Turmeric For Weight Loss: Does It Actually Work?

Learn how the medicinal properties of this spice can support you in your weight loss journey.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sandeep Jassal, DNM
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist
Edited by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Fact-checked by Himanshi Mahajan, BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Turmeric is a regular kitchen ingredient in many Indian households. It contains numerous bio-actives that work as nutraceuticals, so using it for weight loss and fat burning is now a growing trend. This herb is more effective and safer than most other fancy weight loss pills that break the bank. Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it a metabolism booster and ideal for weight loss. Moreover, it has been used to address many health problems since ancient times. Modern research also backs the good effects of consuming turmeric. Hence, it is a good time to replace those weight loss pills with turmeric for weight loss. Here’s how turmeric aids weight loss and how you can add it to your diet. Read on.

How Does Turmeric Aid Weight Loss?

Image: IStock

One of the reasons of weight gain is low-grade metabolic inflammation. Turmeric contains a polyphenol, curcumin that possesses anti-inflammatory and antiobesity properties. This property of curcumin helps to suppress white adipose tissue inflammation. Curcumin also inhibits fat cell proliferation and promotes adiponectin secretion, an anti-inflammatory agent secreted by fat cells (1) (2).

Another way in which turmeric helps weight loss is by regulating sugar levels, improving glucose metabolism and preventing insulin resistance. As a result, excess fat is not retained in your body. People who are overweight or obese are prone to diabetes, eating turmeric protects them from this condition.

It has been seen that regular consumption of turmeric increases the bile present in the stomach. Bile is a digestive juice that helps in emulsifying fat and consequently, its metabolism. So, this is another way in which turmeric is effective in weight loss.

Dr. Petunia Lee, PhD, shared her experience of using turmeric for weight loss in her blog. She said, “I took a teaspoon of turmeric morning and night. Within 3 days, the water retention melted off. In the last 2 weeks, I lost 2 kgs (i).”

How To Use Turmeric For Weight Loss

1. Turmeric And Cinnamon Tea For Weight Loss

Image: Shutterstock
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric paste
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon fresh mint leaf paste
  • 1 cup water
How To Prepare
  1. Pour a cup of water into a saucepan and add the cinnamon powder.
  2. Boil the water till it reduces to half.
  3. Pour it into a cup and let it cool down to a temperature which is neither hot nor cold.
  4. Add turmeric and mint paste.
  5. Stir well. If needed, strain it before drinking.
Benefits

Cinnamon helps to improve insulin sensitivity and is a potent antioxidant (3).

Mint leaves have antioxidant properties that help treat allergies and cold. The leaves also support the digestive system, treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and help relieve pain (4).

2. Turmeric Milk For Weight Loss

Image: Shutterstock
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
How To Prepare
  1. Heat the milk in medium flame for about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Pour the milk into a glass and add the turmeric powder.
  3. Stir well.
Benefits

Milk is a great source of calcium and therefore helps to strengthen the bones and protects women from the risk of osteoporosis (5).


protip_icon Quick Tip
If you are vegan, you can use soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk. You may add a pinch of black pepper for strong flavors.

3. Ginger Turmeric Tea For Weight Loss

Image: Shutterstock
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric paste
  • 1 ½ cup water
How To Prepare
  1. Pour the water into a saucepan.
  2. Add ginger and turmeric paste and let it come to a boil.
  3. Immediately turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Strain it before drinking.
Benefits

Ginger can help with appetite control and has anti-flatulent, bad cholesterol-lowering, and gastro-protective properties (6). Hence, considering turmeric tea for weight loss is a healthy option.


protip_icon Quick Tip
You may add some honey for sweetness and cinnamon to improve the beverage’s flavor.

4. Turmeric And Centella Juice to Lose Weight

Image: Shutterstock
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Centella paste
  • 1 cup water
How To Prepare
  1. Add the turmeric and Centella paste to a cup of water and leave it for half an hour in the fridge.
  2. Strain the water before drinking.
Benefits

Centella (Centella asiatica) is a herb that tastes sour and is used to cure skin problems, poor digestion, improves cognition, and prevents female genitourinary tract diseasesi  XA group of medical conditions affecting the genitalia, genital tract or the urinary tract. (7).

