Dosage and Method: Turmeric

turmeric powder in coconut oilHow:  Always with fresh ground black pepper (see below why) and some fat or oil as it is lipophilic (oil soluble).  I use coconut oil.  For optimal absorption, always take it with food.

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 curcumin and turmeric doses.

According to research, piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper will increase significantly the bio-availability of curcumin by 2000% (or put differently, 20 times more bio-available.).  Turmeric has poor bioavailability due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal walls.  Piperine works via various mechanisims that enhance absorption of ALL nutrients.

Tea/drinks:  Some people like to take it as a tea, adding a little coconut oil and black pepper.   Others like to take it in warm milk with honey (Golden Milk recipe here) 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, please consider organic turmeric which it may be quite helpful for therapeutic short term uses as a massive dosing therapy.  ‘Short term’ is the key word.  See cautions below.  Note:  There is much confusion about turmeric capsules on many websites and even companies selling them.  Read the label.  Is it whole turmeric powder or in large letters TURMERIC but somewhere in smaller print ‘curcumin’?

Food:  A great way to take it, a curry is perhaps the best food method – but do you eat curry daily and with medicinal amounts of turmeric? I doubt it.  However, I have added turmeric throughout the day in my yogurt, muesli, some soups, salad dressings and other dishes.  It gets a bit ‘old’ after a while and invariably I return to my favourite way which is in yogurt where the flavour nearly disappears.  There is no problem for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take turmeric in normal amounts for cooking.  Asian and Indian women have been doing it since millennia.

Fat/oil:  This is my modus operandi and part of my morning routine.  One teaspoon of coconut oil (turns solid in winter so I warm it a little) to  1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.  I add a good few turns of black pepper (for the piperine). This is most likely about 1/8 teaspoon. I repeat this in the afternoon.  These two doses will equal the recommended dose of  1g daily.  Of course you can use any non-inflammatory oil, however coconut oil is my personal favourite.
Lately, I have been using one dollop of full fat real yogurt (about one tablespoon) without the coconut oil to which I stir in the rest.

Many people follow the attitude that ‘more is better’.  This is a huge mistake as turmeric is BEST absorbed in smaller doses throughout the day.  Huge doses at once will simply be wasted.  Bio-availability of the curcumin is a real problem that must be taken seriously.  Take it as suggested WITH the black pepper as explained above and the dose you take will be far better absorbed.

Please reread all the above information before you comment.  I will not answer comments that obviously show not having read this article fully (such as: how much should I take or I just take it with water, is this ok?).  I will gladly answer any other questions to clarify the article or those you may have for your unique health situation, if I can.

Caution regarding therapeutic doses (of turmeric powder and in particular curcumin supplementation):

    • 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’s either one or the other.
    • It lowers the LDL (‘bad cholesterol) and raises the HDL (‘good cholesterol) and will boost the effect of chemical cholesterol lowering drugs.  Taken together, not a good idea.  Consider your choices. See statement in bold below.
    • Theraputic doses of turmeric can act as a blood thinner and is 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.  In normal usage and doses, it is on a par with aspirin or Ibuprofen and is not a problem.
    • 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 theraputic doses of turmeric, stop 48 prior to surgery (some sites advise 2 weeks…this is not necessary).
    • May cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach.
    • If you are having problems with bile duct obstruction,  gall bladder or gall stones,   avoid therapeutic doses of turmeric as it increases the bile production.
    • If you are susceptible to kidney stones, curcumin can increase calcium oxalate excretion.
    • High, therapeutic doses may stimulate uterine contractions and menstrual flow.  In other words, if you are pregnant do not take therapeutic doses, however normal use is fine.
    • Therapeutic doses may lower blood sugar.  This is not a problem for diabetics who regularly check their sugar levels and can adjust their insulin or food intake accordingly.

It is worth considering that many people have successfully either weaned themselves off chemical drugs or at least lowered the doses over time. This also means, avoided the inevitable side effects of long term pharmaceuticals.  Consult with a health practitioner who is knowledgeable in natural methods, especially turmeric.

Warning!  Super food turmeric may seriously improve your health.  Read more about turmeric benefits – Spice:  Turmeric – Beyond Curry

More related posts: Turmeric – Take It With Food and Why       Turmeric – Does Your Supply Pass the Test

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.  One company I have come to trust is “Simply Organic”.

