Does Turmeric Have Side Effects?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Does turmeric have side effects? If you take high doses of turmeric some people have experienced digestive issues such as headaches, nausea, and skin rash issues. Turmeric is a popular spice and food dye that is used on foods for color and flavor. It is also used as a dietary supplement, and the main active ingredient is curcumin.

Curcumin or Turmeric supplements offer the following health benefits:

  • Reduce chronic inflammation
  • It has some anticancer properties
  • It has antioxidant effects
  • It supports neurological health
  • Studies have shown that it improves blood vessel function

Does Turmeric have side effects? Photo credit: iStock-AD077

Not all turmeric powders are pure as some are filtered with illegal ingredients. Some of these products don’t show their cheap potentially toxic ingredients on the label. Turmeric has about 2% oxalate and high doses of that can lead to kidney stones.

Research studies have revealed the turmeric can possibly contain fillers like cassava, starch, barley, wheat, etc. This can potentially cause negative symptoms in people that have celiac disease because they are gluten intolerant. Some turmeric is high in lead and that type of heavy metal is bad for your nervous system and your overall health.

Taking curcumin supplements is safe and should not have any type of side effects or negative health conditions. There was a study with 10 adults who took 490 mg of curcumin for a week and there were no side effects. Another research review in 2021 showed that taking 1000 mg doses of curcumin per day showed no side effects.

If you take high doses of this you can potentially experience digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating, acid reflux, etc. High doses of 450mg or higher can potentially cause headache and nausea. There was also a study that showed that when people took more than 8000 mg of curcumin or more, they experienced skin rashes.

There have been some studies that have shown that there are some negative reactions with the following drug medications such as:

  • Cardiovascular drugs
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Antihistamines

How Much Turmeric Should You Take?

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee On Food Additives (JECFA) recommends that the dietary intake of turmeric be 1.4mg per pound of bodyweight per day. If you are a 150-pound person that equates to 210 mg per day.

How To Determine Turmeric Quality?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of turmeric supplements that contain a lot of bad cheap fillers. So, the only way to differentiate between what is good vs bad is making sure the products you buy have third party certifications. Some of the best 3rd party certifications are NSF International, Informed Choice and the US Pharmacopeial convention which stands for USP.

Or seeing a certification that says it is certified organic by the US Department Of Agriculture, USDA. The best advice is to buy your turmeric supplements from a reputable supplier that has a credible 3rd party certification.

The Bottom Line is turmeric and curcumin supplements have no real side effects. The only side effects you could feel are if you take too much of it. And those side effects are headaches, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, etc. It is important to be mindful of turmeric supplements that have cheap fillers. Please make sure any turmeric supplement you buy has a strong 3rd party certification and comes from a reputable supplier.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness, weight loss or health goals.

