How Do You Use Turmeric for Arthritis Pain?


Quick Answer

Turmeric is available as a spice, capsule or extract, according to the Arthritis Foundation. However, high doses can cause stomach upset and blood thinning, so turmeric should be used with caution.

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Turmeric is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, reports the Arthritis Foundation. Studies in 2006, 2010 and 2012 reported that curcumin, the key ingredient in turmeric, provided long-term pain relief from inflammation, though the 2006 study also reported that turmeric was more effective at preventing than relieving joint inflammation.

However, curcumin is available in turmeric in small doses, cautions the Arthritis Foundation. Turmeric contains less than 6 percent curcumin. There is no standardized dosage available, according to WebMD, although the Arthritis Foundation suggests 400 milligrams to 600 milligrams three times per day for osteoarthritis and 500 milligrams twice a day for rheumatoid arthritis. Before adding turmeric as a medical supplement, consult a doctor for advice.

Turmeric is most commonly eaten as a spice, reports WebMD. It is considered safe to take as a supplement, though in high doses and in the long-term it may cause nausea and diarrhea. High doses also put patients at risk of ulcers. Turmeric may also cause skin irritations if applied topically. Pregnant women and people with gallstones should not take turmeric.

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