Turmeric Should Be Avoided When Taking Certain Medications or Having Certain Health Conditions

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Turmeric Should Be Avoided By These People

Turmeric root is one of nature’s healing plants and has been used for its taste and health potential for thousands of years. However, turmeric powers should be wielded with caution, as it isn’t appropriate for all people. Are you one of the people who should avoid or restrict the consumption of turmeric? Read on to find out.

Turmeric Has Powerful Healing Properties

I’ve already written about the 12 Reasons You Should Eat More Turmeric and turmeric is also featured in my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide.

Turmeric’s health-promoting qualities have been touted for generations by a wide-reaching group of people, from the ancient peoples of India and Asia to modern health gurus.


Many people can experience improvements in health by using ground turmeric in food or as a dietary supplement, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Let’s discuss some situations where turmeric should be avoided or used sparingly.

When You Should Avoid Turmeric (Or Reduce Its Consumption)

People on medication for diabetes

Turmeric has a natural tendency to lower blood sugar and as such it is one of the top 8 spices and herbs for type 2 diabetes. For people with diabetes and pre-diabetic people who control their condition solely through diet, this may be welcome news.

However, people taking medication for their diabetes need to be aware of turmeric’s effect on blood sugar and discuss turmeric usage with their prescribing physicians before continued use as when combined with medications for diabetes, turmeric might make blood sugar too low and cause hypoglycemia.

Pregnant women and turmeric consumption

During pregnancy and breast-feeding turmeric is considered safe when taken in amounts usually found in food. However, turmeric is probably unsafe when taken in large amounts or in a supplement form during pregnancy, as it may stimulate menstruation or stimulate the uterus, thus risking the pregnancy.

Also there is not enough information regarding the safety of large amounts of turmeric during breast-feeding, so it’s best to use it in normal food quantities and not as a supplement.


People with gallbladder problems or tendency for kidney stones

The gallbladder is a small sac-like structure which lies beneath your liver and connected to it by the bile duct. The gallbladder serves as a storage facility for bile which breaks down fat in the intestines.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), turmeric can cause side effects and increase the risk of gallbladder problems, so if you have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages, you should talk to your doctor before taking turmeric.

Also if you are prone to kidney stones you’re better off not taking turmeric supplements. The reason for that is that turmeric contains significant amounts of the chemical oxalate, which increases the risk of gallstones.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2008 showed that turmeric significantly increased the levels of oxalate in the urine as compared to placebo after four weeks of treatment in healthy individuals.5 The conclusion was that high levels of oxalate in the urine increases the risk of kidney stone formation in susceptible people.

If you suffer from kidney stones, read my article on how to treat kidney stones naturally.

People who take blood clotting medications

Turmeric can thin the blood, meaning it can be inappropriate for people who have bleeding disorders as it can increase their risk of bruising and bleeding.


According to WebMd, turmeric can also interact with medications that slow blood clotting such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), warfarin (Coumadin), and others.1

Talk about your desire to take turmeric with your doctor before using it if you are on medications for blood clotting or have bleeding disorders in order to determine if turmeric is the right choice for you.

It is recommended to stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a surgery to avoid extra bleeding during and after surgery.

People who suffer from stomach acid

Our stomach is full of acid that is naturally produced in the body and helps break down food.

However excess stomach acid can cause symptoms like pain and other health problems such as heartburn (reflux) which occurs when stomach acid leaks into the esophagus. Frequent heartburn suggests gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can damage the esophagus and throat. Reducing excess stomach acid is the best way to manage these problems.


Turmeric may increase stomach acid production, which may decrease the effectiveness of drugs used to reduce stomach acid. Avoid taking turmeric if it worsens symptoms of stomach acid. You can also try these natural remedies for heartburn.

How Much Turmeric to Consume

According to Maryland Medical Center, for people who do not have medical or health conditions on the cautionary list discussed above, taking up to 3 grams of powdered turmeric root (which is about one teaspoon) per day is safe, while the dosage of cut root is 1.5 to 3 g per day for an average-sized adult.3

What’s good about turmeric is that you can use it both in fresh or ground form. The ground form is much more concentrated, and usually when converting fresh to ground turmeric, a single tablespoon of fresh turmeric root is equal to 1/3 of a teaspoon of dried turmeric.

Ideas for Turmeric Consumption

While turmeric is a powerful and effective compound for treating a wide range of diseases, studies have revealed that turmeric has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body. To get ideas on how to increase turmeric bio-availability in the body, read my article on how to optimize turmeric absorption for super boosted benefits.

You can also use turmeric as a face mask to treat various skin conditions:

Turmeric Face Mask Recipe for Glowing Skin, Acne, Rosacea, Eczema and Dark Circles

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20 Responses to Turmeric Should Be Avoided When Taking Certain Medications or Having Certain Health Conditions

  1. Pete Pinello says:

    Thank you for all your great articles/ this has help me to achive better health and understanding all natural alternatives (I call it being healthy can defenatelly make you rich) Thank You! love you guys🍓

  2. Belle Florendo says:

    thanks very much for the info.. very timely, as turmeric abounds in the Philippines and countless patients use this foir various ailments , including diabetes .. now I know that I should stop taking it as tea or chewable as i am on diabetes medication( Tragenta tablets ) Happy holidays to you and yours !

