Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rich and aromatic spice popular in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. But on top of its uses in the kitchen, turmeric also has medicinal properties that render it a potent natural medicine for numerous ailments, from sprains to arthritis.
In fact, recent studies on turmeric indicate that turmeric is a promising medication for pain relief among arthritic patients, according to a pair of researchers from Duta Wacana Christian University in Indonesia.
The pair examined the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on turmeric and arthritis pain. Their findings are published online in the Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.
Turmeric, a promising holistic treatment for arthritis
To examine the reported benefits of turmeric on arthritic pain, the researchers gathered a total of seven RCTs on the subject. The RCTs involved included different types of arthritis. The researchers did not include those that featured other species of Curcuma.
Upon analysis of the overall quality of the results reported by the studies, the researchers found that C. longa proved to be more effective in reducing pain among arthritis patients compared to placebo and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Furthermore, none of the studies reported serious side effects after turmeric consumption for arthritis treatment. This suggests that turmeric is both a potent and safe natural medicine for arthritic pain.
The researchers note that C. longa is a safe choice for arthritic patients in need of painkillers in the long run. (Related: Green tea, turmeric and more: 12 supplements and herbs that can naturally relieve pain caused by arthritis.)
Quick and simple turmeric recipes for arthritis relief
Turmeric is often studied in regard to its promising effects on arthritis. For the most part, this is because of its potent organic compounds found to be capable of suppressing inflammation and easing pain.
In fact, the Arthritis Foundation recommends taking turmeric or curcumin supplements for the management of arthritis. Curcumin, the ingredient in turmeric responsible for its golden color, is capable of suppressing inflammation and easing pain.
But turmeric and curcumin supplements, although potent, are best consumed alongside other turmeric-containing foods and drinks to make the most of their natural anti-arthritic properties.
Here are 10 quick and simple recipes featuring turmeric, from soothing herbal teas to filling curries:
- Turmeric tea – Turmeric tea delivers fast-acting relief from arthritis flare-ups. To make this herbal tea, just add a teaspoon of turmeric to four cups of hot water. Strain the tea if using grated or dried turmeric.
- Golden milk – This recipe is best done using plant-based milk substitutes like coconut milk and almond milk. Add one teaspoon of turmeric to two cups of milk and add a pinch of ground black pepper to increase curcumin absorption.
- Golden milk espresso or coffee latte – You can also add ground turmeric to a cup of coffee or mix 6 oz of golden milk into fresh espresso or coffee.
- Turmeric smoothie – This health drink can be a great breakfast or post-meal smoothie. Just blend together ground turmeric, berries, yogurt, spinach, oats and ginger. You can also toss in other ingredients, such as bananas, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Turmeric golden milk oatmeal – The Arthritis Foundation already recommends eating oatmeal to suppress inflammation, so adding in turmeric creates a potent and filling breakfast food.
- Turmeric scrambled eggs – You can also mix a teaspoon of ground turmeric into regular scrambled eggs. Eat this in the morning for an antioxidant boost.
- Turmeric salad dressing – Salad greens like spinach and kale are often recommended for arthritic individuals because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Enhance these properties by using a turmeric dressing made from a coconut cream and olive oil base.
- Carrot, ginger and turmeric soup – This fresh and filling soup helps relieve arthritis flare-ups thanks to ginger and carrot’s equally potent antioxidant compounds.
- Coconut curry turmeric chicken – This rich and filling recipe features other nutritious and arthritis-friendly ingredients besides turmeric, such as lean chicken, coconut milk and cauliflower rice.
- Ginger turmeric meatballs – Mix ground turmeric into homemade ginger meatballs to further enhance ginger’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Arthritis is a long-term condition that can cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joints and surrounding tissues. But a large body of scientific evidence suggests that turmeric and its major compounds, like curcumin, can help ease arthritic pain and inflammation.