Sometimes, in an attempt to follow a good practice, we end up overdoing it and harming ourselves. This is especially the case with natural treatments, as the dosage and frequency of use of many medicinal herbs are not always prescribed. Unless we see a natural health practitioner for every single ailment, chances are that we are medicating ourselves wrongly.
Self-medication is quite harmful. For one, we don’t know when to stop. Also, it may be that the underlying issue is different from what the symptoms are prompting us to treat. Keeping these aspects in mind, we must exercise caution while using any medicine, natural herbs included.
Turmeric has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Lattes, detox diets, and pills made of the spice are quite common everywhere. However, turmeric can have some harmful effects on the body if consumed in excess. Here are some of the disadvantages of eating too much turmeric.
1. Inhibits Gall Bladder Function
Most of the studies on turmeric focus on its potential benefits. However, it is worth evaluating what that benefit does for our overall health. Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, can cause gallbladder contractions, which is beneficial in some cases.1 What is left undiscussed is the fact that in people with bile duct obstructions, such powerful contractions could actually be dangerous! Hence, anyone using turmeric to cleanse their hepatic system must be aware of the condition in which the system is, to begin with, or harmful effects may follow.
2. Forms Kidney Stones
Turmeric contains a high volume of soluble oxalates.2 Treatments using turmeric suggest using concentrated extracts, or turmeric to the order of many teaspoonfuls, which is more than what the average human being usually consumes in a day. Soluble oxalates can bind to calcium and form calcium oxalate – an insoluble compound that can form kidney stones.
3. Contains Adulterants
Is anything we eat today not adulterated? In spite of tough guidelines for food manufacturers, it is quite common to find colors, preservatives, and other bulking agents in food products. And turmeric is no exception.3
Metanil yellow is often added to give it the distinct bright yellow color. Metanil yellow is a non-permitted food color due to its molybdenum content.4 Some turmeric samples even contain flour as an additive to bulk up the volume, thus adding gluten to a product that is otherwise gluten-free. These adulterants can horribly affect your health.
4. Disturbs The Heart Rhythm
In some cases, people who consume turmeric in the pill form have ended up in the ER due to disturbances in the heart rhythm. After a study period, it has been found that turmeric pills can pump too much curcumin into the body. This can lead to a complete blockage in the heart that needs to be reversed in a systematic manner. Hence, it is worth speaking to a doctor before going ahead and popping pills indiscriminately.5
5. Causes Uterine Contractions
Many herbal medicines have a very direct effect on the female reproductive system. There is a reason to believe that turmeric can act as a laxative and in the process, also stimulate uterine contractions. Pregnancy women at risk of complications should stay away from all herbs and spices.6 Although it is invalidated, it is believed that turmeric can also cause a heavy menstrual flow.
Note: No herb, even the most beneficial one, must be used without a prescription and for more than a specified time period. If you are concerned about the pills you are using, ask a natural health practitioner.
|↑1||Rasyid, A., and A. Lelo. “The effect of curcumin and placebo on human gall-bladder function: an ultrasound study.” Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 13, no. 2 (1999): 245-250.|
|↑2||Das, Sumana Ghosh, and G. P. Savage. “Total and soluble oxalate content of some Indian spices.” Plant foods for human nutrition 67, no. 2 (2012): 186-190.|
|↑3||Parvathy, V. A., V. P. Swetha, T. E. Sheeja, and B. Sasikumar. “Detection of plant-based adulterants in turmeric powder using DNA barcoding.” Pharmaceutical biology 53, no. 12 (2015): 1774-1779.|
|↑4||Ashfaq, Nadia, and Tariq Masud. “Surveillance on artifical colours in different ready to eat foods.” Pakistan J Nutr 5 (2002): 223-225.|
|↑5||Lee, Se-Whan, Seong-Su Nah, Jin-Soo Byon, Hee Ja Ko, Sang-Ho Park, Seung-Jin Lee, Won-Yong Shin, and Dong-Kyu Jin. “Transient complete atrioventricular block associated with curcumin intake.” International journal of cardiology 150, no. 2 (2011): e50-e52.|
|↑6||Belew, Cindy. “Herbs and the childbearing woman: Guidelines for midwives11DISCLAIMER: This article reflects the experience and research of the author. Every effort has been made to provide accurate and complete information. The reader should be aware, however, that information about herbs is constantly changing because of ongoing research and clinical experience; furthermore, differences in opinion exist among authorities with regard to herbal use. In addition, each individual is unique and may have unexpected ….” Journal of Nurse-Midwifery 44, no. 3 (1999): 231-252.|