Turmeric is known for fighting inflammation in the body, so naturally people think that it will help with arthritis pain too, but is that really true? Read to learn more about turmeric and arthritis.
What is the active ingredient in turmeric that helps pain?
Curcumin is a key chemical in turmeric. Turmeric can be taken as a capsule, extract or a powdered spice. It can also be found as a fresh root but is not a typical form of turmeric consumption for most people! Curcumin is the part of turmeric that creates its golden color and has been reported to have healing qualities. Curcumin has shown promise when used in pro-inflammatory conditions. When reading articles about turmeric and pain, keep in mind that it’s actually the curcumin found in turmeric that is the active ingredient.
How does turmeric potentially work to relieve arthritis pain?
An article by Health Central discusses the impact of turmeric on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The article does a thorough job of looking at the claims and the facts of how turmeric may be beneficial. According to the Arthritis Foundation, turmeric is historically used to treat arthritis. Curcumin blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Several studies show that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses. Studies also found that a turmeric with curcuminoids blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.
Can you use turmeric instead of NSAIDs?
Though it is always a good idea to seek the advice of a medical professional before adding any kind of supplement to your diet, turmeric is considered a possible natural alternative to NSAIDs. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects may help to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat. Many people take turmeric instead of NSAIDs to potentially allow the body to heal naturally without damaging stomach, liver and kidneys. However, you should not take turmeric with NSAIDs as both are blood thinners. Also keep in mind that like NSAIDs, turmeric can treat the symptoms of RA, but not the cause.
What other studies show that turmeric is effective for arthritis?
Here is a list of other studies and articles that discuss turmeric and arthritis pain:
- University of Maryland Medical Center
- US National Library of Medicine
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Are there any precautions before taking turmeric for arthritis pain?
Regardless of what kind of pain or inflammation you’re experiencing, there are a few precautions to consider. If you take blood pressure medicine, consult your doctor before adding turmeric to your diet. It can cause gallstones if you take over 1500 mil a day, so follow the recommended dosage for the turmeric product you use. NSAIDs, aspirin, Warfarin (coumadin) and other blood thinners should not be used in conjunction with turmeric.
Turmeric is potentially a very effective anti-inflammatory and may help arthritis. In some studies, it has shown to be potentially as effective if not more effective than many NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Know the facts about turmeric and arthritis. If you’re looking for a natural, all-organic product for pain and inflammation, consider Future Pharm’s USDA certified organic turmeric extract with liposomes and nanotechnology.