You can get a discount below at this link. ?utm_source=blog


  1. Peng Y, Ao M, Dong B, Jiang Y, Yu L, Chen Z, Hu C, Xu R. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2021 Nov 2;15:4503-4525. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S327378. PMID: 34754179; PMCID: PMC8572027.
  2. Ali Z, Saleem M, Atta BM, Khan SS, Hammad G. Determination of curcuminoid content in turmeric using fluorescence spectroscopy. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2019 Apr 15;213:192-198. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2019.01.028. Epub 2019 Jan 17. PMID: 30685558.
  3. Cömert ED, Gökmen V. Physiological relevance of food antioxidants. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2020;93:205-250. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2020.03.002. Epub 2020 Apr 3. PMID: 32711863.
  4. Santos-Parker JR, Strahler TR, Bassett CJ, Bispham NZ, Chonchol MB, Seals DR. Curcumin supplementation improves vascular endothelial function in healthy middle-aged and older adults by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and reducing oxidative stress. Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Jan 3;9(1):187-208. doi: 10.18632/aging.101149. PMID: 28070018; PMCID: PMC5310664.
  5. Hadi A, Pourmasoumi M, Ghaedi E, Sahebkar A. The effect of Curcumin/Turmeric on blood pressure modulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacol Res. 2019 Dec;150:104505. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104505. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31647981.
  6. Tomeh MA, Hadianamrei R, Zhao X. A Review of Curcumin and Its Derivatives as Anticancer Agents. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Feb 27;20(5):1033. doi: 10.3390/ijms20051033. PMID: 30818786; PMCID: PMC6429287.
  7. Giordano A, Tommonaro G. Curcumin and Cancer. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 5;11(10):2376. doi: 10.3390/nu11102376. PMID: 31590362; PMCID: PMC6835707.
  8. Sharifi-Rad J, Rayess YE, Rizk AA, Sadaka C, Zgheib R, Zam W, Sestito S, Rapposelli S, Neffe-Skocińska K, Zielińska D, Salehi B, Setzer WN, Dosoky NS, Taheri Y, El Beyrouthy M, Martorell M, Ostrander EA, Suleria HAR, Cho WC, Maroyi A, Martins N. Turmeric and Its Major Compound Curcumin on Health: Bioactive Effects and Safety Profiles for Food, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological and Medicinal Applications. Front Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 15;11:01021. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.01021. PMID: 33041781; PMCID: PMC7522354.
  9. Patel SS, Acharya A, Ray RS, Agrawal R, Raghuwanshi R, Jain P. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of curcumin in prevention and treatment of disease. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(6):887-939. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1552244. Epub 2019 Jan 11. PMID: 30632782.
  10. Tang M, Larson-Meyer DE, Liebman M. Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1262-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1262. PMID: 18469248.
  11. Parvathy VA, Swetha VP, Sheeja TE, Sasikumar B. Detection of plant-based adulterants in turmeric powder using DNA barcoding. Pharm Biol. 2015;53(12):1774-9. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2015.1005756. Epub 2015 Apr 8. PMID: 25853978.
  12. Dhakal S, Schmidt WF, Kim M, Tang X, Peng Y, Chao K. Detection of Additives and Chemical Contaminants in Turmeric Powder Using FT-IR Spectroscopy. Foods. 2019 Apr 26;8(5):143. doi: 10.3390/foods8050143. PMID: 31027345; PMCID: PMC6560428.
  13. Forsyth JE, Nurunnahar S, Islam SS, Baker M, Yeasmin D, Islam MS, Rahman M, Fendorf S, Ardoin NM, Winch PJ, Luby SP. Turmeric means “yellow” in Bengali: Lead chromate pigments added to turmeric threaten public health across Bangladesh. Environ Res. 2019 Dec;179(Pt A):108722. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108722. Epub 2019 Sep 6. PMID: 31550596.
  14. Kumar A, Kumar A, M S CP, Chaturvedi AK, Shabnam AA, Subrahmanyam G, Mondal R, Gupta DK, Malyan SK, S Kumar S, A Khan S, Yadav KK. Lead Toxicity: Health Hazards, Influence on Food Chain, and Sustainable Remediation Approaches. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 25;17(7):2179. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17072179. PMID: 32218253; PMCID: PMC7177270.
  15. Soni KB, Kuttan R. Effect of oral curcumin administration on serum peroxides and cholesterol levels in human volunteers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 Oct;36(4):273-5. PMID: 1291482.
  16. Hsiao AF, Lien YC, Tzeng IS, Liu CT, Chou SH, Horng YS. The efficacy of high- and low-dose curcumin in knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Med. 2021 Dec;63:102775. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102775. Epub 2021 Sep 16. PMID: 34537344.
  17. Giordano A, Tommonaro G. Curcumin and Cancer. Nutrients. 2019 Oct 5;11(10):2376. doi: 10.3390/nu11102376. PMID: 31590362; PMCID: PMC6835707.
  18. Lao CD, Ruffin MT 4th, Normolle D, Heath DD, Murray SI, Bailey JM, Boggs ME, Crowell J, Rock CL, Brenner DE. Dose escalation of a curcuminoid formulation. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006 Mar 17;6:10. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-10. PMID: 16545122; PMCID: PMC1434783.

More great content you may like

More great content you may like

Before you finish your last lap...

Don’t miss any of our great newsletters.