Can You Really Overdose Turmeric Powder?

It is very difficult to overdose turmeric powder. Having said that, it is best that it is consumed only in recommended amounts. Large quantities, when continued for long periods, may have adverse effects.

That is why including turmeric as part of the diet is way better than taking a large supplemental dosage of the same. Of course in extreme cases, large dosages may indeed be required.

Turmeric has numerous health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and wound healing properties and many, many more.

With recent researches proving its mettle in the treatment of several disorders, its use has increased around the world. It is used in the diet as a spice or in the form of supplements.

Dietary intake of turmeric is usually in low amounts, but supplements have higher doses of turmeric or its active ingredient curcumin.

For better therapeutic effect, high doses might prove much more effective, but the question arises that how much turmeric can be consumed safely?

Are there any repercussions of turmeric overdose? Let us find out.

Why is it essential to know the proper turmeric dose?

Every nutrient, drug or food has a therapeutic window, within which it is beneficial for the body.

While taking it in optimum amounts may prove helpful, the same food, in more than the accepted dosages, might prove harmful, causing toxicity and side effects.

In high concentrations, some foods might also influence the absorption and metabolism of other nutrients in the body. Thus, it is essential that we know the accepted limits of anything that we consume.

How much turmeric can be consumed safely in a day?

can you really overdose turmeric powder_

Well, this depends on the purpose of your intake. If you are using for maintaining good health, general well-being and for prevention of illness, it is safe to take about 1.5-4g turmeric daily, preferably in the diet. [1]

However, for treatment of a particular health condition, a higher dose may be required. As per research, 15g turmeric powder or 60g fresh turmeric root is safe for consumption. This amounts to roughly 2-3 tsp daily. [2]

What does turmeric contain?

Turmeric contains many nutrients and compounds which affect our health.

It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fibre, fats, vitamins and minerals. All these nutrients are present in low amounts. Some vital nutrients in turmeric include vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, calcium and magnesium. [3]

Curcumin, which is the phenolic component in turmeric, constitutes about 4-5%. Turmeric also has 2-3% oxalate content out of which 91% are soluble oxalates. [4]

What can be the consequences of an overdose?

As mentioned above, many nutrients in turmeric are in low amounts and thus, may not have a considerable effect.

On the other hand, components like curcumin and oxalates, and minerals like iron, phosphorous and potassium, if taken in large doses may have adverse health effects if taken for long periods of time.

Let us take a look at some of these and see if they can really cause side effects:

Curcumin

Studies have shown that up to 8,000 mg curcumin per day is safe for consumption. A much higher dose for a long-term use has been found to result in toxicity, development of oxidative stress and lowering of antioxidant hormones in the body.  [5] [6]

Please note, 8,000 mg is really high and even that is relatively safe. If we assume 4% curcumin content in powder, one has to take 200 gms of turmeric a day to make it to 8,000 mg of curcumin! Thus, an overdose is almost out of the question when taking turmeric powder.

Oxalates

The high amount of oxalates in the body can lead to the development of calcium oxalate stones which is the constituent of nearly 80% kidney stones. [7]

In high-risk individuals, eating oxalate-rich foods is likely to result in increased oxalate absorption and synthesis. [8] [9]

This could further lead to the formation of kidney stones. Turmeric has been found to increase urinary oxalate secretion in susceptible individuals. [10]

This is an important aspect and when taken in large quantities, may impact people who are prone to kidney stones.

Read: Can you take turmeric with Kidney Stones?

Potassium

There is 170 mg potassium in 1 tbsp of turmeric. [11]

Overdosing potassium results in abnormal heart rhythms, which is particularly dangerous for persons with severe infection or having an impaired kidney or cardiovascular function. 4.7 g potassium per day is the recommended amount. [12]

As you can see, it’s really difficult to overdose potassium unless you take heaps and heaps of turmeric.

Phosphorous

The recommended value for phosphorus is 700 mg per day, and with 1 tbsp of turmeric, you can get 18 mg phosphorous. [13]

Side effects from high dose are rare, but in persons with kidney disease, often leads to calcium imbalance and bone disease. [14] [15]

Again, it is difficult to overdose unless you are taking too much turmeric and that too for extended periods of time.

