Can I Take Turmeric with Aspirin?
People who take aspirin might wonder if they can take turmeric at the same time.
Is taking turmeric and aspirin at the same time safe?
This post covers how turmeric and aspirin work similarly and suggests why people should be careful about taking them at the same time.
Turmeric and aspirin reduce pain and inflammation
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that gives turmeric its bright orange color and powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation that is triggered by exercise, arthritis, and other scenarios that damage muscles and joints by downregulating inflammatory signal cascades. Inflammatory signal cascades are damaged cells’ way of telling the body it needs to send help to start healing the area.
Aspirin, like other over-the-counter pain relief medications, reduces pain and inflammation by blocking the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are signaling molecules created by the body when muscles and joints are damaged. Prostaglandins lead to the inflammatory signal cascades mentioned earlier.
While the body uses inflammation to jump-start the healing process, inflammation should be brought back into balance. If there are not enough anti-inflammatory compounds available in the body, inflammation might continue past the point of being helpful. Chronic inflammation can lead to more pain and damage to muscle and joints, the opposite of what helps people feel better.
Turmeric and aspirin both act as blood thinners
Aspirin is an anticoagulant. Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, keep blood cells from sticking together and clotting.
Curcumin, the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric, also acts as a blood thinner by preventing blood cells from clotting.
This means that taking both aspirin and turmeric or curcumin supplements at the same time could increase bleeding risk and might not be considered safe for some people.
Who should ask their doctor before taking turmeric or curcumin?
People who take blood thinner medications like aspirin, Warfarin, or Plavix should always talk to their doctor before taking a supplement with turmeric and/or curcumin. It could be unsafe to take them at the same time. Your doctor will be able to provide personalized guidance on how to avoid excessive bleeding risk.
Can I Take Turmeric Instead of Aspirin?
If you experience inflammation and pain from skiing, running, weightlifting, or health conditions like arthritis, you can ask your doctor if a turmeric supplement might help. Swapping aspirin for turmeric without talking to your doctor first might not be the best idea, especially if you take any medications or other supplements that act as blood thinners.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Taking Turmeric
It’s worth it to be on the safe side by asking your doctor about new supplements like turmeric before trying them.
If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, Amari's Berry Lemonade and Tangerine Recovery Sports Drink is a great supplement to try out for exercise-related inflammation.
Written by Katie Mednick MBA, RDNKatie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people who struggle with chronic inflammation and pain feel better.