousands of year in India as a spice and healing agent. It has an important role in ancient medicine system – Ayurveda.

How much curcumin does turmeric has?

The % of curcumin varies based on where the plant is grown and conditions.

The % of curcumin in turmeric generally is in the range of 2% to 5%.

But it can be even higher in some cases.

What is turmeric composed of?

Composition of turmeric can vary slightly based on region it is grown. A typical Indian turmeric has the following composition:

  • Moisture – 3.1 %
  • Protein – 6.3%
  • Fat – 5.1%
  • Mineral matter – 3.5%
  • Fibre – 2.6%
  • Carbohydrates – 69.4%
Is curcumin same as turmeric?

No. Curcumin is not same as turmeric.

Curcumin is one of the key ingredients of turmeric, along with several others.

It is most famous one though and responsible for most of its health benefits.

 

2. How to Take Turmeric and Dosage

What are the best ways to take turmeric

The best way to take turmeric is make it part of your diet.

It is also essential to include fats and black pepper in diet to ensure full turmeric benefits.

If we talk about specific ways – Golden paste (recipe here) and turmeric milk (recipe here) are extremely popular ways to take turmeric.

Does heating destroys turmeric benefits?

Yes and No.

Turmeric has been used as a spice in India for thousands of years. Most Indian curries require heating the spice along with other ingredients. But research says prolonged heating > 30 min destroys substantial % of curcumin.

Heating for a short span of time would not have that effect. Thus, its best to add turmeric in the end if possible in your recipes.

Why should I take black pepper or fats with turmeric?

While turmeric is great for health, it suffers from a big drawback. It cannot be absorbed in body as such and thus most of it is lost.

There are several ways to ensure it is absorbed and we get its benefits. Two most popular ones are:

Both help in ensuring that turmeric actually benefits.

How should I take turmeric?

The best way to take turmeric is to make it part of your diet.

This way, you can have turmeric for lifetime and not worry about its side effects.

Do ensure you take black pepper and fats alongside to aid its absoption.

Here are some great turmeric recipes for you>

How much turmeric should I take?

If you are new to turmeric it is best to start with a low dosage of ½ tsp per day.

As time passes you can take 1-1.5 tsp on a daily basis.

Note this is the quantity you can take for lifetime without any issues. But if you have some health problems, to counter that you can also take higher dosage for a short span of time.

Read a detailed article on dosage here>

What are turmeric supplements?

Turmeric supplements mainly consist of high % of curcumin.

In most cases, the curcumin is extracted from turmeric and then added back to increase the % of curcumin in the final product.

Most supplements are sold on the basis that curcumin is the only good thing in turmeric, but that is not the case.

Be cautious while buying them.

Read more here>

Which is better for health – turmeric or curcumin?

While curcumin is the most important health promoting ingredient of turmeric but it is not the only one.

Thus, in most cases taking good quality turmeric is better than just taking curcumin.

Read a detailed article on this topic here>

 

3. Precautions while taking turmeric

What Precautions should I take while turmeric?

Turmeric as a spice is considered extremely safe. 1-1.5 tsp of turmeric a day is considered very safe.

But side effects may happen if:

  • You take high dosages of turmeric for a long time
  • You are on medication and turmeric interacts with medications
  • Certain conditions may be worsened by turmeric – lower BP and kidney stones.
  • In pregnancy, do not take supplements and limit dosage as a spice
  • Stop taking turmeric before a surgery

Another big issue is use of supplements. Supplements have high % of curcumin and an overdose can cause side effects.

What are typical side effects of turmeric?

While taking high dosage of turmeric does have side effects. They are generally not serious.

Some of the possible ones are – nausea, upset stomach, heartburn, headache, etc.  It can also lower blood sugar and can worsen condition of people prone to bleeding and kidney stones.

Prolonged use of high supplement dosages can cause more severe issues though.

