Go Ad-Free
logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Knee Pain Responded to Turmeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with chronic joint pain.

People with chronic joint pain have difficult decisions to make. Do they take a pain reliever on a regular basis and risk the sometimes serious side effects, or do they limit their activities to what they can manage without medication? Neither option is good.

No wonder people are on the lookout for nondrug approaches to alleviating joint pain. Here is what one reader found:

Q. I was a candidate for knee replacement, which I did not want. When two series of steroid shots into my knee didn’t relieve the horrible pain, my doctor suggested that I try taking turmeric capsules. That was a year ago.

In addition to taking turmeric, I have also been drinking grape juice with Certo in it. I’m 63 and I haven’t felt this good in years. I no longer have tendinitis or knee pain, though I know my regimen sounds weird.

A. We’re glad your physician is open-minded about non-drug approaches for arthritis and chronic pain. There are dozens of studies demonstrating that the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory activity.

Turmeric vs. Ibuprofen

A randomized controlled trial comparing a turmeric extract to ibuprofen for knee osteoarthritis found both treatments equally effective for pain relief (Clinical Interventions in Aging, March 20, 2014).  The turmeric extract was less likely to cause stomach upset. People on anticoagulants cannot use turmeric or curcumin, however, as there may be an interaction that could lead to dangerous bleeding.

You can learn more about turmeric from our interview with Ajay Goel, PhD, of Baylor University Medical Center. In it, he describes his research on the value of curcumin for fighting gastrointestinal tumors.

Other Remedies

We discuss other approaches to alleviating joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. We aren’t aware of any studies of Certo (plant pectin) in grape juice. There are, however, a few studies demonstrating that the purple compounds in grapes have anti-inflammatory activity (Food & Function, Apr., 2015).


Rate this article
4- 46 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.