Posts tagged: turmeric

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame
Infographic – – photos © eyewave, psdesign1 –

Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. There is a need to increase awareness of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, at least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive. For one, despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, not many people are aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions. [1]

Turmeric For Osteoarthritis

A recent human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results showed that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. [2]

The study was conducted by randomly dividing patients into two groups. One group was assigned to take 25 mg of diclofenac sodium three times a day for four weeks. The other group was asked to take 30 mg of the turmeric extract (curcumonoid) three times daily for the same period of time. Researchers compared the effectivity of curcuminoid extract to that of the drug diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of the inflammatory cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by the synovial fluid’s monocytes. [2]

An egg yolk-like liquid, synovial fluid is found within the synovial joints’ cavities. It reduces friction between the articular cartilages during movement. People who suffer from knee osteoarthritis are known to have increased secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme in their synovial fluid. [2]

Results of the study show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract and the NSAID drug diclofenac sodium are both capable of significantly decreasing the secretion of COX-2 enzymes. The two alternatives displayed nearly identical potency. The exact results were as follows:

In curcuminoid group the average scores were 1.84±0.37 and 1.15±0.28 respectively (p<0.001). In diclofenac group the average scores were 1.79±0.38 and 1.12±0.27 respectively (p<0.001). In curcuminoid group the decreasing score of cycloxygenase-2 secretion was 0.70±0.51 while in diclofenac group was 0.67±0.45. There was no significant difference in decreasing the score of cycloxygenase enzyme secretion between both treatment groups (p=0.89). [3]

A Safer Alternative

The study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine is not the first to confirm turmeric’s efficacy. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 revealed that 2,000 mg of turmeric extract works as effectively as 800 mg of ibuprofen in treating symptoms of inflammation and pain. There are hundreds more of studies that confirm the COX-2 reducing and anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. What makes the more recent study stand out is what it reveals about the safety of choosing turmeric over pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which have been linked to adverse health effects, including seizure, miscarriage, and mortality. [1]

One way to compare the relative toxicity of turmeric’s curcumin and the NSAID diclofenac sodium is by considering their Material Safety Data Sheets, which reveal detailed information on their toxicity. Results reveal that there are considerably higher chances of experiencing adverse health effects from diclofenac sodium compared to turmeric. Considering that there are 100 adverse health effects linked to the NSAID drug – and 600 beneficial effects linked to turmeric, this is not a hard choice to make in terms of risk-benefit analysis. [1]


[1] GreenMedInfo. Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame.

[2] Acta Medica Indonesiana – The Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine. Ability of Curcuminoid Compared to Diclofenac Sodium in Reducing the Secretion of Cycloxygenase-2 Enzyme by Synovial Fluid’s Monocytes of Patients with Osteoarthritis.

[3] National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ability of curcuminoid compared to diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes of patients with osteoarthritis.

5 Key Health Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin

5 Key Health Health Benefits Of Turmeric And Curcumin
Graphic ©

Turmeric, also called Indian Saffron or golden spice, is a bright yellow colored spice that is most commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian dishes, especially curries. The bright orange/yellow turmeric powder and its whole root, which somewhat resembles that of ginger, is the root of the turmeric plant that grows in Asia and Central America.

Turmeric has been used for centuries by herbalists, in ayurveda and by ‘natural healers’ for its medicinal properties to address issues like breathing problems, inflammation, and wound healing. Curcumin is the active ingredient that is found in turmeric and has been studied in very great depth for its beneficial health effects. Here are a few of the many health benefits attributed to turmeric, as reported by scientific studies:

1. Cardiovascular Support:Turmeric and curcumin improve cardiac health by supporting healthy cholesterol levels. A review of controlled trials has found that turmeric intake can lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL. [1] It also has been found to improve the endothelial function.

2. Anti-Diabetic: According to a review of multiple studies, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been scientifically established as valuable in the treatment and prevention of diabetes. [2] Curcumin can favorably affect insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and islets apoptosis and necrosis.

3. Anti-Inflammatory: Curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory properties that have even reported by researchers to match some drugs without any side effects. It blocks the NF-KB, a molecule that activates the genes related to inflammation in the nuclei of the cells.

4. Hepatoprotective: Turmeric protects from liver damage due to its antioxidant properties that stop the liver from being damaged by toxins. It can be very helpful for people like diabetic patients who take drugs for a long time that can damage their liver.

5. Wound Healing: Turmeric also improves wound healing by decreasing inflammation and oxidation. Curcumin stimulates the production of growth factors that speed up the wound healing process. [3] It positively affects the tissue and collages as well, thus resulting in wound healing quickly.

Learn more:

How To Make Turmeric Pain Relief Tea

Study Finds Turmeric Better At Treating Depression Than Prozac


[1] Qin, S., et al., Efficacy and safety of turmeric and curcumin in lowering blood lipid levels in patients with cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition journal, 2017. 16(1): p. 68.

[2] Zhang, D.-w., et al., Curcumin and diabetes: a systematic review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013. 2013.

[3] Tejada, S., et al., Wound healing effects of curcumin: A short review. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology, 2016. 17(11): p. 1002-1007.

Uses And Health Benefits Of Turmeric

Uses And Health Benefits Of Turmeric
Wikipedia – lic. under CC BY-SA 3.0

Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation helps the body fight off infectious agents but when it persists for a longer period it harms the body. Curcumin a compound found in turmeric has tremendous anti-inflammatory properties that are as powerful as some anti-inflammatory drugs. [1]

Anti-oxidant: Curcumin has antioxidant properties that can protect the body from the damage of the free radicals that are responsible for aging and diseases. It also boosts the body’s antioxidants to fight off infections. [2]

Heart health: Turmeric has a positive effect on heart health and improves the function of endothelium which is the lining of the blood vessels. Curcumin has been found to reduce the chances of cardiovascular diseases. [3]

Pain relief: Scientific studies have concluded that turmeric can work as a pain reliever and can relieve arthritis pain as well. One study has investigated the effects of turmeric in arthritis pain, and have found it as effective as ibuprofen. [4]

Cancer prevention: Curcumin may contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduces the growth of blood vessels to cancerous cells. A study has found curcumin to reduce cancer growth and development. [5]

Brain health: Turmeric may enhance brain health as curcumin is believed to increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), which act as a growth hormone in the brain for neurons and slows down the degenerative process. [6]

Depression: Turmeric has shown promise in treating depression. Scientific study has noted that depression can decrease the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs) and shrink the hippocampus. Curcumin has been shown to increase BDNFs. A randomized controlled trial study found curcumin effective in treating depression. [7]

Learn more:

More Health Benefits Of Turmeric:

Amazing “Golden Milk” Turmeric Tea Recipe:


[1] Jurenka, J.S., Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev, 2009. 14(2): p. 141-53.

[2] Bulmuş, F.G., et al., Protective effects of curcumin on antioxidant status, body weight gain, and reproductive parameters in male rats exposed to subchronic 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry, 2013. 95(6): p. 1019-1029.

[3] Wongcharoen, W. and A. Phrommintikul, The protective role of curcumin in cardiovascular diseases. Int J Cardiol, 2009. 133(2): p. 145-51.

[4] Kuptniratsaikul, V., et al., Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Altern Complement Med, 2009. 15(8): p. 891-7.

[5] Anand, P., et al., Curcumin and cancer: an “old-age” disease with an “age-old” solution. Cancer Lett, 2008. 267(1): p. 133-64.

[6] Xu, Y., et al., Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain research, 2006. 1122(1): p. 56-64.

[7] Sanmukhani, J., et al., Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res, 2014. 28(4): p. 579-85.