Turmeric, or Curcuma Longa, is a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family. Besides being a widely used spice in Indian curries, the “Golden spice” has been used as a therapeutic ingredient by traditional healers for hundreds of years. Turmeric contains certain chemical compounds known as curcuminoids.
Curcumin, a polyphenol, is one of the most therapeutically-potent curcuminoids. Studies have shown that curcumin has excellent antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antiseptic properties. Ongoing research also suggests that the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric curcumin supplements can be beneficial for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
How Does Turmeric Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Turmeric itself does not help in relieving inflammation. However, curcumin, the active chemical compound that gives turmeric its bright yellow hue, has anti-inflammatory effects. Research indicates that curcumin can block certain enzymes and cytokines, which in turn can reduce systemic inflammation. This quality of curcumin raised the question of whether it can help alleviate inflammation associated with arthritis.
A pilot study was conducted in 2012 which considered 45 patients with RA. Investigators administered curcumin supplements to one-third of the participants, while the other two groups received either an NSAID (diclofenac) or a combination of both. The results demonstrated that the group treated with curcumin supplements only showed the greatest improvement in arthritis symptoms.
How to Take Turmeric?
The Arthritis Foundation recommends taking 500mg of curcumin supplements twice a day for the best results. You can buy organic turmeric powder as a spice and add it to sauces, smoothies, and even salads. Some brands offer turmeric tea that can be brewed together with lemon, honey, and/or milk.
Unfortunately standard curcumin extract is fat-soluble and not well-absorbed by the body. To maximize the health benefits of curcumin we recommend taking an enhanced supplement such as, OrangeDuzt™ liposomal curcumin by Moon + Mercury which uses all natural liposomes to increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 6000% without the use of any chemicals or artificial ingredients
Turmeric, or rather curcumin, is generally safe to consume and seldom causes any side effects. However, curcumin might interact with certain prescription drugs. If you are pregnant, on blood thinners, taking any prescription medication, or planning any medical procedure, we recommend consulting your physician before including curcumin as a joint support supplement.
We hope this guide has been helpful for you in understanding how turmeric and its biologically active constituent curcumin can help manage the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.