Read more details here>

Can I take turmeric during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

Mothers in countries such as India take turmeric as part of their diet throughout their pregnancy and breastfeeding.

But restrict the dosage and do not take supplements. If you have never taken turmeric before, you may want to start it after pregnancy as it may cause upset stomach

Read this article for more details>

Should I stop turmeric after I get well?

Absolutely no. Turmeric is a health promoter and you reap its real benefits when you take it everyday.

It is not like medication which you need to stop.

Infact taking turmeric daily will prevent you from various disorders by boosting immunity.

Read more about it here>

 

4. Turmeric and specific disorders

I have a surgery planned, should I stop turmeric, when?

Yes you should.

While many people say a few days. I would be more conservative and go by the book here – 2 weeks.

Can I take turmeric if I have Kidney / gall bladder stones

Turmeric as a spice in limited amounts can be taken safely. But turmeric supplements of large dosage should be avoided by people with gallstones and kidney stones.

Turmeric supplements can worsen the situation.

Supplements can increase risk of kidney stone development in susceptible individuals.

Can I take turmeric if I have diabetes?

Turmeric is known to help in diabetes in several ways. It is also known to help prevent it. Turmeric as a spice is very safe and millions of people take it.

So in general the answer is yes. (see turmeric benefits in diabetes).

But a word of caution – turmeric is known to decrease blood glucose levels. Hence it should be avoided with diabetic medications which treat hyperglycemia, as together they can lower glucose levels drastically.

Can I take turmeric when on blood thinners

It is advised not to take turmeric along with blood thinners as turmeric is known to interact with them.

Read detailed article on turmeric and blood thinners here>

66 Comments

  1. I have a bad case of oral lichen planus and cannot eat any solid food. I’d like to try turmeric but don’t know if I should use it topically or take it orally. Which way would provide the most immediate help? I’m in a lot of pain!

    1. Hi. We would suggest taking turmeric orally. You can take Golden Paste. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks. Best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take meds.
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-golden-paste-from-raw-fresh-turmeric
      If its possible, you can make a paste of turmeric powder and coconut oil and apply it topically to the affected patch 2-3 times a day. This may help in fast relief.

  2. Dry Turmeric Tea Mix
    Mix
    • 1/2 cup turmeric powder
    • 1/4 cup cinnamon powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
    I saw this on the internet. Can a person who is diabetic and suffers from Arthritis and has terrible pain and swelling of the feet and legs take this mixture. From the other comments can she take this with warm milk or does it have to be boiled before taking it.

    1. Hi. The mix that you have mentioned seems fine. Turmeric and cinnamon can help in diabetes. Turmeric, ginger and cayenne can help alleviate pain. You can skip cayenne for it is difficult comment how it would go with milk. 1-2 teaspoons of this mix should be boiled in milk prior to taking it for better absorption. Avoid taking on an empty stomach.

  3. Hello! I apologize if this has been asked, my gums are a bit swollen not really painful, I’ve also had a molar extracted in the past 3 weeks. I have turmeric in pill supplement form, is it safe to take if so what dosage do you suggest and how soon can I see results, thank you!

  4. Hi I’ve started making the golden paste and I am putting it in smoothies or hot milk everyday along side also putting it in cooking whenever I can , my main reason for doing this is I’ve started having hot flushes during the night which I an finding quite uncomfortable and disturbing , how long before I see any benefits from the tumeric
    Thank you

    1. Hi. The effect depends on how much you are taking. We suggest you start by 1/4 tsp a day and gradually increase by 1/4 tsp every week if you observe no side effects. Do this till you reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day or how it suits you. You should give it 1-2 weeks time to observe any difference and 1 month would be maximum. Benefits could also be visible in the form of reduced pain, better mood, clearer thinking and better sleep.

