The Truth About Turmeric and Kidney Stones

turmeric and kidney stones

Turmeric is a powerful spice with many health benefits, but can it lead to kidney stones? This is a question that many people are asking. The scientific name for a kidney stone is renal calculus or nephrolith. They can be a painful and debilitating experience, so it’s essential to understand the truth about Turmeric and its potential link to renal stones. Turmeric has a considerable range of oxalate, which can form calcium oxalate kidney stones (the most common type of kidney stone). Nevertheless, some curcumin products (turmeric extracts) have little to no oxalate. So, we recommend not using turmeric extract (curcumin products) if you are at risk of developing kidney stones. This blog post will look at the facts to help you decide if Turmeric is a safe and healthy option for you.

How Turmeric can help prevent kidney stones!

Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Studies have shown that curcumin can inhibit calcium oxalate crystal formation, one of the most common causes of kidney stones. Additionally, curcumin can reduce oxalate levels in the blood, which can help reduce the risk of developing renal stones. Curcumin may also help reduce uric acid levels, reducing the risk of kidney stone formation. Overall, taking turmeric or curcumin supplements can help lower the risk of kidney stones.

Turmeric is a spice that has many health benefits.

It is the root of a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family. Ancient Ayurveda used it for centuries for culinary and medicinal properties. It contains a powerful compound known as curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin is responsible for many of turmeric’s health benefits, including its ability to fight inflammation, reduce pain, lower cholesterol, and improve digestion. Studies have also found that turmeric can be beneficial for mental health, as it may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, some research suggests that it can help reduce cancer risk and protect against Alzheimer’s. All in all, turmeric can be a great addition to your diet to help keep you healthy and happy!


Is turmeric bad for the kidneys?

Taking small dosages of turmeric to spice up your food is safe. However, you must consult your doctor to take curcumin supplements. 

Benefits of turmeric to people with kidney problems

While curcumin can cause kidney stone formation, it also has multiple benefits for people with kidney issues.

Relieves chronic kidney disease (CKD)

A current study shows that curcumin supplements boost healthy gut microbes levels that restrict harmful activity. This can be healthy for controlling chronic CKD. 

Curcumin promotes the making of proteolytic enzymes (breakdown proteins) that assist in metabolizing uremic toxins such as indoxyl sulfate and p-cresyl sulfate), both of which yield the advancement of chronic kidney disease.

When kidney harm becomes more threatening, the overhead toxins usually grow. However, study volunteers who took curcumin didn’t experience increased uremic toxins.

While more studies can only verify its capacity, there is a good alternative that curcumin may slow down the overall progression of chronic kidney disease.

Complementary treatment for hemodialysis patients

People living with chronic kidney disease require hemodialysis often. This treatment clears wastes and water from the blood when the kidneys itself doesn’t. It is pretty bad news that hemodialysis can release healthy antioxidants from the patient’s body which then causes oxidative stress.

Thanks to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects, it’s feasible to use it as a complementary therapy for hemodialysis patients. 

It may deter the advancement of polycystic kidney disorder.

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disorder (ADPKD) is a sort of hereditary kidney disorder in about 0.1 percent–0.4 percent of the world population. In this disorder, a patient forms numerous developing cysts in both kidneys. When cysts evolve bigger, they disrupt kidney function.

Examinations have shown that curcumin delayed the growth of such cysts in mouse models. This indicates its potential to become a part of the ADPKD treatment.

Across the board, curcumin’s anti-oxidative and inflammatory effects can satisfy many kidney ailments. However, more studies must establish its safety and efficacy for patients with kidney issues.

Can Turmeric help dissolve kidney stones?

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, which may help reduce kidney inflammation. Studies have found that turmeric can help ease the pain associated with kidney stones and even increase the stone passage rate, but it cannot help dissolve the renal stones.
When consumed in large amounts, turmeric can also act as a diuretic, which helps to increase urine output. This increased urine output can help to flush out small stones, making them easier to pass.
If you have kidney stones and are considering taking turmeric, stop taking it immediately, or you must speak with your doctor first.

Turmeric is safe for most people, but there are a few side effects to be aware of

Turmeric can cause upset stomach and nausea. If you experience these symptoms, reduce the amount of turmeric you take or discontinue use. In rare cases, turmeric may also cause an allergic reaction, including an itchy rash. If you have allergies to other spices, consult your doctor before taking turmeric. It may also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, diabetes medications, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Talk to your doctor if you are taking any medicines before taking turmeric.
Turmeric is safe for most people, but it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Your doctor will be able to provide more specific advice on using turmeric, as well as its potential side effects.

What are the adverse effects of taking turmeric?

One of the most noteworthy things to recall about this healthy spice is that it grows urinary oxalate levels.

Curcumin is high in soluble oxalates. These oxalates conjoin themselves to calcium and create insoluble calcium oxalate, which is accountable for most renal stones. Roughly 75 percent of all stones are calcium oxalate.

Remember that you don’t need to swallow large doses of turmeric. Supplemental doses can seriously dissemble urinary oxalate levels and increase the risk of developing stones in unsuspecting people.

kidney stones formation
Anatomy of kidney and kidney stones illustration

How much turmeric causes kidney stones?

The consumption of moderate turmeric dosage is not recommended for people prone to form kidney stones. Those suffering from kidney stones should restrict the consumption of total dietary oxalate to less than 40 to 50 mg/day, which means no more than, at most, a teaspoon of turmeric. Take charge of your health and always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before adding high doses of turmeric supplements to your diet.

Other Foods for Kidney Health

Also, include the following foods in your diet on a daily basis.

  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, and collard greens are packed with vitamins A and C and calcium)
  • Berries
  • Cranberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish
  • Cabbage

Talk to your doctor before taking turmeric.

Speaking with a doctor before starting any new health regimen, including taking turmeric, is essential. This is especially true if you have kidney stones. Turmeric can help prevent and dissolve kidney stones, but it may not be the best option for everyone.
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been linked to the formation of calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of kidney stone. In some cases, taking too much turmeric can actually increase the risk of developing kidney stones.

In a Nutshell

There is evidence that curcumin can worsen existing calcium oxalate stones because it increases their productivity and reduces their breakdown. If you have existing kidney stones, taking turmeric could also make them worse. Therefore, speaking with your doctor before taking turmeric if you have any existing kidney stones is important. In addition to potential adverse side effects on kidney stones, there are other side effects associated with taking too much turmeric. These include stomach upset, nausea, headache, and dizziness. Therefore, your doctor can help assess your risk and decide if consuming turmeric is right for you. They will also be able to advise you on the best dosage for your needs.


Tang M, Larson-Meyer DE, Liebman M. Effect of cinnamon and turmeric on urinary oxalate excretion, plasma lipids, and plasma glucose in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1262-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.5.1262. PMID: 18469248.

Role of Turmeric and Curcumin in Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials

Ghodasara J, Pawar A, Deshmukh C, Kuchekar B. Inhibitory effect of rutin and curcumin on experimentally-induced calcium oxalate urolithiasis in rats. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Nov;2(6):388-92. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.75462. PMID: 21713144; PMCID: PMC3111700.


Taiba Tariq

Taiba Tariq is a healthcare nutrition hobbyist, enthusiastic about researching healthcare & skincare news while analyzing the latest and science-backed evidence about nutrition, skin care, and supplements. She wants to help people regain their beauty, health, and well-being through natural means.

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