Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for best turmeric supplements

Turmeric is known for its numerous health benefits, and you can buy it in various forms to treat a host of issues. The use of turmeric is rooted in traditional Indian medicine. An antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, it can potentially relieve symptoms caused by numerous health conditions.

And while you should never substitute prescribed medication with a supplement — or take a supplement without checking with your doctor first — you may find turmeric to be a good option for you if you’re looking for a drug-free anti-inflammatory product.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice; the plant from which it is derived from shares the same name. The spice is harvested from the roots of the turmeric plant, which grow in parts of Asia, Central America, and India. In addition to medicinal purposes, turmeric is used for cooking and even as a dye thanks to its bold yellow hue. Although turmeric contains several compounds, it is the primary active ingredient, curcumin, which provides turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties.

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Capsules are the most common form of turmeric supplements. However, some companies also offer tablets, gummies, and even liquid dosages for consumers who don’t like to swallow pills.

Supplement effectiveness

Many people swear by the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. However, the spice doesn’t have a very reliable absorption rate into the body’s bloodstream. Some brands are made with black pepper, which is thought to help absorption. In addition, taking the supplement with the healthy fats found in lean meat or coconut oil — or with dark, flavonoid-rich fruits like berries and grapes — may enhance absorption.

Health conditions that may respond to turmeric

As mentioned above, it is the curcumin in turmeric that is thought to calm inflammation. In turn, when inflammation is reduced, symptoms such as stiffness and pain may diminish. Inflammation can occur due to problems with the joints, muscles, respiratory system, and digestive tract, so taking a turmeric supplement may be beneficial if you have any of these afflictions.

While it’s always important to have symptoms checked out by a healthcare professional first, here are some of the top problems that are likely to respond to the anti-inflammatory properties of a turmeric supplement.

  • Arthritis

  • Heartburn and digestive issues

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Back pain

  • Menstrual pain

  • Fatigue

  • Inflammation of the skin

  • Acne

  • Headache

  • Seasonal allergies

  • Muscle and joint swelling

Potential side effects

Turmeric doesn’t typically cause side effects, especially when taken as indicated. However, some sensitive individuals may experience mild to moderate reactions after taking the supplement. Negative reactions to turmeric may include nausea, diarrhea, lightheadedness, dizziness, increased heart rate, and vomiting.

Taking extremely high doses of turmeric may increase your likelihood of experiencing these side effects. For this reason, you should never take more than the maximum daily recommended dosage found on the packaging.

Reasons to avoid taking turmeric

Turmeric supplements are generally thought to be safe, but there are some circumstances in which consumers should avoid taking them.

  • Turmeric can make blood clot more slowly, so individuals with health conditions that cause bleeding issues should not take a supplement.

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take turmeric.

  • The curcumin found in turmeric can mimic estrogen. Women with certain hormonal issues should avoid these supplements.

  • Curcumin could potentially raise your blood sugar level. As such, diabetics should not take turmeric supplements.

  • People with extremely sensitive stomachs or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) may find that turmeric aggravates their symptoms.

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Did you know?
Antioxidants like those found in curcumin provide protection to cells in the body from potential damage caused by free radicals.

Features of turmeric supplements


Some turmeric supplements contain other ingredients as well, such as probiotics that aid digestion, black pepper (bioperine) to boosts curcumin absorption, and spices and herbs (like ginger) that offer healthful benefits. Many high-quality turmeric supplements are made with ingredients that are vegetarian and free of dairy, gluten, soy, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.


The number of supplements you should take each day varies from brand to brand. Typically, one to two capsules taken once or twice a day is recommended, but you should always check the label to find the right dosage for you.


Doses also vary in potency. In most turmeric supplements, you will find a range from 500 to 1,500 milligrams per dose.


Turmeric supplements are sold in bottles that are either dark brown or opaque to keep out light that could diminish potency. You will find varying quantities of capsules, softgels, tablets, and gummies. Most bottles contain between 30 and 90 pieces.

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Expert Tip
The curcumin compounds in turmeric supplements are often referred to on product labels as curcuminoids.

Turmeric supplement prices

Inexpensive turmeric supplements cost $7 to $10 per package. Although these lower-cost supplements are often not as potent as pricier brands, they are still worth trying for consumers who seek anti-inflammatory benefits on a budget.

Between $10 to $20, you will find quality supplements with natural vegan ingredients and a range of potencies, including an extra-strength option.

If you are willing to pay $25 or a bit more, you can get a turmeric supplement with quality ingredients by a top brand. Many supplements at this price level contain high levels of curcumin so you don’t have to take as many doses each day.

"Curry is a traditional seasoning used in Indian dishes that contains several spices, including turmeric, which gives it its bright yellow color."


  • For optimal purity, choose a turmeric supplement that’s made with organic ingredients.

  • Tell your doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing and drugs you are taking before trying a turmeric supplement.

  • Always drink water when taking a turmeric supplement. It will help you swallow the capsules and give your digestion and absorption a little boost.

  • If you try a brand of turmeric supplements and aren’t happy with the results, you may want to give another product a try. An individual may respond better to one brand over another.

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Turmeric is in the same family as ginger, which is also derived from roots and used for culinary and medicinal purposes.


Q. What is the most effective dosage of turmeric?

A. Turmeric supplements are measured by the milligrams of curcumin they contain. Although the recommended amount varies depending on the ailment, 500 to 1,500 milligrams per day are typical dosages to get results from the supplement.

Q. I noticed that some turmeric supplements have non-GMO ingredients. What does this mean?

A. A substance that is non-GMO, or non-genetically modified, means that the ingredients were not grown using synthetic or artificial engineering methods. Many consumers fear that there may be health and environmental risks posed by GMO ingredients and therefore seek non-GMO products.

Q. What does turmeric taste like?

A. If you don’t have a palate for bitter foods, you probably wouldn’t like the somewhat bitter, spicy flavor of turmeric. Fortunately, if you can swallow a pill, you won’t have to worry about tasting a turmeric supplement.

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