There are many herbs that have a dual purpose - as a medicinal remedy and also in culinary. One such herb is turmeric, a yellow colored root that grows in abundance in India and other South Asian countries. From ancient times, turmeric has been used in the field of Ayurvedic medicine to treat innumerable infections and diseases. Turmeric is yellow in color due to the presence of curcumin, a pigment that gives this herb its color. This herb has natural healing agents that rejuvenate the working system of the body and repair damaged tissues. Let us have a brief look at the therapeutic uses of turmeric extract, after we discuss the side effects of turmeric extract.
Turmeric Extract Side Effects
Overuse of turmeric can lead to some unhealthy effects on the body. Identifying these side effects of turmeric extract in the early stages is essential so that timely treatment can be administered and any further complications can be curbed. Here are some of the turmeric side effects, which is a result of indiscriminate use.
- Turmeric can inhibit the production of platelets which are responsible for the clotting of blood. It alters the level of fibrinogen, a protein which facilitates the formation of coagulants to stem bleeding. Individuals who are suffering from hemophilia or any other blood disorder are strictly advised to stay from turmeric and its products.
- Too much intake of turmeric in any form, be it powder, extract or pills, can destroy the leukocytes (red blood cells) and erythrocytes (white blood cells). Since the red blood cells decrease in number, there are chances that the individual may suffer from anemia.
- Turmeric in its natural form is quite spicy and pungent. Using it for an extended period can lead to problems in the gastrointestinal tract. It stimulates the over production of stomach acid, ending in the person suffering from hyper acidity. It can aggravate disorders like abdominal ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux disease.
- Another turmeric root side effect, caused due to high doses is noticing abnormalities in the functioning of the liver and gallbladder. Liver and gallbladder disorders can be aggravated with the continuous use of turmeric.
- Turmeric is known to alter the level of blood sugar in the body. A considerable drop in the blood glucose level has been observed in individuals who over consume turmeric. This can lead to a disorder called hypoglycemia, which is abnormally low blood sugar level. It also reduces the blood pressure to a lower range, so patients on high blood pressure medications should consult a medical practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
- A high intake of turmeric extract can increase the risk of contracting hyperoxaluria, a condition which causes over excretion of oxalate stones. It can also make the person more susceptible to calcium oxalate kidney stones.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid maximum use of turmeric or its supplements like turmeric tea, as far as possible. It is known to cause harm to the child. In pregnant women, it may lead to uterine contractions, which can result in a miscarriage or preterm labor.
- Individuals who have sensitive skin may experience irritation or a burning sensation due to continual application. Itchy skin rashes may also be noticed as a result of an allergic reaction.
- An adverse effect of the over consumption of turmeric root can be seen as drug interactions. It can reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs. Hence it is advisable for patients undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments to avoid turmeric.
- People suffering from (or having a previous history) disorders like bile duct obstruction, gallstones or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract should consult their doctor before taking turmeric pills, as this herb can increase the intensity of the symptoms.
- Other side effects of turmeric extract as reported in some individuals are nausea induced vomiting, persistent diarrhea, fainting spells caused due to extreme fatigue and loss of appetite.
Beneficial Turmeric Extract Effects
As we have seen earlier, an overuse of this herb can have some ill effects on the health. However, judicial use of this herbal remedy can cure a number of maladies. Turmeric is one of the spices that cures a number of health disorders. Many of the benefits of turmeric can be reaped by including this natural herbal remedy either in the diet or in the form of extract.
- One of the turmeric health benefits is that it plays a vital role in repairing the damaged cells and tissues in the body. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it prevents disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- A curcumin benefit is that it is a rich source of antioxidants, that help fight against the free radicals in the body. Once the free radicals are destroyed, the body becomes immune to a number of health disorders and infections.
- Turmeric for cancer is an effective remedy, since it fights against the abnormal growth of cells and puts a stop to their metastasis.
- Another benefit of turmeric tea is that it purifies the blood by flushing out toxins, and is highly recommended for the process of detoxification.
- Individuals using turmeric for acne have vouched for it, since it clears out the symptoms of acne by destroying bacterial growth. It also reduces blemishes and scars caused due to the outbreak of pimples.
- Turmeric has antiseptic properties, which help the wound in healing faster. Applying a paste of turmeric powder and rose-water can facilitate the formation of scar tissue and heal the wound completely.
This was a brief snapshot on some of the side effects of turmeric extract, that must be reported to a health care provider on observing them. Though the turmeric side effects are not life-threatening, using it judiciously is always better. Consulting a herbalist before taking turmeric extract or any other herb is always advisable as it can prevent unnecessary complications. Stay healthy!