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
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:
- Including black pepper while taking turmeric (read more detailed article here>)
- Including fats in your diet (read more detailed article here>)
Both help in ensuring that turmeric actually benefits.
How should I take turmeric?
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.
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.
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
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>