Many people around the world know turmeric as a vibrantly colored spice that is added to a number of dishes such as curries and stews to give foods a robust flavor and bright color. Turmeric is a golden colored fine powder that is ground from a root. It belongs to the ginger family and is very popular in Indian cuisine.

What many may not know is the potential holistic benefits that turmeric holds. It is theorized that turmeric can aid in decreasing inflammation and swelling related to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and bursitis.

Historically, turmeric has been used in different parts of the world for medicinal benefits. In India and China, turmeric has been thought to help manage pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. It is believed that turmeric works by blocking inflammatory enzymes in the body, similar to how some pharmaceutical medications would function to block enzymes.

There have been a number of studies around the world that have exhibited the benefits of turmeric for people suffering with arthritis, although not all studies have come to the same conclusions.

A 2006 study showed that turmeric was very effective in preventing inflammation of the body however it was not as effective in reversing the already existing inflammation or decreasing the pain associated with arthritis.

A 2010 clinical study found that a turmeric supplement called Meriva provided patients who had been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee with a long term improvement in functionality as well as an improvement in their pain level.

In 2012, a rather small study concluded that a turmeric based product called BCM-95 reduced the inflammation and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis patients and controlled their pain better than the standard NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

The nutty flavor and deep golden color of turmeric has added layers of taste to international meals for hundreds of years. In several different cultures turmeric has also been praised for its holistic benefits. Turmeric is believed to help with digestion, high cholesterol, heartburn and inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, just to name a few. While more research needs to be done into the effects of turmeric on those who suffer from arthritis, there are many who believe that turmeric is a vital part of their own health management regimen.

Always speak to your primary health care physician before starting any new treatment regimen.