How much turmeric should you take? Read this article to find out.
Turmeric has long been used as a foodstuff, cosmetic, and medicine. It is extensively used as a culinary spice due to its distinct yellow color and unique flavor.
While turmeric has been a part of Ayurveda since time immemorial, it is now slowly gaining popularity in the west as an Ayurvedic supplement. Turmeric is also called Haridra in Sanskrit and Haldi in Hindi.
Its principal active component is curcumin. Turmeric or haldi has been extensively studied by scientists and researchers for its various health benefits.
Turmeric Use in Dravyaguna Vijnana (Ayurvedic Herbology) 1
Ayurvedic texts on herbology like Dravyaguna Vijnana recommend taking turmeric with black pepper and milk.
Fresh Turmeric Juice: 10-20ml
Turmeric Powder: 1-3g (¼-½ teaspoon approximately)
The above-mentioned amount of turmeric can be taken in equal, divided doses throughout the day.
Nowadays supplemental Haridra is easily available in a capsule or tablet form.
However, you should always check the quantities of turmeric and curcumin present in such supplements and whether they contain black pepper or not.
A turmeric supplement should clearly state its complete composition.
How Much Turmeric Should You Take?
You may consume turmeric or haldi as a spice in limited amounts given its various health benefits and nutrient profile. However, if you are using turmeric as a daily supplement, always consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner before starting.
The recommended amounts of turmeric mentioned in ayurvedic texts are only meant for the direct consumption of pure turmeric and not for curry powders used for culinary purposes.
Pure turmeric contains the highest curcumin concentration, around 3.14% by weight. Curry powders have relatively small amounts of curcumin.2
More than 100 components of turmeric have been isolated. In standard form, it contains curcumin (5-6.6%), volatile oils (<3.5%), moisture, extraneous matter, and mold.3 Curcumin comprises a small part of turmeric.
Components of turmeric are called curcuminoids. They mainly include curcumin (diferuloylmethane), demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin.
In addition, some 34 essential oils are present in pure turmeric. Turmerone, germacrone, atlantone, and zingiberene are the major constituents.
Turmeric used as a spice should be consumed in a limited amount. Talk to your doctor to determine the amount of haldi you can take.
Clinical Study on Turmeric Dosages
A dose escalation study was conducted in 2006 on healthy volunteers to determine the maximum tolerated dose and safety of a standardized powdered extract of uniformly milled curcumin.
Healthy volunteers were administered escalating doses from 500 to 12,000 mg. The study concluded that the tolerance of curcumin in high single oral doses up to 12000 mg appeared to be ‘excellent’.4
However, this was only a limited study done on a smaller sample size and requires further investigation for conclusive results.
Curcuminoids have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).
Good tolerability and safety profiles have been shown in clinical trials, even at doses between 4000 and 8000 mg/day and of doses up to 12,000 mg/day of 95% concentration of three curcuminoids.5
Consuming any amount greater than these recommendations should only be done under the strict supervision of your physician or qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.
Why You Should Take Turmeric With Black Pepper
One of the major problems with ingesting curcumin by itself is its poor bioavailability. This appears to be primarily due to its poor absorption rates, rapid metabolism, and rapid elimination from the body.
Several agents have been tested to improve curcumin’s bioavailability. Piperine, a known bioavailability enhancer, is the major active component of black pepper.
It is associated with an increase of 2000% in the bioavailability of curcumin. Therefore, the issue of poor bioavailability appears to be resolved by adding such agents that enhance the bioavailability of curcumin.5
Why You Should Take Turmeric With Milk
Ayurvedic texts always mention that herbal medicine should always be given with an anupana or vehicle. These ‘vehicles’ help in the easy administration and absorption of certain Ayurvedic medicines.
Clinical studies have also shown that curcumin (the main active ingredient of haldi) shows higher bioavailability, faster rate, and better absorption when given with a fatty medium.7 Fats present in milk serve this purpose.
According to one source, the nutritional analysis of 100 grams of haridra contains the following nutrients.3
- 10g total fat
- 3g saturated fat
- 0mg cholesterol
- 0.2g calcium
- 0.26g phosphorous
- 10mg sodium
- 2500mg potassium
- 47.5mg iron
- 0.9mg thiamine
- 0.19mg riboflavin
- 4.8mg niacin
- 50mg ascorbic acid
- 69.9g total carbohydrates
- 21g dietary fiber
- 3g sugars
- 8g protein
Haridra or haldi is also a good source of the ω-3 fatty acids and α-linolenic acid (2.5%).
Precautions When Taking Turmeric
People with the following health conditions are advised to take haldi in a supplement form only after discussing with their Ayurvedic practitioner or health care provider.
- Pregnant women
- Lactating mothers
- Pre or post-surgery patients
- People with diabetes or bleeding disorders
- People on blood-thinners and blood-pressure medications
Always consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or general physician before taking turmeric as a supplement.
- Dravyaguna Vijnana by Aacharya Priyavrat Sharma, Volume 2, page no.164, Chaukhamba Bharati Academy, 2017
- Nutrition and cancer. R FTayyem – D DHeath – W KAl-Delaimy – C LRock.
- Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Sahdeo Prasad
- BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Christopher D Lao – Mack T. Ruffin – Daniel Normolle – Dennis D. Heath – Sandra I. Murray – Joanne M. Bailey – Martha E. Boggs – James Crowell – Cheryl L. Rock – Dean E. Brenner.
- Foods, Susan J.Hewlings – Douglas S. Kalman.
- Bhaishjya Kalpana Vigyan with hindi commentary by Aacharya Sidhinandan Mishra, page no. 365, Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan, Varanasi,1988.
- Advances in pediatrics. Sahdeo Prasad – Amit K.Tyagi – Bharat B.Aggarwal.