The People's Perspective on Medicine

Turmeric Eased Joint Pain

Q. For some time I have had increasingly bad pain in my right knee, left hip and lower back. I was getting so depressed because I was barely functioning.

A friend recommended turmeric, and I decided to try it. Up to that point I had been living on way too much ibuprofen every day. Since the first turmeric tablet, I have not needed another ibuprofen.

The results with turmeric are much better than with ibuprofen. My energy level is also better.

The lady at the health food store recommended fish oil and I have been taking that too. But I know that the turmeric is helping the pain and inflammation, as I started it first and noticed results even before beginning to take fish oil. I definitely recommend turmeric as an anti-inflammatory to anyone who can take it.

A. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has well-established anti-inflammatory activity. We could find no studies on the combination of fish oil and turmeric for arthritis pain in humans. Preliminary rodent research suggests that this combination might be helpful in fighting inflammation (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Nov. 10, 1994).

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I started taking 2 – 1000mg Turmeric capsules two weeks ago and the results are amazing. No aching knees. My questions are: I read about the bleeding risks and am taking a baby aspirin a day. Should I stop that while using turmeric?
Another site said to take for 2 – 3 months. Do you agree? If pain returns how soon can I start taking again.

I recently started taking turmeric for the past month 500mg one in the morning and one in the evening about 10-12 hours apart for arthritis. Had swelling in my fingers go down and rings are now too loose. I rather take turmeric than pop NSAIDS everyday which isn’t good for the liver and other organs. When the weather changes for the better I will only take one 500mg. It did take about three weeks for me to notice the difference in my body.

Could a diabetic take Turmeric?

I took turmeric internally for many years, on a daily basis and a lot of it , and still was diagnosed with RA and inflammation. ?!

I had leg cramps at night, a friends wife was told by her doctor to take a magnesium supplement for the same thing, I tried it, immediately, no more leg cramps waking me up at night, quite a relief, the cramps were bloody painful way to be woken up in the middle of the night.

Removing the statins will do as much for your pain as the turmeric. I have used a remedy made with curcurmin and it really helps tremendously with the hip pain.
My hubby did quite nicely lowering his cholesterol level 100 points by removing all the unnatural oils. We use real butter and organic coconut and palm oils and use the drippings from organic bacon. Yup, we tried the recommended way for many years and it didn’t work! I told my Dr. we were going back to how people ate 200 years ago and he approved. It worked.
We have no corn, safflower or other oils in the house other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We make our own mayonnaise using nut oils, not store bought stuff.

I would like to know if there is any negative reaction between turmeric and statin drugs. I take simvastatin and have just begun turmeric for arthritis pain. It is helping a great deal very quickly but I want to be certain that the combination of turmeric and statin is OK.
People’s Pharmacy response: We are unaware of any interaction between statins and turmeric.

I suffer from chronic back pain and arthritis and I can no longer take NSAIDs after developing hives from daily ibuprofen usage. I tried 500mg of turmeric 3x a day, the amount I saw suggested by a doctor on another site as a good starting point. The research article said two weeks for the beginning of relief. I had not been out of my house in almost 2 months due to the intense pain involved in climbing down our two flights of stairs. On the 4th day of this turmeric, I not only made it out of the house, I was able to shop for my own groceries! I was sore by the time I was done, but you can’t imagine how good it was to feel normal again. It’s been a week now and I am able to do basic household chores and go the whole day without having to lie down with ice packs on my spine for the swelling. I wasn’t sure what to expect, if this was maybe just some “voodoo doctor” remedy. It’s not a cure for my condition, but it is a blessing in the relief it gives me and it’s just been one week.

I only have one kidney and always worry about protecting it. Will tumeric in any way adversely affect my kidney?

I have had degenerative disc disease since 2004, and I’m only 35yrs old right now. I have tried everything, from going to doctors to pain management, and to PT. I went to PT and ended up ten times worse, to the point I couldn’t stand, or walk without crying. Now I can walk a couple miles, but can’t sleep, or sit long at all. I have been on motrin 800mg since 2004 and really need to get off of them. I take them every 6 hours and now it’s getting to the point they just don’t help anymore. I want to start taking turmeric as I have read the great results.
What is a good starting dose? also, should I cook with it, or do the oral? I bought the capsules so I do have those now. I have also read great things about hyaluronic acid too. Is it safe to take these two things together? I have turmeric 500mg, and Hyaluronic acid 20mg. Thanks so much Cindy

Thanks for your comments. My total cholesterol is 203, but everything else is great: HDL 68, TRIG 82, LDL 119, CHOL/HDLC Ratio 3.0. Hate to go against “doctor orders”, but since going off the 20mg Lovastatin, I no longer have the hip/leg pain I started having (different from the thigh ache I have complained about for over a year). I plan on staying totally away from any statin. Good luck to you!

Rebecca, I was taking two prilosec every day, and still suffering. Since I read about eating a banana a day on this site for acid reflux I have cut back on meds and feel so much better.

