How to Use Turmeric to Reduce Inflammation and Pain

Turmeric is commonly used as a spice in Indian cooking, especially in curry dishes 5. It's also played a role for over 4,000 years in traditional Asian medicine. A review article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2003 noted that turmeric has a proven anti-inflammatory effect and is considered safe for consumption 45.

Turmeric and Inflammation

Including more turmeric in your diet could help limit inflammation in your body 5. Both histamine and cortisol help control inflammation in your body.

Turmeric and Pain Relief

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Some medications for pain relief have unwanted side effects, especially when used for a long time. Adding more anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients to your diet may help limit inflammation and thus pain due to inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. A review article published in Surgical Neurology International in 2010suggested that using turmeric may help you decrease the amount of non-steroidal pain medication you take 35.

Side Effects and Safety

Turmeric is usually well tolerated, even in some doses higher than you would get in food, according to an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2010 5. With high doses from supplements, you could develop ulcers, however, and long-term use could cause:

  • an upset stomach
  • gas
  • nausea
  • indigestion
  • stomach pain

Some people are allergic to turmeric and could experience adverse reactions 5.

Use in Diet

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For a side dish, mix turmeric with rice, raisins and cashews, or add it to sauteed vegetables, such as:

  • cauliflower or a mix of green beans
  • onions 5

You can also use turmeric to make your egg salad even more yellow and flavorful or in a curry dish for dinner 5. Some people like to drink a mix of milk or nondairy milk, turmeric, honey, cinnamon and ginger before bed 5.