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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.

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Small selection of references:

  •  Shapiro K, Gong WC. Natural products used for diabetes. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 2002;42(2):217–226. [PubMed]
  •  Gobert CP, Duncan AM. Consumption, perceptions and knowledge of soy among adults with type 2 diabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2009;28(2):203–218. [PubMed]
  •  Jiang CS, Liang LF, Guo YW. Natural products possessing protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) inhibitory activity found in the last decades. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica. 2012;33(10):1217–1245. [PubMed]
  • Nolan CJ, Damm P, Prentki M. Type 2 diabetes across generations: from pathophysiology to prevention and management. The Lancet. 2011;378(9786):169–181. [PubMed]
  • Aggarwal BB, Sundaram C, Malani N, Ichikawa H. Curcumin: the Indian solid gold. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 2007;595:1–75. [PubMed]
  • Kolev TM, Velcheva EA, Stamboliyska BA, Spiteller M. DFT and experimental studies of the structure and vibrational spectra of curcumin. International Journal of Quantum Chemistry. 2005;102(6):1069–1079.
  • Perez-Torres I, Ruiz-Ramirez A, Banos G, El-Hafidi M. Hibiscus sabdariffa Linnaeus (Malvaceae), curcumin and resveratrol as alternative medicinal agents against metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 2013;11(1):25–37. [PubMed]
  • Goel A, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin as “Curecumin”: from kitchen to clinic. Biochemical Pharmacology. 2008;75(4):787–809. [PubMed]
481 comments… add one
  • Kathy 29/05/2016, 05:10

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Reply
  • Dawn 27/05/2016, 03:50

    I have been using 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1tsp. coca nut oil, and pepper. (tea) I’ve been using it for a little over a week. I have arthritis and suffer with pain and cramping. Since I’ve been drinking this tea I have felt so much better. I’m not sure if it’s the tea or the warmer weather. Doesn’t matter, I plan on using the tea. I just recently saw a rheumatologist who wants to try me on Methotrexate 2.5 mg along with folic acid 1mg. I have the prescriptions but haven’t taken them. I really don’t want to take these drugs(methotrexate) especially when I read the side effects. Do you think the tea is going to work for me? I am so desperate for it to work.

    Reply
    • admin 28/05/2016, 01:44

      Hello Dawn!
      To answer your question straight off…yes I am not surprised that you are feeling relief with your arthritis. Turmeric is a highly efficient anti-inflammatory. In fact, it seems to be a real star in helping arthritis sufferers…and with no negative side effects. Quite the contrary.

      Have you looked up the side effects of Methotrexate…google it: methotrexate +wikipedia Any other site will have similar info but Wiki cuts through the fluff. Prescribing foic acid is the norm…as this drug inhibits folic acid metabolism.

      Give turmeric a serious try first. If it is already helping, why ‘pull out the cannons’?

      Reply
  • Car- mel 25/05/2016, 22:54

    This is the best site I have found,thank you for your help,have a nice day.🤗

    Reply
    • admin 26/05/2016, 00:03

      Wow! I’ve had a rough day…but you just made up for it and the rest of my day can only be good. Thank YOU for your kind words!
      (By the way, just last night I sent out the link to my subscribers for the free Turmeric Guide and Protocol ebook I finally finished. It is free for my subscribers until 10 June…blatant hint 😉 )

      Reply
  • Yolanda Pedraza 17/05/2016, 15:18

    I have purchased Nature’s Bounty Turmeric 450mg plus Turmeric extract 50mg. I take one capsule a day. Do I need to increase to two capsules a day?

    Reply
    • admin 17/05/2016, 18:37

      Hello Yolanda,
      It looks like your capsules are turmeric standardized to 50mg curcumin. Twice a day will be 1g. Why are you taking it? Maintenance? Joint pain?
      I cover the subject of capsules, pro and con much more in my ebook free to subscribers until 10 June, Turmeric Guide and Protocol.

      Reply
  • Sandra Perry 17/05/2016, 07:06

    I have inherited a high bad cholesterol. I cannot take Statins.I started taking turmeric two tablets twice aday.my numbers went from 440 tp 395 in just three weeks.I have started the repatha injections and I am hoping for even better results next blood work.

