Before you think about the correct dosage of turmeric you need, you should consider why you are taking it - for prevention of unwanted conditions and for the maintenance of good health or are you trying to overcome a condition which already exists.
Preventive/Maintenance —This can be thought of as your “maintenance” dosing. It is the amount which you will take daily.
Therapeutic—Therapeutic doses are higher than a preventative one and is used to treat a specific condition, such as acute osteoarthritis. The therapeutic dose is taken until the issue is resolved.
Please note that hundreds of scientific studies have found that turmeric and its main therapeutic compound – curcumin – provide beneficial results for many conditions. In all of these studies there have been virtually NO cases of “over-dosing”. However, caution should be exercised and if you find yourself developing strange symptoms (diarrhea, skin rash, etc.) you should stop taking turmeric all together and see if the symptoms clear up. If the symptoms do go away, you can start using turmeric again with much lower doses.
Raw rhizome/root: Turmeric rhizomes contain the all-important compound curcumin as well as dozens of essential oils and polyphenols. These obviously need to be processed in some way before you can use them but you are getting ALL that the turmeric rhizome has to offer. Once cut into smaller pieces, you can add this to other foods such as salads, vegetable dishes, or you can add it to green smoothies, or Golden Paste. Do not cook or heat it as that will destroy the valuable nutrients in it. (Visit our store to buy fresh, whole turmeric rhizomes)
Turmeric Powder: Turmeric powder is made by freeze drying the fresh cut root and then grinding it into a powder. Supplements are typically in this form and come in pills. The advantage of this method of taking turmeric is that it is easy. However, you should be aware that there are a number of disadvantages. First, there is a HUGE temptation on the part of the distributors of these products to “bulk” them up with fillers and other additives. Certainly not every company does this but you need to do your homework before spending your money. Secondly, you have no idea how much of the useful value of the turmeric remains after being boiled, heated, extracted, etc.
Curcumin Extract: This is the primary beneficial ingredient in turmeric. It is extracted from the rhizomes and then concentrated to make standardized powders or liquids. Each dose must contain the exact amount of active ingredients in order to be called standardized. The big advantage of this method is that you know exactly how much curcumin you are getting. The disadvantage is that you are NOT getting all of the other beneficial compounds in turmeric. However, if you have a SPECIFIC condition which you are treating and need to reduce the inflammatory processes which are taking place, this is a good way to do that. And – since turmeric in reasonable doses has never been found to be toxic – we suggest you also take some raw turmeric along with your curcumin if your health care provider thinks it is OK.
Tea: Turmeric root is available as a tea. Some people like to add a little coconut oil/milk and black pepper or you can add milk and honey. (Visit our store for our special blend of turmeric tea. We call it Teameric and it has both the leaves and rhizomes.
Note: Piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper will increase significantly the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%. If you are using the raw turmeric rhizome or taking powder, always add a little black pepper to it first.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the following are standard doses for adults:
5—3 g fresh cut root, daily
1—3 g dried powdered root, daily
400—600 mg, curcumin (standardized powder) 3 times daily
Possible Side Effects of Large, Long-Term Turmeric Doses
Turmeric can lower blood sugar as such diabetics and hypoglycemic should consult their doctor before taking.
In high doses, turmeric lowers blood pressure as such do not take it with herbs that have a similar effect or with drugs such as antihypertensives that artificially lower your blood pressure.
Do not take turmeric if you are taking cholesterol lowering medications as turmeric also lowers LDL (bad) and raises HDL (good) and can boost the effect of these drugs.
Turmeric is a natural blood thinner and should not be taken in conjunction with blood thinners such as warfarin, coumadin, clopidogrel, or aspirin, or with herbs such ginko biloboa or garlic, all of which have blood thinning properties.
Stop taking turmeric at least a week prior to surgery as turmeric thins the blood and can make it harder to stop bleeding during medical procedures.
Turmeric can cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach.
People having problems with the gall bladder or gall stones should avoid therapeutic doses of turmeric as it increases the bile production.
Turmeric is very safe in general. Side effects rarely occur and usually only when extremely high turmeric doses are taken for very long periods of time.