Dosage and Method: Turmeric

turmeric powder in coconut oilHow:  always with some fat or oil as it is lipophilic (oil soluble).  I use coconut oil.

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.

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, 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.

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.  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]

131 comments… add one

  • mags 02/25/2014, 3:12 PM

    I have read that turmeric kills off pseudomonas i also have M S and cellulitis have been taking coconut oil for a week now and my energy as shot up looking up turmeric ginger cinnamon need to be lactose free taking soya can you recommend a safe mix please.

    Reply
    • admin 02/26/2014, 7:52 PM

      Hi Mags,
      Thanks for your comments. Glad you have more energy…coconut oil certainly helps! Frankly, I avoid soya and the whole commercial hype regarding it. Have a look here . I did not quite understand what you meant by ‘safe mix’. Do you mean amounts of the spices you mentioned or regarding the soya? I can’t diagnose or prescribe, however depending on your general health (low/high blood pressure, insulin problems etc.) have a look at my articles on these spices. They can be mixed together. If you decide to reduce the soya intake, look for oatmilk (my favourite). Also, not knowing how extreme your lactose intolerance is, look into goat yoghurt and milk products such as fresh cheese. It seems that those with mild to somewhat intolerant have no problem with it. Goat milk yoghurt is quite nice and most people cannot notice the difference.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  • Evone 02/26/2014, 12:09 PM

    Hi I just found your site and would like to ask.. If I were to buy
    Turmeric roots and boiled them, then let them dry could I then grate them or put them in a food processor and make them into powder and get the same awesome effects you are describing? Please answer quickly my mind is about to go lol.

    Reply
    • admin 02/26/2014, 7:37 PM

      Hi Evone,
      In answer to your question about fresh raw roots – frankly, I don’t know. I have made a tri-lingual quick search online and I find nothing that suggests that fresh is better than dried or even how to process them to make ones own powder. But why would you do that? Seems like a huge effort when you could get quality dried online from a reputable seller. I suggest Mountain Rose Herbs (I have no affiliation with them) because their name seems to pop up frequently.

      The only thing I found about fresh is that it is milder and less ‘musky’ than the dried. This is to be expected as the fresh will have water content. Drying concentrates the product, hence the flavour is more concentrated. However, I noticed some seem to prefer the fresh when blending a smoothie and often it seems to be blended with fresh ginger root. But here I think we are talking about a food product with some mild benefits and not serious doses.

      I don’t think I have helped you much…sorry.

      Reply
  • mags 02/26/2014, 11:20 PM

    Me again will go off soya and try the oat milk or almond by safe mix was thinking of pseudomonas that’s colonized but would not have a bad effect n M S or cellulitis no more problems heart and so on thanks for your help.

    Reply
  • mags 03/03/2014, 9:44 AM

    Do i have use extra virgin coconut oil or is it ok to use a cheaper coconut oil

    Reply
    • admin 03/05/2014, 10:04 AM

      Sorry, missed this one mags. Just be sure that the coconut oil is not ‘refined’. Extra virgin coconut oil is really a marketing ploy designed to attract those used to the distinct labeling of olive oil and justify a higher price. Coconut oil is either organic or not or refined. There is no extra virgin…it is bs.

      The refined (refined, bleached, and deodorized) is referred to as RBD oil and is used in some industries and cosmetics and is the cheapest in some poor countries and is used for cooking. Not good.

      Reply
  • Murugappan 03/10/2014, 3:34 AM

    Hi Admin,

    In the details under cautions you have stated ‘high doses..”. Appreciate your advise on what constitutes high dosage. I am taking curcumin 500mg tablet per day. Is that considered high dosage? I also taking cholesterol lowering and blood thinning medication.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • admin 03/10/2014, 11:52 AM

      Hello Murugappan,
      Not knowing the reason for you taking the curcumin, I really cannot answer that. However, I think you should have a look at this site, that is specific to curcumin. Towards the end, he mentions turmeric…which as you know is the whole spice and curcumin is the so-called active ingredient.

      As I mentioned, not knowing your reason for taking curcumin I wish to mention that numerous studies have maintained that it is not necessarily the high dose of curcumin but “suggest that low, regular doses of turmeric are beneficial, especially in cancer prevention”.

