Turmeric is meant for curries, not capsules

The little amount that the human body can absorb has an insignificant biological effect. But when taken in inordinate amounts as a health supplement, it can do more harm than good.

Late last year, a regular patient with stable liver cirrhosis and uncontrolled diabetes was admitted to the intensive care unit with unexpected extensive skin bleeds. After a long-drawn battle which included a transfusion of multiple blood products and vitamin K injections, the bleeding was controlled and he was sent home. The reason for his ordeal: the ingestion of turmeric supplements to control his diabetes.

In a similar case, a young woman with severe hepatitis and jaundice without any identifiable cause for her acute liver disease was ultimately diagnosed with herb-induced liver injury secondary to turmeric supplements that she was taking …


Cyriac Abby Philips

Cyriac Abby Philips is a highly cited, acclaimed and award-winning liver disease specialist and clinician-scientist based at The Liver Institute, Rajagiri Hospital, Kochi. His seminal research includes the introduction of healthy donor stool transplant for patients battling severe alcohol-related liver disease. He has also authored disruptive peer-reviewed publications on Ayush-related liver injury and herbal and dietary supplements.