The need to adopt herbal remedies for treating arthritis gained momentum after the FDA in the USA issued warning against anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex. In the UK, a recent study in the The British Medical Journal found long term use of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to be associated with a higher risk of heart failure in the elderly. In this regard turmeric is a widely preferred option. Researchers and medical therapists are of the opinion that for treating arthritis in a safe manner turmeric is a great choice. Let’s find out what experts have to say about using turmeric for arthritis and what its salient benefits are.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis, an extremely common health condition, actually isn’t a single disease but a combination of diseases that somehow cause pain and discomfort around the joint areas. It can be referred to as the disease of the joints. You may not be aware of the fact that there are around 100 different types of arthritis conditions. It is also worth noting that people of all ages, races and sexes can develop arthritis. Perhaps this is why it is among the leading causes of disability around the world mainly targeting women and elderly people.
Some of the common symptoms associated with arthritis include swelling, stiffness and pain at joint areas or reduced range of mobility. The intensity of pain elevates from mild and moderate to severe with the passage of time. Arthritis causes permanent damages to the joints making them knobby and can potentially affect heart, lungs, skin, eyes and kidneys.
What is Turmeric?
How Turmeric Can Help?
Traditionally, Chinese and Indian herbalists have used turmeric for arthritis because it can block inflammatory cytokines and contain enzymes like cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which actually constitute Celebrex. Turmeric is believed to be a potential cure for arthritis because it not only serves as a painkiller by reducing pain in the joints but also curbs inflammation and stiffness of the joints. It is very beneficial in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
What Do Experts Say About Turmeric for Arthritis?
In 2006, University of Kansas researchers compared the commercially available arthritis medicine with turmeric to cure the disease and also analysed the dosage requirements. They concluded that turmeric was far more safe and helpful in protecting joints. Similarly, benefits of Turmeric were proved in a clinical trial in 2010 where turmeric supplement called Meriva was proven as suitable for providing long-term cure in pain in around 100 patients with knee OA. In another pilot study conducted in 2012 it was discovered that curcumin product BCM-95 was effective in join pain reduction and swelling among RA patients.
Why Switch to Turmeric?
For 4000 years, turmeric has been used for treating even the severest of health conditions and today, medical researchers have admitted that turmeric is highly effective in treating arthritis. It is a safe and risk-free herbal solution. Let’s evaluate why you need to switch to turmeric and prefer it over other chemical medicines.
- It prevents inflammation, which is the main symptom of arthritis. Turmeric’s active agent Curcumin contains both anti-inflammatory enzymes COX and LOX while chemical medications include just COX.
- Turmeric is far superior to the painkiller indomethacin and ginger as it is a powerful antioxidant. It controls the onset and also prevents RA progression.
- Due to imbalance between antioxidant and prooxidant, our body’s joint tissues get degraded leading to arthritis. Studies prove that curcuminoids and piperine supplements daily can prevent this imbalance. Curcumin also prevents loss of the soft tissue (articular cartilage) that encourages joint flexibility.
- Curcumin also protects bone cell chondrocytes from inflammation and is as effective as betamethasone in preventing joint and bone erosion
- Curcumin also prevents synovial liquid’s thickening, which is responsible for lubricating the joint.
- Turmeric helps in slowing down the advancement of osteoarthritis by preventing bone tissue loss
- Arthritis can also be caused by abnormalities of immune system where immune system starts attacking the body tissues of its own by producing autoantibodies. Turmeric’s immunomodulatory effect regulates immune system and study shows that heat solubilised curcumin can reduce build-up of autoantibodies by 70%.
It is a proven fact that turmeric for arthritis can be effective and a great substitute to commercial formulas and medications. Turmeric can also offer many other health benefits apart from healing/preventing arthritis.