Turmeric & Side Effects From an Allergic Reaction
The plant Curcuma longa is the source of turmeric, one of the spices in curry and a substance also used as an herbal remedy for various health conditions. The chemical curcumin in turmeric provides the herb's taste, distinctive yellow color and potential medicinal properties. Some side effects are associated with turmeric in medicinal amounts, and allergic reactions are possible. Consult a qualified health care provider before using turmeric as an herbal remedy.
Turmeric has a role in alternative health as an herbal remedy for problems with the digestive system, gallbladder and liver. MedlinePlus, a website of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, states that turmeric may be effective for stomach upset, and that curcumin might help reduce some symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence for most of the theorized uses is insufficient to evaluate the effectiveness of turmeric, according to MedlinePlus.
Turmeric Side Effects
Can Turmeric Cause Blood Sugar Levels to Drop?
Although turmeric is used to resolve digestive problems, large amounts can cause digestive side effects such as stomach pain, gas, indigestion, nausea and diarrhea. The University of Maryland Medical Center lists standard doses for adults of up to 3 g per day of the cut root and the dried and powdered root, and up to 600 mg three times per day of standardized curcumin powder. Stomach ulcers can develop after long-term use. Although turmeric is claimed as useful for gallbladder problems, it actually can worsen gallbladder problems, according to MedlinePlus. Turmeric also can slow blood clotting, which may lead to excessive bleeding. Don't take medicinal amounts of turmeric if you are pregnant, as it can stimulate the uterus and induce menstruation.
- Although turmeric is used to resolve digestive problems, large amounts can cause digestive side effects such as stomach pain, gas, indigestion, nausea and diarrhea.
- Although turmeric is claimed as useful for gallbladder problems, it actually can worsen gallbladder problems, according to MedlinePlus.
Turmeric Allergic Reactions
A small number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria, commonly called hives, have been reported due to skin contact with turmeric or curcumin, reports the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Two cases involved the use of chlorhexidine solutions, and patch tests confirmed an allergy to curcumin. A case of allergic contact dermatitis occurred in a pasta factory employee who worked with curcumin food coloring, according to a study published in "Contact Dermatitis" in July 1998. A case of anaphylaxis after consuming turmeric also has been reported, with a positive allergy test for turmeric, according to Drugs.com.
- A small number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria, commonly called hives, have been reported due to skin contact with turmeric or curcumin, reports the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, so you are more likely to be allergic to turmeric if you are allergic to ginger. You also are more likely to be allergic to turmeric if you've experienced an allergic reaction to yellow food coloring. While eating small amounts of turmeric as a spice in food is not likely to cause side effects such as digestive problems, it could cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to turmeric or curcumin.
Can Turmeric Cause Blood Sugar Levels to Drop?
How to Use Turmeric to Reduce Inflammation and Pain
Can You Eat Turmeric Powder?
Turmeric to Dissolve Blood Clots
Side Effects of Echinacea & Goldenseal
Side Effects of the Curcumin in Turmeric
Turmeric & Potassium
Can Turmeric Affect Your Blood Pressure?
What Is a Turmeric Rhizome?
- Drugs.com: Turmeric
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Turmeric
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Turmeric
- American Cancer Society: Turmeric
- "Dermatitis"; Contact Urticaria from Curcumin; M. Liddle, et al.; December 2006
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Turmeric. Updated November 27, 2018.
- Gupta SC, Patchva S, Aggarwal BB. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2013;15(1):195-218. doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
- Daily JW, Yang M, Park S. Efficacy of turmeric extracts and curcumin for alleviating the symptoms of joint arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Med Food. 2016;19(8):717-29. doi:10.1089/jmf.2016.3705
- Hewlings SJ, Kalman DS. Curcumin: A review of its effects on human health. Foods. 2017;6(10). doi:10.3390/foods6100092
- Cavaleri F. Presenting a new standard drug model for turmeric and its prized extract, curcumin. Int J Inflam. 2018;2018:5023429.
- Khayat S, Fanaei H, Kheirkhah M, Moghadam ZB, Kasaeian A, Javadimehr M. Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2015;23(3):318-24. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2015.04.001
- Maulina T, Diana H, Cahyanto A, Amaliya A. The efficacy of curcumin in managing acute inflammation pain on the post-surgical removal of impacted third molars patients: a randomised controlled trial. J Oral Rehabil. 2018;45(9):677-683. doi:10.1111/joor.12679
- Buhrmann C, Mobasheri A, Busch F, et al. Curcumin modulates nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-mediated inflammation in human tenocytes in vitro: role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway. J Biol Chem. 2011;286(32):28556-66. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.256180
- Fusar-poli L, Vozza L, Gabbiadini A, et al. Curcumin for depression: a meta-analysis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;1-11. doi:10.1080/10408398.2019.1653260
- Kunnumakkara AB, Bordoloi D, Padmavathi G, et al. Curcumin, the golden nutraceutical: multitargeting for multiple chronic diseases. Br J Pharmacol. 2017;174(11):1325-1348. doi:10.1111/bph.13621
- Burge K, Gunasekaran A, Eckert J, Chaaban H. Curcumin and intestinal inflammatory diseases: molecular mechanisms of protection. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(8). doi:10.3390/ijms20081912
- Bai X, Oberley-deegan RE, Bai A, et al. Curcumin enhances human macrophage control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Respirology. 2016;21(5):951-7. doi:10.1111/resp.12762
- Lee SW, Nah SS, Byon JS, et al. Transient complete atrioventricular block associated with curcumin intake. Int J Cardiol. 2011;150(2):e50-2. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2009.09.530
- Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Possible interactions with: turmeric. Updated January 5, 2015.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Can spices cause allergic reactions?
- Tayyem RF, Heath DD, Al-delaimy WK, Rock CL. Curcumin content of turmeric and curry powders. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(2):126-31. doi:10.1207/s15327914nc5502_2
- Gupta SC, Kismali G, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin, a component of turmeric: from farm to pharmacy. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):2-13. DOI: 10.1002/biof.1079.
- Gupta SC, Patchva S, Koh W, Aggarwal BB. Discovery of curcumin, a component of golden spice, and its miraculous biological activities. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2012 Mar;39(3):283-99. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2011.05648.x.
- Patrick K, Stanbrook MB. Take turmeric with a grain of salt. CMAJ. 2018;190(43):E1270. doi:10.1503/cmaj.181358
Shelley Moore is a journalist and award-winning short-story writer. She specializes in writing about personal development, health, careers and personal finance. Moore has been published in "Family Circle" magazine and the "Milwaukee Sentinel" newspaper, along with numerous other national and regional magazines, daily and weekly newspapers and corporate publications. She has a Bachelor of Science in psychology.