As more and more people discover Future Pharm’s all-natural turmeric extract, we get more and more testimonials from clients who are experiencing pain relief after taking our product. One of the most common comments we hear is how turmeric provides relief for arthritis pain they are experiencing. Since this has become such common feedback for us, we wanted to share how turmeric may help arthritis pain.

For the record:  what is turmeric?

Understanding what turmeric is will help understand how it may help with arthritis pain. The turmeric plant grows in India and Indonesia and is related to the ginger family. Curcumin is a key chemical in turmeric. Turmeric can be taken as a capsule, extract or a powdered spice. It can also be found as a fresh root but is not a typical form of turmeric consumption for most people!

How does turmeric potentially works to relieve pain?

According to the Arthritis Foundation website, turmeric is traditionally used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis turmeric/curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Still other resources say it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation. Known as a cleansing agent, turmeric often is used as a digestive aid in India. Several studies show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. A past study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids, which are plant-based nutrients that contain powerful antioxidant properties, blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.

Does this mean those who suffer from arthritis pain may use turmeric instead of NSAIDs?

Though it is always a good idea to seek the advice of a medical professional before adding any kind of supplement to your diet, turmeric is considered a possible natural alternative to NSAIDs. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects may help to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat. Many people take turmeric instead of NSAIDs to potentially allow the body to heal naturally without damaging stomach, liver and kidneys. However, you should not take turmeric with NSAIDs as both are blood thinners.

Are there studies show that turmeric is effective for arthritis pain relief?

There are several studies showing how turmeric may help with arthritis pain. According to the Dr. Weil website, one study was a three-month trial involving 50 patients diagnosed by x-ray with osteoarthritis of the knee. Half the participating patients took the turmeric formulation in addition to standard medical treatment; those in the second group continued following their physicians’ recommendations.

After 90 days, the researchers found a 58 percent decrease in overall reported pain and stiffness as well as an improvement in physical functioning among the turmeric group compared to the controls. In addition, another scoring method showed a 300 percent improvement in the emotional well-being of the turmeric patients compared with the others. Another study cited by the University of Maryland Medical Center,  found that people using an Ayurvedic formula of herbs and minerals with turmeric, winter cherry, and zinc had less pain and disability. Still another study shows research published in the spring of 2012 showed that curcumin possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. The clinical study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of curcumin alone, and in combination with an NSAID drug (Voltaren) in patients with active RA. You can read the impressive results in the article, “Curcumin: The Spice that Is Better than Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis”.

Are there any precautions before taking turmeric for arthritis pain?

Regardless of what kind of pain or inflammation you’re experiencing, there are a few precautions to consider. If you take blood pressure medicine, consult your doctor before adding turmeric to your diet. It can cause gallstones if you take over 1500 mil a day, so follow the recommended dosage for the turmeric product you use. NSAIDs, aspirin, Warfarin (coumadin) and other blood thinners should not be used in conjunction with turmeric.

Turmeric is potentially a very effective anti-inflammatory. In some studies, it has shown to be potentially as effective if not more effective than many NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If you’re seeking a natural, all-organic product for pain, consider Future Pharm’s USDA certified organic turmeric extract.