As cold weather starts to set in across most of the country, the falling temperatures can cause joint pain to rear its ugly head. Fortunately, a new study has found that you can significantly improve your joint pain—in just seven days—by supplementing with a potent plant compound found in an ancient spice from the East.
I’ll tell you all about that important study in a moment. But first, let’s dig a little into the history of this amazingly versatile spice…
Popular cooking spice offers tremendous health benefits
Turmeric has been popular in South and Southeast Asia for centuries, as both a spice and as a botanical remedy. Marco Polo first helped introduce turmeric to the West following his travels to China in the 13th century. He was intrigued by its unusual, bright, yellow root and wrote it has “the properties of saffron, yet it is not really saffron.”
As a spice, turmeric is traditionally used to make curry¾together with coriander, cumin, and occasionally black or red pepper—giving the dish its signature yellow color.
People describe its taste as aromatic, bitter, gingery, musty, orangey, and pungent. And that certainly makes sense, as turmeric belongs to the same botanical family as ginger. In fact, if you allow a ginger root to age and dry out, it will adopt the golden-yellow color of turmeric.
Of course, turmeric has also been used for centuries as a botanical remedy. And I regularly recommend it as part of my ABCs of joint health, together with ashwagandha and boswellia.
Now, let’s dive into the new study I mentioned at the beginning of this Dispatch. It looked at the effect of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) on osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee…
Relief within a week
This new, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involved 50 patients, ages 40 to 75 years, who had been experiencing mild-to-moderate OA in one or both knees for at least three months.
At the study’s outset, the researchers randomly divided the participants into two groups. The first group took a proprietary supplement that contained 500 mg of curcumin daily for eight weeks. The second group took an identical-appearing placebo daily for eight weeks.
Next, the participants answered questions about their symptoms at day one, seven, 14, 30, and 60 of the trial. (The questions came from a common, standardized questionnaire called the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] for determining the severity of arthritis symptoms. The higher the WOMAC score, the greater the pain and stiffness and the worse the physical function.)
At the first assessment, both groups scored the same in terms of pain, stiffness, and physical function. However, starting on day seven of treatment and continuing until the end of the study, the curcumin group experienced significant improvements compared to the placebo group on all measurements.
Specifically, the curcumin group reduced their:
- Pain scores by 48 percent
- Stiffness scores by an average of 53 percent
- Physical function scores by 52 percent (Remember, the higher the score, the worse the symptoms. So this reduction in scores was a good thing!)
By comparison, the placebo group only reduced their pain score by an average of 15 percent by the end of the study. (This modest improvement was expected, since OA pain is known to respond to placebo.)
Curcumin far surpasses FDA’s “litmus test” for efficacy
These results from the curcumin group really are impressive, especially when you consider the threshold the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses to determine a drug’s effectiveness…
In fact, the FDA only requires a drug to perform 20 percent better than placebo to be accepted as efficacious and gain approval. But in this study, the curcumin response was three to four times better than placebo!
And these findings aren’t at all surprising, as previous studies have also shown that curcumin supplements work better than drugs for pain. Plus, other studies show curcumin also protects against cancer, supports cognition (to prevent and reverse dementia), and eases digestion and gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
So how can you benefit from this spice? Well, just look for a quality dietary supplement that contains 400 to 500 mg of curcumin. (Remember—lower amounts probably won’t cut it. It’s always crucial to use the right doses of a quality supplement to see benefits. This study used a dose of 500 mg per day of curcumin and the participants experienced benefits within one week!)
For even better results, I suggest taking curcumin together with ashwagandha (winter cherry) and boswellia (frankincense). When taken together, these three remedies work synergistically to offer magnified benefits.
You can also look for ways to add ground turmeric to your diet. Curry, as I mentioned earlier, is a traditional dish made with turmeric. But you can also simply sprinkle some ground turmeric into your applesauce, oatmeal, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, stews, and teas.
You can learn more about many other effective, natural approaches to combatting arthritis pain in my comprehensive Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here!
P.S. Next week, I’ll present another new study on the benefits of curcumin. This time, researchers compared it directly to a powerful anti-inflammatory drug. So, as always, be sure to tune back in!
“A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled, Parallel-Group Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Curene® versus Placebo in Reducing Symptoms of Knee OA.” Biomed Res Int. 2018: 5291945. doi.org/10.1155/2018