Arthritis is a painful, mobility-reducing, and potentially disfiguring condition that can strike anyone. One of turmeric’s most notable benefits is its anti-inflammatory property, which can be effective in the prevention and treatment of arthritis.
Over 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is more common among women and the frequency of occurrence increases with age.
If you want to be proactive in avoiding this debilitating condition, continue reading for more information on how turmeric can alleviate the pain, and how to properly incorporate the spice into your diet and supplementation routine.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is actually not a disease, but rather an informal way of referring to inflammation, stiffness, and pain in the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis sufferers may experience a wide range of issues depending on their type of arthritic condition. Generally speaking, however, it’s a disorder that can affect any joint in the body, causing anything from swelling and redness to debilitating disfigurement. And it is almost always accompanied by chronic, sometimes excruciating, pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type, wherein the smooth cartilage cushioning at the ends of bones wears down. Over time the condition may become so severe that the joints have no cushioning or natural lubrication, leaving bone against bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cartilage and connective tissue surrounding the joints. In addition to the pain and swelling, over time the entire joint structure can be severely damaged, resulting in disfigurement.
How is Arthritis Normally Treated?
Physicians usually prescribe pharmaceuticals such as Cox-2 inhibitors or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and sometimes go so far as to suggest chemotherapy. Such protocols only address symptoms and come with a wide range of possible side effects that are beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that incorporating into one’s diet a natural plant substance that is known to be effective is a preferable alternative.
How Turmeric Alleviates Arthritis
Listed below are some of the benefits turmeric can bring to sufferers of arthritic conditions. See our extensive article on the evidence-based health benefits of turmeric curcumin for a complete rundown of conditions that this mighty plant is known to be effective in addressing.
- Chronic Pain Relief
- Promotes Tissue Healing
- Supports Bone Strength
- Bolsters Immune System
- Protects Cells
How to Add Turmeric to Your Diet
There are basically two ways to incorporate turmeric into your health routine: through supplementation, either by capsules or liquid; or by using lots of turmeric powder in as many foods and beverages as possible. The Turmeric Guru has been doing both since 2010 with excellent results. On our About page you can read about my journey from the death’s door in 2010 to full recovery and a normal active lifestyle. We test, rate and review as many products as we can and have summarized our results on the following pages:
Other Tips – Turmeric and Arthritis
When you’re incorporating turmeric into your diet, it can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, even kids. When using it in beverages like tea, sweeten it up a bit with honey and add some cinnamon for more flavor.
But first, if you are on any medications already, check with your doctor to be sure that turmeric won’t interfere.
Summary – Turmeric and Arthritis
Turmeric is an effective treatment for arthritis. Studies show that turmeric curcumin is effective in alleviating the inflammation and pain that comes with Rheumatoid Arthritis. One way it works is by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is the target of the drug celecoxib (Celebrex), a pharmaceutical Cox-2 inhibitor.
Osteo Arthritis, called an old age disease due to wear and tear, is now believed to result from synovitis. This means OA is at least partly due to the same primary cause as RA – inflammation. Therefore, it stands to reason that turmeric curcumin would be effective in the prevention, management and possible reversal of OA.