      I am, in general, an advocate of the synergistic effect of ALL the constituents of a plant etc. This is a holistic herbal view in general, unlike the medical lab view that ignores the rest as ‘inactive/ineffective’ and concentrates on an ‘active’ ingredient – something that is against traditional/natural medicine.

      This has in the past resulted in a market flooded with ‘active’ ingredients without any natural buffer anymore, which in some cases has resulted in very bad side effects. The medical/pharma industry then decides to ban the whole plant, posturing that it is dangerous for the public. It is also a clever ploy to discourage the public from seeking natural solutions.

      Turmeric is less problematic in this aspect – but curcumin doses etc are still much studied and debated. Doses are really just guidelines.

      If you are taking curcumin intending to maintain or improve your health only and not for a medical issue, then I think you are better served taking whole spice – turmeric powder from a reliable organic source. Watch this site for info on how to check if your turmeric is pure or adulterated.

      Hope this helps!

      I will contact you regarding the rest of your question.

      Reply
  • mike 03/12/2014, 2:57 AM

    How do you prevent your teeth from staining? Mine stained terribly so I stopped using

    Reply
    • admin 03/12/2014, 10:13 AM

      How have you been taking it and how much, Mike?

      Reply
  • Christy Theiler 03/21/2014, 10:28 PM

    Actually I am interested in that question regarding the yellowing of the teeth & how to deal w/that. I have not started taking turmeric yet but I want to. I want to start w/a very small dose & work up. I need to get the dosages & I also want to get the correct dose that would be correct for my dog who is about 13, between 75-85 lbs., part lab, part golden. She has the beginning of cateracts, arthritis, & she is loosing her hearing. Would appreciate any info you could give me. we are sort of going through the age thing together!!!!

    Reply
    • admin 03/22/2014, 2:52 PM

      Hello Cristy,
      The information I have regarding dogs is 10 mg to 20 mg dried turmeric per 10 lbs. (roughly 5 kg.). This amounts to 1/8 to 1/4 level tsp. Remember that turmeric is a food supplement, so exact, to the microgram measurements are not necessary. Always start with the lower dose and keep in mind that it must be taken in the presence of some sort of oil to help make it bio-available. This can be full fat yoghurt or a drizzle of olive oil over their food. You will have to be inventive as to how you can administer it. I read that some people give capsules hidden in food, for example.
      There is also some evidence that black pepper works synergistically with turmeric to make it more bio-available as well.

      Small amounts of pepper will not hurt your dog. In fact, large amounts must be taken before any problems such as diarrhea may occur. The amount of pepper is significantly less, like a sprinkling on the food well mixed in.

      Turmeric is not to be taken with NSAIDs pain-relieving agents called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This is true for animal or human. I think you will find this site useful: http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/Turmeric.htm .

      As for your question regarding staining teeth, I have not found that a problem with me. I do not take like I hear that some do, as a tea in hot water with coconut oil mixed in (for the necessary fat presence). This for me, obviously will stain teeth. I take it in full fat yoghurt (I don’t advocate those low fat anything products) as I mentioned before.

      Hope this helps!
      (My Tosca will be 14 in October and experiencing similar as your dog.)

      Reply
  • SIVAKUMAR 04/01/2014, 5:21 PM

    Currently I’m taking tumeric capsule 1500mg for each meal is it correct dose for diebetic patient, please advice me thank you.

    Reply
    • admin 04/02/2014, 1:22 AM

      Most sources suggest that for addressing serious to chronic issues (including diabetes) that it is a good idea to start with a low dose of 1 g (1000mg) (half a level teaspoon) three times a day with meals. It may take 6 to 12 months, but then each person is different. Ayurvedic tradition suggests trying this lower doses first before using 1.5g (1500). More is not necessarily better. This is a principal of traditional methods…be that herbal, naturopathic or Ayurvedic.

      Please note the cautions in my article concerning using turmeric with diabetic chemical medications. Of course, NO treatment will be effective without serious lifestyle changes…which I hope you are following. I am assuming that as a diabetic you know what to avoid, importance of exercise…walking etc.

      Wishing you the best of health!

      Reply
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