Is Turmeric Effective for Joint Pain?


Quick Answer

Turmeric, specifically its active compound curcumin, is known to effectively relieve joint pain. This frequently used kitchen spice minimizes joint pain and lessens swelling and stiffness that are commonly associated with arthritis, according to Mercola.com.

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Full Answer

Two primary types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In the United States, an estimated two million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which is less common but more serious than osteoarthritis. Treatment for this condition usually involves taking medications that are known to cause adverse side effects with prolonged usage. Meanwhile, the application of turmeric for arthritic therapy is said to have none of these unwanted side effects.

Research studies attribute turmeric's therapeutic powers to its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, which trigger the immune system to respond differently. In a 2012 clinical trial, a product derived from curcumin proved to be more effective than the brand name nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Voltaren, according to Mercola.com. The study also showed the lack of undesirable side effects from those who received the curcumin treatment. All the participants in the curcumin group followed through with the study, while 14 percent of those in the NSAID group withdrew.

A 2006 scientific experiment also revealed that turmeric supplements containing curcuminoids effectively inhibited the inflammatory mechanism of a pain-inducing enzyme called COX-2. When delivered to swollen joints via the soy-derived phosphatidylcholine, curcumin provides relief from arthritic pain and stiffness.

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