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:


Studies have shown that up to 8,000 mg curcumin per day is safe for consumption. A much higher dose for 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.


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?


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.


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.


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]


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!

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