Education

Can Turmeric Help Your Arthritis?

March 22, 2016

Arthritis is an extremely painful condition and one with no cure. The painful inflammation in the joints flares up from time to time and tends to get progressively worse as one ages. It can be exacerbated by a number of things including weight gain, food, or weather. Many take medication for it, to ease the pain, while others hesitate to take medication because of the long-term need for it. Turns out there may be help in the form of supplements.
Turmeric is part of the ginger family and found in India and Indonesia. When the roots are dried and ground up a yellow powder is formed that is used in food, dyes, and for medicinal purposes. This is not a new treatment. Turmeric has been used for centuries to relieve inflammation but it is now starting to receive attention by researchers as well. In 2006 a study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, compared a turmeric supplement with the powder and its effects on inflammation in female rats. Results showed “a turmeric fraction depleted of essential oils inhibited join inflammation and periarticular joint destruction.” Interestingly, it also blocked the pathway to bone resorption related to bone loss. A 2010 clinical trial of Meriva, a turmeric supplement, caused long-term improvement in pain and aided in function on 100 patients with osteoarthritis in their knees. In a 2012 pilot study, it was found that turmeric reduced joint pain and swelling for patients with rheumatoid arthritis better than diclofenac, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). While turmeric is often used in India as a digestive aid, high doses of it contribute to thinning of the blood and can cause an upset stomach. If you’re already on blood thinners, preparing for surgery, are pregnant, or have gallbladder disease, it is not advised to start a turmeric regimen. Always check with your doctor or health practitioner before introducing any supplement into your diet, particularly if you are on any kind of medicine.

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