    • Jenny says:

      It’s not necessarily that you should completely avoid it, but monitor level of consumption – discuss turmeric usage with your physician to establish the right dosage for you.

  3. Birendra Kumar Behera says:

    I have chronic acid problem. How much should I consume turmeric on my daily routine food?

    Very useful information. Thanks

    • Jenny says:

      I’m not entirely sure (I’m not a doctor) and it also depends if you take medications for that. Best to talk to a doctor.

  4. Anne says:

    If someone was to have the Gallbladder removed, how does Turmeric affect the process with no Gallbladder?

    • Jenny says:

      I personally don’t know the answer as I’m not a doctor, but there is a study about the efficacy of turmeric (curcumin) in pain and postoperative fatigue after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (which is a surgical procedure to remove your gallbladder). It was found that Three days after surgery, both groups had similar pain and fatigue levels. After the first and second week, the mean pain score of the group that was administered with curcumin was 15; while the mean pain score of the placebo group was 30, significantly higher than the curcumin group. All the patients were completely relieved of pain after the third week. The fatigue score after the first week for the curcumin group was about 2.16; while it was higher at 5.16 for the placebo group. The fatigue scores after the second and third week for the curcumin group were 1 and zero, respectively; while the scores for the placebo group were 4.2 and 1. Also the curcumin group needed fewer painkillers than the placebo group.

  5. Mohammad Rafiq says:

    i am a pre diabetic patient, i use 1/2 tea spoon of ground ceylon cinnamon powder, 1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder, and 2 table spoon grounded powder of flax seeds, mix in yogurt and take it early in the morning,for reducing blood sugar, is it the proper way to take, pls answer

  6. Elsie says:

    Thank you very much for sharing very informative. God Bless you more. I am a type 2 diabetic and now I know what to do.

  7. Donita says:

    Very recently I saw an Ayurvedic, & Holistic MD for RA, & Fibromyalgia. She recommended that I take Tumeric & insisted I take the fresh root & not the pill (powder) form. Is there a difference between the two forms? Thank you for the helpful information you provide!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Donita, I think your question raises 2 issues: 1) Whether curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) is reduced during the process of turning fresh turmeric to powdered turmeric. I’ve tried to find information as for whether curcumin is reduced while processing, and if yes – to what extent, but unfortunately I could not find information about it. 2) The percentage of curcumin in turmeric is low (approximately 2-3%). Some people need larger amounts of turmeric to reduce inflammation or to treat other illnesses. In this case they will need to consume large amounts of turmeric (fresh or dried) to get the amount of curcumin required. In this case it might be best to use turmeric extract that contains a very concentrated amount of curcumin (look for products standardized for 95% curcuminoids). You must also remember that curcumin has low absorption relatively low bioavailability in the body, so you will need to increase it’s absorption by several methods mentioned in my article on How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted Benefits.

  8. Paul Bennett says:

    I cook with turmeric and am advised that concurrent use of freshly ground black pepper increases the bio-availability of curcumin by a factor of 20. However there was no mention of this in the otherwise very informative article especially when it might greatly cause overdose situation. Comment?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Paul, I have a detailed article about turmeric absorption – How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted Benefits – in which I’ve written about the low bio-availability of curcumin and ways to increase it’s absorption (including black pepper). The link to the article about turmeric bio-availability appears towards the end of this article under the headline “Ideas for Turmeric Consumption” so people can refer to it for more information. Consuming turmeric in normal food quantities is not likely to cause overdose (even with black pepper). It’s usually the supplement that can cause overdose, although in the cases mentioned in this article, some people may also need to restrict consuming turmeric in their regular nutrition. As I’m not a doctor, I cannot advise the limit of turmeric consumption for each and every case, so a consultation with a doctor about your specific case is required.

  9. Rosalyn says:

    Can you use half a cup of milk instead of a whole cup of milk when drinking golden milk?

  10. Kathie Self says:

    What alternatives are there for gallstones ( non-symptomatic) OTHER than removal of gallbladder ?

  11. Kim Chan says:

    If I’ve patient having tumour but it is benign can he consume turmeric ?? Will the tumor grows smaller ??
    At the same time if the patient has gall stones is it advisable to consume turmeric ?? Read is not advisable to consume turmeric . Wat is the reason
    Pls advise

    With thanks

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Re the gallstones – Turmeric supplements contain significant amounts of the chemical oxalate, which increases the risk of gallstones. As for benign tumor – while turmeric has some anti-cancer properties (which you can read about in my article about the health benefits of turmeric and curcumin), there is no solid evidence that curcumin can be used to treat cancer in humans, and further research is needed. Generally speaking, if you intend to take turmeric as a supplement, you need to consult with your doctor before taking it. If you have special conditions, your doctor will be able to advise you if you need to limit consumption of turmeric or avoid it altogether.

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