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Turmeric

Generic Name: turmeric (tur MER ik or TOO me rik)
Brand Name: Turmeric

Medically reviewed: December 6, 2017

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice that comes from a plant. Turmeric is also known as Curcuma, Curcumin, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Rajani, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, and Yu Jin. Turmeric should not be confused with Javanese turmeric root (Curcuma zedoaria).

Turmeric is commonly used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, and other foods. The turmeric root is also used to make alternative medicine.

Turmeric has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in reducing blood cholesterol, reducing osteoarthritis pain, or relieving itching caused by chronic kidney disease.

Turmeric has also been used to treat stomach ulcers. However, research has shown that turmeric may not be effective in treating this condition.

Other uses not proven with research have included: rheumatoid arthritis, prediabetes, tuberculosis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases, and lowering the risk of a heart attack after bypass surgery.

It is not certain whether turmeric is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Turmeric should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Turmeric is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

Turmeric may also be used for purposes not listed in this product guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on the product label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Ask a doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider if it is safe for you to use this product if you have ever had:

Turmeric when taken in medicinal amounts is considered likely unsafe to use during pregnancy. Taking turmeric during pregnancy could cause uterine bleeding or contractions.

Turmeric is likely to be safe during pregnancy when used in the small amounts that are found in spices or foods.

Ask a doctor before using this product if you are breast-feeding.

Turmeric taken by mouth may lower testosterone levels and sperm motility in men. This could affect fertility (your ability to have children).

Do not give any herbal/health supplement to a child without medical advice.

How should I take turmeric?

When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to use turmeric, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.

Turmeric is thought to be possibly safe when used short time as a mouth rinse or as an enema.

Do not use different forms of turmeric (pills, liquids, and others) at the same time or you could have an overdose.

If you need surgery, dental work, or a medical procedure, stop taking turmeric at least 2 weeks ahead of time.

Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with turmeric does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.

Store as directed, or at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and take the next regularly scheduled dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking turmeric?

Turmeric can make it harder for your body to absorb iron. Tell your doctor if you are taking an iron supplement.

Avoid using turmeric together with other herbal/health supplements that can also affect blood-clotting. This includes angelica (dong quai), capsicum, clove, dandelion, danshen, evening primrose, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, poplar, red clover, saw palmetto, and willow.

Avoid using turmeric together with other herbal/health supplements that can lower blood sugar, such as alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, damiana, devil's claw, fenugreek, garlic, guar gum, horse chestnut, Panax ginseng, psyllium, Siberian ginseng, and others.

Turmeric side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although not all side effects are known, turmeric is thought to be likely safe for most people when used as directed for up to 8 months.

Long-term use of turmeric may cause serious side effects. Stop using this product and call your healthcare provider at once if you have:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding;

  • any bleeding that will not stop; or

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, headache, blurred vision.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect turmeric?

Do not take turmeric without medical advice if you are using a medication to treat any of the following conditions:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with turmeric, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this product guide.

Further information

  • Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before using any herbal/health supplement. Whether you are treated by a medical doctor or a practitioner trained in the use of natural medicines/supplements, make sure all your healthcare providers know about all of your medical conditions and treatments.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Medical Disclaimer

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