Nowadays, turmeric is touted as the most powerful remedy in the treatment of all kinds of ailments and diseases. It produces no side-effects, so it is often recommended as a natural alternative to various medications.
However, you should also have in mind, that regardless of its myriad of health benefits and huge power to improve health, it should not be taken in high doses, or in a combination with other drugs.
Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a culinary spice, a natural remedy, and in ceremonial situations.
Most of its beneficial properties are due to the presence of curcumin its active ingredient, which has been scientifically confirmed to provide potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-thrombotic effects.
Yet, we need to consider the possible side-effects of its use as well, since it can be even dangerous when combined with certain drugs.
Namely, this natural spice also interferes with drugs that reduce stomach acids, since it actually increases its production. As a result, it can cause stomach pain, bloating, nausea, and damage on the esophagus. These drugs include: Famotidine (Pepcid), Cimetidine (Tagamet), Ranitidine (Zantac) and Omeprazole.
Additionally, its anti-thrombotic properties are beneficial, but if you take blood-thinning medications, they can be dangerous and increase the risk of bleeding. Turmeric should therefore not be used if you take medications like aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and clopidogrel (Plavix).
Turmeric is possibly dangerous if taken in combination with drugs for diabetes, since it strengthens their effects, and might lead to excessively low blood sugar levels.
The side-effects, in this case, involve blurred vision, anxiety, shakiness, delirium and reduced cognitive function.
In some cases, turmeric may also cause an allergic reaction, and outbreaks like rashes and hives. In case you experience allergic symptoms, make sure you lower the amount of turmeric you are taking, or replace it with some other natural remedy.
When buying turmeric in powder form, make sure you purchase ones that have been certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). On the other hand, if you choose to take turmeric or curcumin supplements, they should have a quality certification by a third party.
Furthermore, there are no official recommendations for the intake of turmeric, and the maximum tolerable intake level has not been identified. Yet, as a general rule, make sure you stick to the dosage recommendations given on supplement labels.
When it comes to curcumin, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) set the acceptable daily dietary intake as 1.4 mg per pound (3 mg/kg) of body weight, which would be 139 mg daily for a 178-pound (81-kg) man.