Iron

1 tbsp of turmeric provides about 2.8 mg iron. [16]

Taking more than 20 mg iron per kg body weight may result in gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, abdominal pain and decrease absorption of zinc by the body. The tolerable upper intake limit for iron is specified at 45 mg. [17]

So, a 60kg person could well as well take 120 mg iron per day. There is no way turmeric can cause an overdose of iron in general.

Impurities in Powder

Another thing to note here is the usage of pure, branded and right quality supplements or turmeric powders. Some supplements and powders might contain impurities such as wheat or barley flours, food colourants and lead.

Overdosing these products can be much more harmful causing toxicity, neural damage and cancer. [18] [19] [20] [21] [22]

Who should limit turmeric intake?

There are some conditions in which turmeric intake should be limited.

Here the above rules of overdosage will not apply. This includes individuals:

  • Having low tolerability of turmeric (can cause gastrointestinal problems, diarrhoea) [23]
  • On medications for regulating blood pressure and glucose levels (can cause hypoglycemia or hypotension) [24] [25]
  • With gallstones (can increase gallbladder contractions) [26]
  • Having risk of kidney stone formation [27]
  • Planning to or have undergone surgery (can increase bleeding risk) [28]
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women [29]

Bottomline

As we can see, it is really difficult to overdose turmeric powder when included as part of the diet. A few ways to do so are – Golden paste and Turmeric Milk

But, high doses of turmeric or curcumin, in supplemental forms may have adverse health effects, more in some individuals.

Thus, it is best to have intake within acceptable limits. This way one take turmeric powder for a lifetime without any issues!

Read: Ideal Turmeric Powder Dosage

Persons with certain health conditions should further limit turmeric consumption to dietary amounts and consult a healthcare practitioner for formulating suitable dosages.

What is the maximum turmeric powder dosage you have taken in a day? Did it cause any problems? Share your valuable feedback with everyone!

About the Author

TurmericForHealthTeam

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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4 Comments

  1. We in the West became aware of turmeric/curcumin from studies of people who consumed it habitually in CURRY. And curry of course is not a single substance; different cultures have different blends of curry but all contain turmeric that gives curry its color.

    So our original intelligence about turmeric is from studies of the people who ATE IT IN THEIR DIET DAILY, mixed with other spices. So these people benefit from, say, coriander and a host of of other yummy plant spices.

    I use Sun brand hot Madras curry. I sprinkle it on egg yolk when I cook eggs, which also have coconut oil and/or ghee, and jalapenos and often, onion.

    I read, and it seems correct to me, that the amount of a given substance in food that is effective in the body is TINY compared to the amount that is effective in supplement – pill, powder, and potion – form.

    This is a complex subject. Information is scarce and sketchy. I simmer turmeric root (organic) in a large metal pot with a lot of water for days, pouring off the water as it exhibits color. I smash the root with a small sledge hammer because I see no reason to slice it up for this purpose. I discard the root when it has quit coloring the water.

    I make ICE CUBES of the water. I put the ice cubes of the turmeric, and of ginger (done the same way) in a quality liquid bone broth (Fire and Kettle in my case – and you can make your own if you have time) and whenever I make rice, soup, stew, lentils or other recipe that involves water – and whenever I have coffee or tea – out comes some of those ice cubes.

  2. thanks for the info taking the turmeric with citrate and calcium should help with oxalate problem as both bind to the oxalates . do you have any information on that.

  3. I started using golden paste 2 years ago, i take 1 teaspoon with every meal. I was on medication for high blood pressure and diabetes type 2. I see a medical professional every 6 months for complete medical. 6 months ago, my doctor took me off all medication, YES all medication! All still perfect.
    Rule 1. Exercise! I exercise 10 minutes stretching – 30 mins VIIT 10 mins stretch to cool down. (Do this 3 days. then 2 days walk{1hour) 3days VIIT 2days walking(shopping, beach park, or down the road).
    Rule 2. Consult with medical professional before starting.
    Rule 3. 1 teaspoon Golden paste with meals(3 times daily) 1 teaspoon before bed.)
    This works for me! We are not all the same.
    I am a 70 year old male blue collar tradesman.
    Mowing my lawn over 3 days for 1 hour per day counts as my 1 hour walk, good example of exercise.
    Barry

  4. Good information thanks. And thanks for putting the amounts in teaspoons or tablespoon as I don’t have a scale to weigh it out in grams and it would be bothersome. I see so often it says grams to use