By now, you’ve probably heard the amazing things turmeric can do. It’s undoubtedly the master of herbs and spices out there, with health benefits under its belt like the ability to topically heal wounds, pains, sores, and sprains; and to treat liver problems.
You can drink it as a tea, incorporate it into your food, take it as a supplement, turn it into a face mask… and, well, you get the drift. With so many uses and so many ways you can add it to your routine, turmeric has definitely increased its potential as food medicine!
It’s popular in Ayurvedic medicine, and it’s no surprise that India is the largest turmeric producer worldwide.
For today, let’s focus on one health issue wherein turmeric can come to the rescue: gout.
Symptoms of gout are closely similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It occurs when uric acid builds excessively in the body, forming crystals in the joints that are the cause of inflammation and incredible discomfort.
Remember that uric acid is a byproduct of the body’s processes (meaning it’s a waste) and is usually dissolved in the blood before being excreted by the kidneys. They form into painful crystals in the body when there is too much in the bloodstream. What happens is that they are released into the joints instead.
In particular, gout causes pain, redness, stiffness, and swelling, most commonly in the big toe. They also cause sleepless nights due to the discomfort they cause!
If you know men over the age of 40, they are probably at risk. However, anybody can get gout attacks anytime, especially if there’s family history behind it.
So where does turmeric come into the picture?
Turmeric makes for one heck of an anti-inflammatory weapon. It contains over two dozen anti-inflammatory properties like cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, which fight the enzymes that cause inflammation. At the same time, turmeric reduces the stiffness, swelling, and pain.
The arthritis foundation has claimed that clinical studies that looked into the anti-inflammatory powers of turmeric found that it’s effective in preventing joint inflammation. Bonus: in patients with osteoarthritis, long-term use of turmeric also resulted in long-term benefits in fighting gout pain and improving body function.
A 2009 study in China concluded that turmeric inhibits chronic inflammation and reduces how xanthine oxidase moves in the body. (Fact check: it’s an enzyme that’s part of the production of uric acid.)
Several types of research have also found that turmeric provides better pain relief compared to drugs like Uloric (febuxostat) and other prescription medicines designed to lower uric acid levels.
Although there aren’t enough studies done on the effects of turmeric on gout, many have been done in relation to its cousin, rheumatoid arthritis. Like we said earlier, the two pose similar symptoms. Findings on the effects of turmeric on rheumatoid arthritis are promising, which really gives more chances for science to look into the use of turmeric to help you address gout pain.
A study of 107 people with osteoarthritis gave out 800mg Ibuprofen while half of them were given two grams of turmeric pills daily. After the six-week research period, both groups said they experienced less pain in their joints when they walked or climbed the stairs.
You might be thinking, okay, so why shouldn’t I take Ibuprofen instead? Because curcumin is better on your stomach and on your liver, making it a safe (not to mention natural) way to treat inflammation.
Additionally, turmeric can slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and reduce overall swelling and inflammation in the joints. Another little-known fact about turmeric is that it can help your adrenal glands produce more cortisone!
It’s a hormone that plays a key role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, as well as boosting the kidney function and our immune system. On the other hand, synthetic cortisone is used to treat adrenal insufficiency and inflammatory diseases like (you guessed it!) rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatic fever.
Okay, so what’s the best way to take turmeric for gout?
You can find it as a common ingredient in foods, particularly in Indian cuisine, but sometimes those foods the turmeric is mixed in with are simply not good for your body! The best route to take is to take turmeric in the form of powder or extract. Some people also simply use its raw roots.
The dose will depend on your weight, age, and your existing medications, but turmeric is generally effective at reducing inflammation by taking it twice a day at 500 milligrams. Remember to consult with your physician first, though.
You can purchase turmeric in your Walmart aisles, but Amazon brands typically have the best prices that are worth the investment! (Did you know we partner with Amazon health and wellness brands to give you great cashback and buy 1, take 2 free deals on their health supplements? Check out our current selection here.)
Try the Turmeric with BioPerine by Brandon Sciences for $10.39 on Amazon. We recommend you check out their Facebook page for current deals and promotions here.
Need more information on the benefits of turmeric? We’ve got you covered. Read our post, Turmeric: Master of Medicinal Herbs and Spices, on the blog.