How much: For adults the official recommendation is up to 1.5 g. daily which will be about one very slightly rounded teaspoon which can be divided over two to three doses daily. Therapeutic doses are considered to be 2-3 g. See cautions below. Not recommended for small children under two. For older children and those over 65, start with a low dose. There are varying opinions as to the dosage and confusion between the active ingredient coumarin and turmeric doses.
Tea: I don’t recommend taking turmeric as a tea. It will stain everything. Some people like to take it in warm milk or hot cocoa.
Capsules: Curcumin (the active ingredient in Turmeric) is available in capsule form. Personally, I am not a fan of taking herbs (or spices) in such a concentrated active-ingredient-only-form. This is not what nature intended nor herbal medicine traditions which understood the importance of the synergy of the whole plant matter, be it seeds, leaf, bark or root. However, for some therapeutic short term uses as a massive dosing therapy, it may be quite helpful. ‘Short term’ is the key word. See cautions below.
Food: A great way to take it, a curry is perhaps the best food method. However, I have added turmeric throughout the day in my yoghurt, muesli, some soups, salad dressings and other dishes. It gets a bit ‘old’ after a while and invariably I return to my favourite way.
Fat/oil: This is my modus operandi and part of my morning routine. Two teaspoons of coconut oil (turns solid in winter so I warm it a little) to one teaspoon of turmeric which will equal the recommended dose of 1g daily. Sometimes I add an eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne and a dash of cumin…simply because I like the flavours.
Caution regarding therapeutic doses:
- Turmeric is used to lower blood sugar and may be problematic for diabetics taking diabetic medicines and hypoglycemics.
- Turmeric also lowers blood pressure in high doses. Do not take with herbs that have similar effect nor with chemical drugs such as antihypertensives that artificially lower the blood pressure.
- It lowers the LDL (‘bad cholesterol) and raises the HDL (‘good cholesterol) and will boost the effect of chemical cholesterol lowering drugs. Not a good idea.
- It is a blood thinner and not to be taken in conjunction with such chemical blood thinners such as warfarin, coumadin, clopidogrel, or even aspirin, do not ingest turmeric in any form in more than low doses.
- Therapeutic doses of turmeric taken with moderate to high doses of Ginko biloboa or garlic, all of which have blood thinning properties, should not be taken at the same time.
- If you do take high doses of turmeric, stop at least a week prior to surgery (because it is a blood thinner).
- May 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.
- High doses may stimulate uterine contractions and menstrual flow.
Warning! Super food turmeric may seriously improve your health. Read more about turmeric benefits – Spice: Turmeric – Beyond Curry
Be sure to purchase your herb and spices from non-irradiated, organic and reliable sources for the full health benefit. Grocery store herbs are good enough for seasoning but most likely have been radiated.
Therapeutic doses of most any herbal preparation is seldom intended for long term use and were never intended to be used in that way. Obviously, long term chemical ‘solutions’ have also negative effects. Many herbalists and Naturopathic practitioners recommend taking breaks of a few weeks from any long term herb use. However, some people eventually ease themselves off of pharmaceuticals and are happy with the results using natural methods and just as importantly, a healthier lifestyle. Your health practioner (read my interpretation of that and my disclaimer here) should be consulted.