5. Turmeric And Garlic Shot for Weight Loss

Image: Shutterstock
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric paste
  • ½ teaspoon fresh garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 90 ml water
How To Prepare
  1. Add lemon juice, turmeric and garlic paste to 90 ml water.
  2. Stir well before drinking it in one go.
Benefits
  • Garlic helps to prevent metabolic diseases, reduces the risk of diabetes, hyperlipidemiai  XA condition characterized by the presence of lipids (fats) in excessive amounts in the bloodstream. , thrombosis, and hypertension (8).
  • Lemons prevent body fat accumulation, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance (9).

When To Consume Turmeric For Weight Loss?

  • Consume turmeric tea or turmeric juice in the morning before breakfast.
  • Consume turmeric milk before going to bed.

Benefits Of Turmeric

Image: IStock

Apart from aiding weight loss, turmeric has a myriad of other benefits.

  1. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and therefore helps to prevent diseases such as arthritis, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (10).
  2. Turmeric has antimicrobial properties and therefore can be used in food as a preservative and the pharmaceutical industry for preparing antimicrobial formulations (11).
  3. Turmeric can help prevent atherosclerosisi  XA condition characterized by the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and along the walls of arteries. , atrial and ventricular arrhythmiasi  XA term used to describe irregular or improper beating of the heart, that is, it may be beating too fast and too slow. since it has thrombosisi  XA potentially serious medical condition in which blood clots block veins or arteries, leading to disrupted circulation. , a condition which may lead to blood clots.” ] and anti-inflammatory properties (12).
  4. Turmeric polyphenol, curcumin, and its derivative bisdemethoxycurcumin prevent blood clotting since it possesses anticoagulant properties (13).
  5. Turmeric can also be applied topically to prevent skin diseases such as acne, vitiligo, psoriasis, and facial photoaging  (14).
  6. Turmeric has anti-cancer properties and has shown to inhibit unlimited cell proliferation (15).
  7. Turmeric enhances the functions of the body’s defense cells and antibody production (16).
  8. A substantial amount of curcumin in your daily diet or as a dietary supplement can provide ideal prevention against oxidative stress and free radicals and therapy for liver disorders and improve liver health. (19).
  9. Curcumin and turmeric have the ability to alter gut microbiome, which plays an important part in the progression of diseases and growth of gut probiotics (20), (21).

Precautions

Too much of anything can be bad, and the same principle applies to turmeric as well. First of all, it is never a good idea to take a supplement of anything when you can easily find it in an organic form. So, try to use the powder, or better yet, use the raw roots instead of taking supplements.

  • You must also be careful about the dosage. It is recommended to limit your daily turmeric consumption to 1,500 mg. For best results, 500 mg is sufficient.
  • Apart from that, many people suffer from allergic reactions to turmeric, and the reactions might range from mild inflammation and itching to violent bouts of diarrhea, gastric upset, and nausea. If you develop rashes on using a lotion containing turmeric, do not ingest the spice.
  • Also, as already mentioned, turmeric increases bile production (17). Used bile is stored in the gall bladder. Increased bile secretion can aggravate gallbladder problems and forms stones in the gallbladder or the duct.
  • Although it is known to be anti-inflammatory, turmeric can act as a stimulant of gastric acid secretion. If you already suffer from acid reflux or hyperacidity, the slightly acidic turmeric may worsen the situation.
  • If you feel any discomfort or pain after taking turmeric, consult the physician and seek medical help.

Useful Tip

Apart from taking your daily recommended dose of turmeric, you should also control your meal’s portion size, avoid junk food and simple carbs, eat veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and protein. If time permits, exercise at least 3 times a week.

While these tips and precautions are useful, some people must avoid turmeric altogether. Let’s find out who and why in the next section.

Who Should Not Take Turmeric?

Turmeric is generally considered safe. However, it is known to have certain adverse reactions. Therefore, avoid taking turmeric if:

  • You have a turmeric allergy as it can lead to itching, hives, swelling, and breathing issues.
  • You are pregnant or lactating, as there is a possibility for curcumin to hinder implantation and embryo development in the early gestation period (22).
  • You are on blood-thinning and anti-platelet medications, as turmeric has anticoagulant properties and may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding (23).