    2. Thank you so much for your reply , will this help with hot flushes which is my main thing at the moment , is the golden paste better than taking a good quality supplement if i can’t always used the paste

      1. Yes it should help in relieving the hot flushes because it will help attenuate hormonal imbalances. We recommend golden paste because it is safer and has much more than curcumin to it. If you are planning on taking supplements then you could consult a doctor about it and when you are 70-80% better you can switch to Golden Paste.

      2. Thank you so much , is it ok to not take coconut oil with the tumeric and black pepper , i have recently bought empty capsules so i can make my own supplements using organic tumeric and black pepper rather than making the golden paste
        thank you once again

  5. I have Emphysema and just finished 14 days of prednisone. I felt great while on the steroid, however two days after finishing the script, breathing was hard and the cough returned. I had LVRS in June, right side only and will have the left side done in May 2017.

    I am anxious to start tumeric after reading but I am wondering how long it will take to get results once I start the tumeric. Can I expect to feel as good while on the tumeric as I did while taking the prednisone.

    Looking forward to your response. Does anyone else use tumeric to lesson emphysema and COPD symptons?

    1. Its true that the time of action of turmeric differs from person to person and on dosage and quality of turmeric. Quite a bit of research shows that turmeric has potential in treatment of COPD.
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/5-ways-turmeric-helps-in-copd

      You can take Golden Paste. Start with small doses of 1/2 teaspoon and increase gradually to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day or how it suits you. Avoid taking this during the same time when you take meds and it is preferably taken with meals..avoid taking Golden paste on empty stomach if you are prone to acid reflux.
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste

      You can also include turmeric in your diet in the form of turmeric tea or Turmeric Milk
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/brew-a-cup-of-turmeric-tea
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/benefits-of-turmeric-milk

  6. I’m wondering if it is safe to take a combination of the Crestor (statin) and turmeric in the capsules (1000 mg each)

    1. Curcumin also has cholesterol lowering properties. No drug interactions have been reported with such drugs but it is advisable to take them with meals and possibly not at the same time that you take other meds. 1000mg is a high dose. Is that recommended by the doctor or based on manufacturer’s directions? It is best to consult a herbalist or a health practitioner about it.

  7. I have just harvested my own from the garden, Does it still have the same benefits if it is not bright orange, as mine is pale yellow. I planted organic tumeric so I know it is tumeric.

    1. Yes the benefits would be the same. The color differs based on the curcuminoid contents and the color ranges from yellow to orange. However just check if you have grown Curcuma longa species.

    1. CO2 extraction or supercritical extraction is a fairly optimised way of extracting turmeric oils. We do not manufacture or recommend any turmeric supplements.

  8. I read tumeric can cause ankle swelling in 1% of people and of course I am in that one %.
    Should I continue to take it? Is there any risks or will the swelling get better with time?

    1. We have not come across any information of turmeric causing ankle swelling. Are you taking supplements or dietary form? In any case if you are observing such a side effect please discontinue use of turmeric.

    1. You could simply mix turmeric powder with a healthy fat say olive or coconut oil. This will take care of the absorption and deliver same results.

  9. As far as dosage per day… If making the paste, do you use .5-1.5 tsp of that as your daily dose and add it to whatever your like is, such as tea?

    1. Abby, yes the dose is 1/2 to 1 tsp of the batch of the paste. You can include the same amount in your tea or any other preparation. I hope that is what you were asking.

  10. Please tell us how many grams are in 1 tsp. Without that equivalency I can’t interpret your advice about dosage. Thanks

    1. Care should be exercised when taking curcumin (or any other Cytochrome P450 inhibitors, of which the most common is grapefruit).
      Cytochrome P450 is one of the most important clearance mechanism the body uses to rid itself (or metabolize) most drugs that are prescribed and if you block this, it would be the same as you taking an overdose. Remember the ban on St. Johns Wort in the 90’s – the deaths attributed were due to the CYP inhibition, not the St John’s Wort itself.
      Doctors “practice” and if you unquestioningly let them they can, through ignorance “practice” you to death(or until you are too broke or sick to go back). If you truly are interested in your health, LEARN to take care of yourself.

