Using turmeric to treat joint pain is a very old practice. Pretty much as long as we have used the root as a spice, we have also used it as a medicine. And for as long as we’ve used it as medicine, we’ve used it to treat joint pain.
Unlike a lot of staples of “traditional medicine”, the use of turmeric to treat stiff, achy joints – and even arthritis – has actually been backed up and accepted by modern medicine. A mountain of research is emerging which shows that the targeted use of turmeric supplements can greatly improve joint stiffness, ease joint pain, and promote flexibility. This has led to turmeric becoming the key ingredient in every top rated joint supplement on the market, including Relief Factor, Joint Fuel 360, and Performance Lab Flex.
So how does turmeric work to ease joint pain exactly? How should you take turmeric for joint pain? How long does turmeric take to start easing joint pain?
Below we will answer these questions in detail. First though, we need to look at how turmeric actually works to ease joint pain.
How does turmeric work for joint pain?
Turmeric works for joint pain by reducing inflammaton. However, turmeric itself isn’t what inhibits inflammation. It’s actually curcumin, the active chemical in turmeric, that reduces inflammation and eases joint pain. Research shows that curcumin blocks certain enzymes and cytokines that lead to inflammation.
Specifically, the curcumin in turmeric appears to block NF-κB (a protein complex) activation which is increased by several different inflammatory stimuli, such as impacts, stress, or toxins. Studies have found that NF-κB signalling is a driving force in many inflammatory diseases, so inhibiting NF-κB activation would go a long way to fighting inflammation and easing the symptoms associated with chronic inflammatory responses.
This is why turmeric – or rather curcumin – is so effective for treating the symptoms of joint pain associated with inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is an obvious example; curcumin administration has been found to be effctive for reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, as well s other conditions related to joint inflammation.
How much turmeric should I take for joint pain?
The typical dose used to relieve pain due to inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
is between 400 and 600 mg, three times a day. Turmeric can also be prescribed for joint pain at 500 mg, twice daily, but should not go above 2,000 mg a day.
To really get the most out of turmeric as a treatment for joint pain, you must consume it alongside black pepper or a black pepper extract. Turmeric by itself has a very low bioavailability. Consuming turmeric alongside black pepper increases the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric by orders of magnitude.
Ideally, you would use a high-curcumin turmeric extract which has been bioengineered to have increased bioavailability. The best joint supplements today will use very high-curcumin turmeric extracts which your body can readily use! The bioavailability of the curcumin in these supplements actually matters more than the turmeric dosage. The recommended turmeric dosage for joint pain assumes you can actually absorb and use the curcumin in the turmeric!
How long does it take for turmeric to work for joint pain?
Turmeric can take several weeks to start working for joint pain. A recent analysis of research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food on turmeric extracts concluded that 8 to 12 weeks of treatment with standardized turmeric extracts can reduce pain due to arthritis, compared with placebo. More research is needed, but most users tend to take turmeric for at least 8 weeks before it really starts working.
This means that any turmeric supplements claiming to offer instant joint pain relief are probably just lying to try and sell you their product. Even the top joint supplements today take several weeks to start working. This is true of high-quality joint supplements which use ultra-bioavailable curcumin and a range of other proven ingredients which eliminate joint pain.
How do you take turmeric for joint pain?
You can take turmeric in any way you like for the treatment of joint aches and pains. If you want to reduce chronic joint pain, then simply adding turmeric to foods and drinks is a good way to start.
What is important is that you take your turmeric with black pepper to ensure you can actually absorb the curcumin in the turmeric.
An effedctive and tasty way to take turmeric for joint pain is to drink it as a tea.
To make your own turmeric tea:
- Boil 2 cups of water with 1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes
- Add lemon, honey, or milk to taste
This is our favorite way to take turmeric for chronic joint pain and joint stiffness. You can take this natural turmeric tea for joint pain every day for prolonged periods, assuming you experience no digestive discomfort or other side effects.
Is Turmeric really anti-inflammatory?
Yes, turmeric really does have powerful anti-inalammatory properties. Turmeric — or rather its most active compound, curcumin — have many scientifically proven health benefits, such as the potential to improve heart health and prevent against Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.
But the best way to combat the joint pain you feel from chronic inflammation is to take a broad approach. Tackling multiple causes of joint pain at the same time, while simultaneously fighting inflammation on numerous fronts and supporting long-term joint tissue health, is the best way to protect against joint pain in the present and in the future.