Curcumin (turmeric) is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Now researchers have found curcumin may also help underlying causes of inflammation and reduce damage to bone and cartilage. Traditionally it has been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis.  Several recent studies show that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. A 2006 study showed turmeric was more effective at preventing joint inflammation than reducing joint inflammation.

What is it

Curcumin is a yellow-colored powder ground from the roots of the lily-like turmeric plant. It is a common ingredient in curry powder. The turmeric plant grows in India and Indonesia and is related to the ginger family.

Medicinal Uses

The spice turmeric, made from the Curcuma longa plant, has been a traditional part of Indian medicine or Ayurveda for thousands of years. Practitioners recommend the ground root of the plant for headaches, colds, fever, kidney disease and many other ailments. Turmeric is also applied to the skin to help heal bruises, cuts and insect bites. The active components of turmeric are curcuminoids, with curcumin the most abundant of these. Turmeric or isolated curcumin may help prevent or relieve inflammation, the underlying cause of the pain of arthritis.

How to Consume

It is taken orally in capsules or spice. For capsules, typically 400 mg to 600 mg three times per day is the standard dosage or 0.5 g to 1 g of powdered root up to 3 g per day.