Turmeric has a list of some awesome health benefits of turmeric. Lately there has been lot of confusion on how much turmeric one can take in a day and how many times one should take it.
The primary reason for the confusion on “how much” arises from the fact that one can take turmeric (and thus its active ingredient) in so many ways:
- Fresh turmeric root
- Supplement with various % of curcumin present
- Fluid extract
- Turmeric dried root powder
The key difference in each of them is the quantity of curcumin. So how much of these one can take in a day? People have different opinion on the dosage of turmeric. Here is what I found from various sources.
How much turmeric can I take in a Day?
Rather than using one source, I tried collecting info from multiple reliable sources.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center
The permissible dosages of various forms of turmeric (for adults):
- Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
- Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
- Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
- Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
- Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day
Both fluid extracts and Tinctures are not commonly used, so I will concentrate on the rest of the three and what they mean:
- Cut root: This is basically fresh turmeric, it will have moisture too in it. Cut root is great to make pickles and adding to salads.
- Dried root: This is the most common way of using turmeric. This is how turmeric spice / powder is made – by drying cut root and then making a powder. Drying will cause loss of moisture and maybe of some beneficial aspects of turmeric, but no serious damage is done.
- Standardized powder (curcumin): This is basically what we call as supplements. Supplement manufacturers extract curcumin from turmeric and then concentrate it to make standardized powders. These are then sold as turmeric supplements in the market. Based on the brand the concentration may change.
According to WebMD:
- For upset stomach (dyspepsia): 500 mg of turmeric four times daily.
- For osteoarthritis: 500 mg twice daily of a specific turmeric extract (Meriva, Indena); 500 mg four times daily of a non-commercial product has also been used.
- For rheumatoid arthritis (RA): 500mg twice daily of a specific formulation of the turmeric constituent, curcumin (BCM-95®, Arjuna Natural Extracts, India), has been used.
The first two are related to normal turmeric powder and the third one – BCM-95®, Arjuna Natural Extracts – with a 95% standardized powder.
As you can see the dosage is within 2g range.
According to Dr Weil:
One can take 400mg – 600 mg supercritical extracts 3 times a day. This of course he is talking about supplements (standardized powder).
Summary of info from the above 3 sources
(WebMd and Dr Weil fall under the range specified by University of Maryland Medical Center, thus dosages by University of Maryland Medical Center represent all the three.
If you are using powder I would like to mention that you can take 1 tsp of powder on a daily basis without any issues. In terms of gms, the figures are mentioned below:
These are very conservative figures and taking upto 4-5 gms per day is also fine.
But then why some research study use high dosages?
While researching over dosages I found a very interesting thing and looking back and thinking about it, I am just wondering why a thing so simple and logical did not strike me!
While I was researching over dosages, I came across studies where researchers were giving dosages as high as 8 g per day to patients. This I observed in several studies. But then why University of Maryland Medical Center and others suggest such a small dosage?
The answer may lie in the fact that the dosages are high when we need them i.e. when we are not well. For example, if you have back pain, you may want to take a high dosage for a day or two and get well. But once you do, you come to the normal “preventive” dosage.
Thus, in my opinion there are two kinds of turmeric dosages we can take:
- Preventive – which are low and which we can continue for lifetime
- Curative – required when we have some issues. For example, some of the studies mentioned high dosages to cancer patients and it makes all the sense to do so as we need quick action here.
So when you are suffering for say arthritis pain and you take large dosages, it acts like a strong painkiller and helps you. This can go on for some time and then one should get back to preventive dosage as soon as our body is back in shape.
Turmeric dose – what experience tells us
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years. Millions of people take milk with turmeric on a daily basis and it is included in almost every curry / vegetable we make.
Thus, experience tells that taking even 1 tsp turmeric a day will not have any issues. Of course if you are new to it, start small – maybe 1/4 tsp and then increase.
So, 1 tsp good quality turmeric powder should not have any issues at all.