In most cases, turmeric is safe because people take it in relatively small quantities in their food. However, this spice might have side effects when taken in large quantities. According to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, the recommended daily dose of turmeric is 1.4 mg for every pound of your body weight or alternatively, 3 mg per kg. In case you exceed this amount, you might experience nausea, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea.
The use of high doses is a concern among people taking curcumin or turmeric supplements. Additionally, turmeric powders often contain silicon dioxide, a substance that food processors use to prevent caking. The substance is not the only additive in commercially processed turmeric powders. Turmeric adulteration is a major source of concern and often culminates in the use of illegal additives. These additives can contribute to adverse health effects in people taking adulterated turmeric powders.
Blood Pressure and Sugar
Turmeric might lower blood pressure and sugar when ingested in large quantities. Therefore, people taking hypertension or diabetes medication should exercise caution in their use of turmeric supplements.
Large doses of turmeric might also inhibit blood clotting. On this note, people undergoing surgery should not use turmeric supplements because this might lead to excessive bleeding. Turmeric is also discouraged in people who have bleeding disorders. It might exacerbate their condition and contribute to excessive bleeding, even with minor injury.
Kidney Stones and Gallstones
Turmeric has about 2 percent oxalate. Oxalate can cause kidney stones or gallstones in people at a higher risk of developing this problem, when consumed in relatively large doses. The stones develop due to the interaction of oxalate with calcium, leading to the formation of calcium oxalate. Thus, people with increased risk of these stones should avoid turmeric capsules or supplements.
Turmeric might interact with blood-thinning medications when taken in large quantities. Such medications may include ibuprofen, aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, and anti-platelet drugs.
High doses of turmeric supplements can lead to pregnancy complications. It follows that such amounts stimulate the uterus and can contribute to a miscarriage. However, turmeric can confer many benefits when taken in food amounts.