Losing weight is not easy, but when you incorporate turmeric into your daily routine, you will be amazed to see how your body starts healing from within. As that happens, most of your health problems will disappear, obesity being one of them. So, start consuming turmeric today to lose weight, reduce your BMI, and live a healthier life.

Cheers to good health!

Infographic: Consuming Turmeric For Weight Loss

Turmeric has been used as a culinary ingredient as well as a medicinal herb for centuries. However, its benefits extend beyond these traditional uses, as this remarkable root can also aid in weight loss. Check out the infographic below for a few ways you can incorporate turmeric into your weight loss journey effortlessly.

consuming turmeric for weight loss (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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The benefits of turmeric for weight loss are attributed to curcumin, a polyphenol that prevents the inflammation of the adipose tissue. Moreover, this herb and spice also helps keep insulin resistance at bay by managing blood sugar levels and preventing excess fat buildup. Besides weight loss, turmeric also aids in improving the immune system and reducing the risk of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, skin conditions (like acne and psoriasis). So, try out the turmeric recipes listed above before breakfast and before going to bed to induce natural weight loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you drink warm turmeric water every morning for 7 days on an empty stomach?

Turmeric is packed with beneficial antioxidants and compounds that help boost overall health, reduce inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress (17). So, it is a good idea to drink it every morning.

Can you take turmeric and apple cider vinegar together?

Yes. Both ingredients are packed with beneficial compounds that support good health. Apple cider vinegar may help improve your blood sugar, cholesterol, and lipid profiles (18).

Is it better to take turmeric capsules or powder?

Capsules. Turmeric capsules have a high concentration of beneficial compounds and can be easily consumed.

Key Takeaways

  • Curcumin in turmeric soothes inflammation and prevents the proliferation of fat cells in the body.
  • It also prevents insulin resistance, which is helpful for those diagnosed with obesity and diabetes.
  • Consuming turmeric increases bile secretion which aids fat digestion in the body.
  • Add turmeric to your tea or milk and drink it daily for weight loss benefits.
  • Refrain from consuming too much turmeric as it may cause acidity or allergic reactions.


Does turmeric aid in weight loss? Check out this video to learn how you can shed those stubborn pounds with the help of this powerful spice.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Curcumin and obesity
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23339049/
  2. Targeting Inflammation-Induced Obesity and Metabolic Diseases by Curcumin and Other Nutraceuticals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3144156/
  3. Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and alters the body composition in an animal model of the metabolic syndrome
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20515642/
  4. Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Mentha Longifolia L. and its main constituent menthol
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171855/
  5. Invited review: Dairy intake and bone health: a viewpoint from the state of the art
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22032348/
  6. Anti-obesity action of gingerol: effect on lipid profile insulin leptin amylase and lipase in male obese rats induced by a high-fat diet
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24615565/
  7. Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116297/
  8. Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review
    https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-1-4#article-info
  9. Citrus limon (Lemon) Phenomenon—A Review of the Chemistry Pharmacological Properties Applications in the Modern Pharmaceutical Food and Cosmetics Industries and Biotechnological Studies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7020168/
  10. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19594223/
  11. Antimicrobial activity of turmeric extract and its potential use in food industry
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375173/
  12. The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19233493/
  13. Anticoagulant activities of curcumin and its derivative
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22531131/
  14. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821/
  15. Curcumin and tumor immune-editing: resurrecting the immune system
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4603973/
  16. ”Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17211725/
  17. Turmeric the Golden Spice
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/
  18. The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243436/
  19. Curcumin in Liver Diseases: A Systematic Review of the Cellular Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress and Clinical Perspective
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073929/
  20. Interaction between Gut Microbiota and Curcumin: A New Key of Understanding for the Health Effects of Curcumin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551052/
  21. Turmeric Extract: Potential Use as a Prebiotic and Anti-Inflammatory Compound?
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31098880/
  22. Curcumin Supplementation and Endometrial Lining: Examining the Role and Pathophysiology of Use During Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8754353/
  23. Review of herbal medications with the potential to cause bleeding: dental implications, and risk prediction and prevention avenues
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459456/
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