      If you are advised to stay away from grapefruit then turmeric or curcumin should be avoided or be very observant of ANY changes to your body functions. I first ran into this when getting rid of a blood clot in my calf after knee surgery. The Dr. just told me I had to stay on coumadin the rest of my life. When I asked about the swelling in my calf and foot, he just said that I would be this way the rest of my life. I dosed myself with turmeric @ 1 Tablespoon twice a day in hot whole milk with 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper. On my third dose of coumadin the CYP inhibition caused my clotting factor to completely disappear and the Dr had to give a Vit K shot to bring it back. My blood clot cleared up along with the swelling by this time. A followup sonogram showed the clot to be gone. I then knew to use freeze dried organic kale powder to keep the Vit K levels up and within a day or so no longer needed the shots.
      Cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibitors include THC, CBD, Nuvigil(or any of this family), Cetirizine HCl or Zyrtec, grapefruit (aka the grapefruit effect).

      Come on, learn for yourself- google it!

    2. Dietary turmeric would not cause any drug interactions. In case of supplements their use is contraindicated with certain antidepressants.

  11. I have been told Turmeric and Black Pepper is also good for High Cholesterol . Is that right. ? I take 500mg Turmeric and 50g of Black Pepper together in 1 tablet. They recommend taking 3 per day.

  12. I make my own 500 mg capsules of several things and I am wondering how much black pepper or probably preferably quercetin I should mix in the capsules with the Tumeric powder ?

    1. Hi. I have not come across any exact ratio but piperine is usually 5 mg. So that would mean 10-20mg of black pepper. And quercetin could be roughly in the range of 60-100mg

    1. Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe with other medications but the black pepper in golden paste may cause drug interactions and hence should not be taken close to the time when you take meds. Aspirin can have a blood thinning effect and turmeric has also been found to cause blood thinning. So the combination is not advised. However you would need high concentrations of curcumin for that effect. So turmeric supplements should be avoided when taking aspirin and not dietary turmeric.

  13. Thank you very much for taking so much time and effort to post and keep this site up. It seems like a lot of work and is of great value to the world community. I would like to suggest adding a section to this site regarding success stories in taking turmeric.

  14. I am very new to this, I have Acid reflex issue for last 20yr’s, I take Nexum 2 times a day, is it safe for to take Turmeric, and if so how much can I take?

    1. Turmeric taken in diet will help in reducing acidity. Low dose of turmeric with acid reducing medications is found to be really beneficial. You can consume Golden Paste. Start with 1/4 tsp and increase to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day or how it suits you. Take it with meals to avoid chances of reflux and avoid taking it close to other medications.
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste
      https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-queries/can-turmeric-cause-acidityacid-reflux

    1. We haven’t come across any evidence on this but you can make a paste of turmeric and olive/coconut oil and apply to the affected region. Conduct a patch test prior.

  15. i have bad back condition. I am on morphine, Valium, baclofen prothieden stillnox. Does turmeric interfere with any of these medication

    1. Dietary turmeric would not interfere with medications. You can take Golden Paste. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks. Best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take other meds. https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste

      Turmeric is beneficial in depression and anxiety.

  16. Hello, I have a horse who will be treated for a tear in the meniscus with stem cells shortly. He has recently had a cortisone injection, and I was advised to wait for the stem cell treatment, as the cortisone slows the healing process. Would turmeric have the same effect, and should I wait to start him on turmeric until after the stem cells have done their job.

    1. Hi Kelly, we are sorry, we have not started researching on horses and how turmeric can help them. But we do plan to in future. If you have liked our page or joined our newsletter you will get an update.

  17. Great fact sheet! Question: I have a friend who recently had her gall bladder removed. Is Turmeric OK for her to take? Evidently she can’t have oil, so she needs to take it in another method than the Golden Paste, I assume.

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