    Reply
  • Sanda 16/05/2016, 13:29

    Is it safe to take turmeric powder 3 g when already on aspirin 75 mg daily?

    Reply
    • admin 17/05/2016, 10:55

      Hello Sanda,
      Without knowing why you want to take high therapeutic dose of turmeric and why you are on aspirin, I really can’t answer this.
      I CAN tell you that it has been scientifically proven that turmeric can replace 14 common medications, among them is aspirin.
      I explain all this and more in my ebook Turmeric Guide and Protocol that for the moment is free until 10 June for my subscribers.
      Look for an email from me.

      Reply
  • beckley 13/05/2016, 01:17

    Can I take turmeric cinnamon and honey to lower high blood pressure.or how do I use turmeric to lower high blood pressure

    Reply
    • admin 13/05/2016, 12:48

      You can certainly use that combination…which is often how I take it myself…but I add roughly 1/8 tsp cayenne to it as well often, for its properties as well.

      There is no set dose nor human trials on dosage of turmeric. Each body and each extend of one health issue or another is very individual. In herbology one tries the lowest dose recommended first and slowly increases until a desired effect is reached. One should approach it with patience and observe. So, start with 1/4 tsp twice daily of turmeric and observe after a week or so how you are with the high BP before you add cinnamon and honey with it. Repeat and observe. Still no results increase frequency of doses (not amount of dose) before adding cayenne.

      In this way you can see what helped and at which point (ie increasing the turmeric doses or the turmeric, cinnamon then later the cayenne).

      Btw, be sure to read the full articles on cinnamon and cayenne on this site (use search bar or menu) especially if you are diabetic.

      Also, subscribers will be receiving free (until 10 June) my Turmeric Guide and Protocol (as well as other ebooks of mine and more) within the next few days…non-subscribers will have to pay (a blatant hint 😉 )

      Reply
    • admin 17/05/2016, 11:02

      Update to my previous answer:
      Beckley, I am no longer suggesting taking any sugar in any form at least not together with turmeric. Maple syrup, honey, agarve syrup and of course any white/brown sugar and molasses…all are inflammatory. Why take inflammatory substances with a known, potent anti-inflammatory? It is one of those obvious things that I myself overlooked. I never ‘sweeten’ my tea or coffee either…and now no longer anything I take with turmeric. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  • Jeff 10/05/2016, 17:35

    Excellent info, but I am still a little confused.
    You say it should be taken with oil, but then you mention its ok to take it with yogurt?
    Does yogurt have oil?
    What about taking it with cottage cheese or sour cream?
    Am I understanding you correctly that the daily dosage is roughly half a teaspoon of tumeric to an eighth of a teaspoon of black pepper?
    What about red pepper is it just as effective…
    thanks

    Reply
    • admin 12/05/2016, 00:29

      Hello Jeff,
      Turmeric must be taken with a fat or oil source. Natural, whole yogurt has fat in it as does sour cream or cottage cheese – no problem. The 1/4 tsp twice daily is a guideline. Important is, no more than 1/4tsp roughly at a time…more than that and it will be wasted. Only black pepper has piperine in it, red pepper (cayenne) doesn’t. Cayenne is a completely different plant.

      Reply
  • Ena Parkinson 08/05/2016, 00:30

    Do you have a view on turmeric paste I have read your article and I’m beginning to feel I’m in a sea of turmeric if you are good with paste I’ve seen various recipes do you have one ? Many thanks

    Reply
    • admin 08/05/2016, 00:56

      What a lovely thought, Ena ‘in a sea of turmeric’! Yes, I am using more and more paste as I feel it may be more effective AND economical. I cover this and much much more in detail with the science behind it in my ebook Turmeric Guide and Protocol. It will be available free to my subscribers in shortly no later than the middle of the week, if not earlier. To give credit where it is due, the paste was developed by Dr. Doug English. There is only one Golden Paste recipe. From that basis one can add what one wants with it, depending on how you want to take it. In a Turmeric Milk? Add ginger, cinnamon, cardamon or coriander as an example. In something savoury? Cumin, ginger, cayenne, herbs etc. The paste is very convenient, quick and easy to make. So, why not subscribe, get my One Guide ebook, plus a bonus in the download page, the free mini-course and next week the Turmeric Guide and Protocol? 😉

      Reply

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