I am 37 years old and have sero-negative arthritis. I started on Plaquenil and Daypro (NSAID) last fall. I have to take Prilosec due to the NSAID. I would like to decrease my NSAID use and discontinue the Prilosec as I have been reading about so many negative long-term effects. I have started taking Turmeric capsules and Fish Oil. Is it safe to take Turmeric with Plaquenil with occasional Daypro use on days with more pain and fatigue?
Thank you

Jazzyi, first off the statins have an adverse affect on one’s brain. You don’t say what your cholesterol level is but unless it is well over 300, forget-about-it! Your brain needs cholesterol! Do not take statins of any kind! Keep to natural fats, no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated ones at all. No bottled oils such as sunflower, corn oil etc. My hubby started with a cholesterol of about 320+ many years ago. His is now great! No clogged arteries etc. We are both 65.
The people who live the longest do NOT have ‘good’ cholesterol numbers. I’ve seen the statistics many times. This worries me because mine is too low, 170. I’d rather have it about 200 or so.
Keep going with your hips! I speak from experience. An auto accident several years ago caused me a number of problems. A lady made an illegal turn and we hit her at 45 mph. head on. My hips were jammed and my left one is now 100% necrotic and my left 25%.
I have a treadmill at home and a rebounder. My Pettibon Chiropractor told me to do some exercises daily on the rebounder to strengthen my hip muscles and white tissue. I simply step from one foot to the other placing all my weight on each for 20 minutes a day (I have a safety bar). I also do over a mile on my treadmill. I do have handles, which I use to help support me and keep me balanced.
I am not in a wheelchair except for long distances and manage quite nicely with my cane (for balance). It makes sense to take care of your hips yourself.

The raisins did not help my hip arthritis, but let me explain something — 2 specialists have told me I have hip arthritis, but I don’t believe them! Both thighs started giving me problems after taking Crestor for several years to lower my high cholesterol level. The painful spasms I was having on both thighs stopped almost immediately when I stopped the Crestor about 4yrs ago.
Around the same time, I also stopped taking Fosamax for osteoporosis. I don’t like what I’ve heard/read about either drug. I have experienced ‘foot drop’ (no longer) — my right leg was longer than the other for about 6 months (both legs are now the same length) — I still have trouble getting up from a sitting position, but I no longer have the terrific pain I encountered when I tried to sleep & moved to change positions.
Almost everything I’ve read about problems experienced with statins have affected me. However, I am still walking without aid, but did move from a 2nd floor condo to a 1st floor last Sept & feel that helped a lot. I’ll be 70 in another 2+ months & have always been active (golf, tennis, dancing, bowling) up until almost a year ago, when I was doing a lot of running around while on vacation in Long Beach, CA. Upon my return to FL, leg pain was rather constant (mostly the right thigh).
I’ve had an MRI of the hip but the Dr said there was no need for me to see it, that I definitely needed hip replacements. My 1st specialist arranged for a cortisone shot in the right groin, & that gave me great improvement. Afterward, I was able to walk up stairs without holding on to walls to bolster my movement. I went to a neurologist, but there was NO problem with muscles in my legs. The strength of my legs were almost abnormal for my age!
I have just been reading & digesting various stories about leg pain & alternative treatments for high BP & cholesterol. A different Dr has put me BACK on statins (Lovastatin). I was OK at 10mg, but when he increased the dosage to 20mg 2 weeks ago, I developed leg muscle pain that I did not previously have. I’ve been online all day reading testimonials & problems, because I stopped taking the Lovastatin 2 days ago & already feel better! I’ll be calling him tomorrow to advise I will try my own alternatives but refuse to take another statin. (I am also having a problem with short-term-memory loss — his diagnosis about 8 months ago was “dementia”!)
To get back to the gin-soaked raisins, I think they are unbelievable. It took me a few days to realize that I no longer had leg cramping at night — & still longer to realize it was from the raisins. If I have arthritis, I don’t think the raisins have changed anything in that area. I do feel that I’m slowly getting better. My finger joints are not swollen, & I feel that I probably can type at least 80wpm. My hip/leg joints don’t appear to be or feel swollen.
I used to think that in 6 months I’d be walking with a cane, & I no longer feel that way. However, my lifestyle has totally changed because of the thighs — which has also caused back pain. I’m stilling looking for a specialist who isn’t as anxious to replace hips as he is to determine the real problem! Luckily, I have a good supplement plan to go with my Medicare!
Hope you can understand all of the above. Good luck with whatever your problem area is. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

TO JAZZYIO: did the raisins helped your hip arthritis?

Gin-soaked YELLOW raisins completely stopped the leg cramps I was having at night! I soaked the raisins in gin for about 10 days, uncovered, until the gin was no longer present, then refrigerated them, covered. I take a spoonful every evening, making sure that I am in for the night. About a month ago, the cramps came back. Several days later, I realized I had not eaten the raisins for over a week! Had to make another batch, & as soon as I started taken them again, the leg cramps disappeared again. Funny thing is that I was eating the gin-soaked raisins in an attempt to help my hip arthritis!

I have just started taking a liquid glucosimine for severe knee pain. It’s been one week and I am in better shape than I’ve been in 6 months. As anyone else tried this? I am considering ordering a large supply and before I do would like some feedback. I tried the gin soaked raisins, to no effect. Had one steroid injection, which gave me about 2 weeks relief.

