How much turmeric should you be taking? An expert weighs in

One Starts at 60 reader is wondering how beneficial turmeric is. Source: Getty

Q: Is turmeric good for you? How much should I take? 

Turmeric has been touted as a cure-all for many diseases. It’s a well-known herb that originated from the traditional Indian Ayurvedic herbal practices. It’s generally regarded as safe in its powdered form and can be used in cooking at a level of one to two teaspoons per day. In Ayurvedic medicine it was added to milk and ghee or coconut oil as a medicine for gastric upset of any form, and as an anti-inflammatory in arthritic conditions.

As with all herbal medicine, there’s no one-size-fits-all and there may be some interactions with certain medications such as blood thinning medications. Turmeric in tablet form may cause an additive effect to blood thinners and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding under the skin. Always talk to your health care professional before taking turmeric with prescribed medications.

Q: I’m experiencing bad constipation, what can I do to help ease this problem? I take five lots of medication daily. 

Your doctor can refer you to a dietician on a health care plan to help with meal planning. Additionally, there are many supplemental powders and stool softeners that can assist you with opening your bowel more easily. High-fibre supplements are not always the answer. You would also need to discuss the timing of any fibre supplements, as they may reduce the effectiveness of your prescribed medications. When increasing fibre in your diet, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids.

Some helpful tips are:

  • Drink two litres of water per day, as the bowel needs hydration to function effectively. If you find water boring, try adding a few slices of fruit such as oranges or lemons to the water and keep it in the fridge to sip on throughout the day
  • Try including some soluble fibre in your diet such as oats for breakfast or by adding cooked barley, beans and lentils to your meals
  • Jelly is also a great way to ingest 250 millilitres of liquid
  • Adhere to the guideline for healthy eating for Australian adults which suggests four to five serves of vegetables daily and two serves of fruit. Fruit varieties you may find beneficial are ripe kiwi fruit and bananas, pears, apples and prunes
  • Soak dried fruits in water for half an hour before consuming.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s health experts, email it to [email protected].

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