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How to talk to your medical professional about golden paste

By Liz Wallis for Turmeric Life

If you ask for help with medication interactions in the Turmeric User Group (i.e. interactions between golden paste and prescription medications), you may be told to consult your doctor. There are many instances where we can safely advise you on the common interactions. But there are also situations where you need to check with your own doctor or vet.
I’m going to refer to doctors in the following, rather than trying to specify all the possibilities. Substitute veterinarian, dentist, or whatever is appropriate for your situation.

First, don’t say “I’m taking golden paste!” Golden paste is a combination of water and three common foods. Using the term “take” may immediately put the doctor on guard about what you’re using. Turmeric is not a supplement—it’s a food.

Second, avoid the use of the word “dose” or “dosage.” Do you have doses of other foods? No, you have servings or portions or slices, or whatever word would be appropriate for the food.

Most doctors will have no idea what you mean by golden paste. So just talk about turmeric and black pepper.

Tell the doctor something like “I use a lot of turmeric and black pepper in my cooking.” Or “I add turmeric and black pepper to much of what I eat.” If the doctor wants to know more, that’s your opportunity to explain about the combination of turmeric, a healthy oil and freshly ground black pepper. Don’t complicate things at the beginning by launching into something the doctor may not be interested in, or may be immediately suspicious of. Let the medical professional express an interest, and then you can give explanations.

Tell the truth, and provide details if they’re requested. This could be an opportunity to educate one more doctor or vet. But remember that turmeric is justifiably regarded in many circles as yet another fad. Medical professionals are rightly suspicious of the exaggerated claims they see online. Don’t make your situation more difficult by contributing to those. Just provide the facts.

One last caution: don’t argue about curcumin supplements. If the doctor says “You need to take a capsule to get enough curcumin,” or something similar, just smile and say you’re happy with what you’re doing. You may have an opportunity later on to explain why curcumin extracts are usually not preferred. This isn’t the point to get into an argument. You’re trying to determine medication interactions, not convince the doctor about golden paste.

If the doctor says categorically that you may not have golden paste along with your medication(s), ask why. Don't be confrontational about it; just ask nicely for an explanation. It may be that the doctor reacted to the word 'turmeric' without really listening to your explanation of how you're consuming it. On the other hand, the doctor may have a very good reason for refusing you. Use the refusal as a chance to learn. If you're in the Turmeric User Group, please come back and tell us what the doctor said. We want to hear real-world experiences with golden paste from medical professionals, even if the experience was negative.

  Finally, considering printing out our Information for Medical Professionals to take with you to the appointment, or to give the doctor if he or she requests more information.