Has anyone heard about lead contamination in turmeric supplements? Know which are safe?

I started taking 1/2 tsp turmeric last night with some yogurt to which I had to add honey and cinnamon to make palatable. I had some strange stomach aches. Maybe it was too low fat. I am on Lipitor which I take at bedtime so I wonder if there was an interaction. Anyway, I asked my nephrologist today about supplements like turmeric and she advised me to stay away from them, adding that the purity and quality and age- and I would infer source cannot be verified if known at all. So… I guess I will save it for something else and just keep increasing my exercise which helps the most anyway with neuropathy.

I started taking turmeric (600 mg per day) about 1 month ago. My cholesterol has suddenly jumped over 50 points after years of holding steady at just under 200. Nothing else has changed so I wonder if turmeric could be the cause.

Thanks, Bob!

WLA, I also am on Plavix, and was on Vytorin. My cardiologist and internist tell me if the turmeric works, take it. They see no harm in it. They also saw no problem with statin drugs, I was on Vytorin too.
Kathy, again, yes, once a day.

Can I take turmeric if I take plavics and vytorin?
Your response will be appreciated, thank you, Will

Bob-Do you take it once a day?

I take 1/2 tsp in a glass of juice. Forget the capsules, they’re expensive. Buy the spice from any grocery store. Its also cheaper to get it from most import or health food stores.

Don’t bother with the capsules, grocery store spice rack powder works fine. I get mine at World Market or Trader Joe’s. Its cheaper than in most grocery stores. 1/2 teaspoon mixed in water or juice daily works well.

SOME people can’t take turmeric (or cinnamon) in caps but ok with food. I use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. in my food with meats, fish, rice, veggies etc. It must have fats to dissolve well like when you will use it with curry. TO KEN, I will be careful taking it at the same time with coumadin since I read that most spices, juices, herbs etc may react with that medicine.

How much turmeric do you take? It comes in 450–600—1000MG. And how many times a day? On Certo and grape juice now, not really helping much at all. Tried everything else, might as well try this. Thank you. A.A.

I had been suffering from severe leg cramps for some time until I read that 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric a day would help. Help is a mild term! My cramps completely went away! I have suggested this to several other people and they experienced the same results. My Dr. approves of this treatment.
Best wishes:

Turmeric works for me. The end joints on my little fingers get red, swollen and painful. I started turmeric and within days pain and swelling were gone. They are still a little red. I ran out of turmeric capsules for two weeks and back came the pain and swelling. So I know it works for me. Instead of buying turmeric in capsules, I buy empty gel capsules and using a capsule filling board, fill 50 in about 10 to 12 minutes saving $20. One can purchase fresh turmeric by the ounce at good health food stores in the bulk spice section. Wear an apron, turmeric is also a dye.

I understand that turmeric should not be used with coumadin (warfarin).

Grounding usually refers to an “earth ground” in electrical circuitry but in this usage I am guessing that it is meant to drain off a static charge (shocks) from bed sheets/blankets. Woolen blankets can generate a bit of a static charge in a dry environment. bedding is not usually conductive – unless there is a metallic thread woven in-so connecting a wire to the sheet and an earth ground (cold water pipe as example) wouldn’t do much. Luck – w.j.m.

Can I use this taking coumdin with a artificial valve?

What is ” sleeping on a grounded sheet?”

I also have used Turmeric, with Hyaluronic Acid to relieve my joint pain in my shoulder. Before that, I had always been in excruciating pain. It is such a great relief!

My husband has been having arthritic pain in his hip. I’ve been using turmeric whenever possible when I cook. Is it possible to get too much if I use it both in cooking and taking a turmeric pill? Are there any potential problems, such as allergies, sensitivities, etc. from using it continually?
I always prefer home remedies to drugs. Thank you for all your helpful information.

So, how much turmeric per dosage?

May you can also take Vit. D3, omega3 oil, CoQ10, etc.. all will improve your energy and help with circulation, pain etc… turmeric, cinnamon, ginger etc are herbs/plants with anti inflammatory, anti oxidants properties. Turmeric should be used with food that contains oils/fats to be dissolved and cinnamon with water, liquids, etc… you must check previous comments here from other people about taking cinnamon, turmeric etc..
ALWAYS WATCH OUT for medication you are taking … DO NOT take medicine at the same time that these products. You should wait at least two or three hours. some medicine DO NOT go well with some herbs etc.

I have arthritis pain in just about every joint in my body. I cannot take NSAIDS because of stomach issues. I have taken every natural remedy ever mentioned on The People’s Pharmacy… gin raisins, grape juice and Certo, Turmeric, grape seeds, trans-resveratrol, pomegranate juice, fish oil/borage oil, bromelain, Wobenzymes, Vitalzymes, all manner of supplements and herbs… This is what lowers pain for me: an anti-inflammatory diet (as in Inflammation Nation or The Gene Smart Diet), sleeping on a grounded sheet, AND exercise (as in Metabolic Effect).

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