Turmeric: Nature's Cure for Joint Pain
Nature contains some of the safest, most powerful, and most effective therapies. One treatment option that has been successfully used for centuries is turmeric. This bright yellow spice has been used in India for both medicinal and ceremonial reasons, and in Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. It is also commonly used in Thai, Indian, Persian, and Pakistani dishes. Not only is turmeric tasty, but it also helps with joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
How Does Turmeric Work?
Research has pointed to the curcumin contained in turmeric as the active ingredient that is responsible for treating joint issues. An antioxidant, curcumin works by protecting cells from oxidation. While oxidation is normal, it can damage cells. Curcumin attacks free radicals, which are the byproducts of oxidation, and does away with them. Not only does this help ease joint pain, but since free radicals are the root cause of aging, turmeric also assists in the aging process.
Is There Proof Of These Turmeric Benefits?
Several studies have proven the effectiveness of turmeric, typically taken in supplement form.
- A clinical trial in 2010 found that patients with knee osteoarthritis, OA who took a supplement with 75 percent turmeric experienced long-term pain and function improvement.
- A study with 105 patients who suffer from knee OA were randomly selected to receive a turmeric supplement or 800mg of ibuprofen a day for six weeks. The patients did a 100-m walk and walked up and down a flight of stairs to test their pain and function levels. After the trial, it was concluded that the turmeric and the ibuprofen were equally effective in treating pain.
- In 2012, a small study concluded that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had just as much relief from a supplement containing curcumin as they did with an anti-inflammatory drug.
- An Italian study was completed and showed similar results to the above. The team created a special supplement meant to maximize the absorption of the turmeric in the body. After three months, the results showed that the group taking the supplement saw improvements. Also, the group taking turmeric reported a 300 percent improvement in their well-being.
How Do I Take Turmeric For Joint Pain Relief?
Turmeric is available in a few different forms if taken as a supplement. You can find it in capsules, a fluid extract, and a tincture. Bromelain is often found in turmeric products as it improves the absorption of the herb and increases the anti-inflammatory effects of the curcumin.
Depending on the form, the follow doses are recommended for adults:
- Fluid extract: 30 to 90 drops a day
- Curcumin Powder: 400 to 600 mg, three times a day
- Dried, powdered root: 1 to 3 grams a day
- Cut root: 1.5 to 3 grams a day
- Tincture: 15 to 30 drops, 4 times a day
What Else Is Turmeric Good For?
Along with relieving joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, turmeric has also been shown to help fight infections, treat digestive problems, and may help prevent or treat certain cancers.
- Digestive Issues-The active ingredient in turmeric, curumin stimulates the gallbladder, causing it produce bile. This can help improve the digestion process. Also, one study found that it reduced symptoms of gas and bloating. Another study showed that curcumin can lower the relapse rate of those with ulcerative colitis.
- Cancer-A lot of research has been done on turmeric's effect on cancer. Animal and test tube studies suggest that the herb may help prevent and even treat many types of cancers, including colon, breast, skin, and prostate cancer. The reason for this may be related to the antioxidant properties that protect the cells from damage.
- Infections-Studies on animals have shown that turmeric kills viruses and bacteria, but it hasn't been tested on humans yet.
- Neurodegenerative Conditions-Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and provides positive circulatory effects. This may help treat and even prevent conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and other similar conditions.
What Are The Negative Effects Of Turmeric?
Herbs, including turmeric, have been used for thousands of years to treat disease and strengthen the body. However, they can interact with medications, supplements, and other herbs.
When taking turmeric and curcumin supplements, they are considered safe when taken at recommended doses. Taking large amounts for long periods, however, can cause stomach upset.
The herb is safe in food, but in supplement form, it should be used with caution for some. Turmeric can cause low blood sugar so those with diabetes shoudl talk with their doctor first. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the supplement form. Also, turmeric can be a blood thinner so stop taking it prior to surgery and let your doctor know if you have been taking it.
As you can see, nature offers us some great treatment options. If you experience joint pain, consider turmeric for the relief you desire.