Turmeric is a common ingredient of curry. The medicinally active ingredient of Turmeric is Curcumin. It has a fascinating property of stabilizing the structure of cell membranes. A lot of amazing stuff happens at the cell membrane so “stabilizing” it will enhance its function and improve your health.
Today, there is not much practice related Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in traditional medical schools. (click here to see my post)
It is for these reasons that your Medical Doctor probably doesn’t know too much about CAM. This is not a criticism as much as an alert to the public that asking the opinion of their Medical Doctor about CAM may not yield much advice from them.
Ironically, most advertisements for CAM seem to recommend that one seeks the advice of their Medical Doctor.
This post will briefly describe for you that, indeed, Tumeric benefits arthritis.
Turmeric Is Definitely Helpful In The Following Conditions
The following uses of Turmeric have been shown effective:
1) Osteoarthritis Pain: if you live long enough you will develop this form of arthritis. In this form of arthritis the cartilage on the joint surface thins out and becomes pitted. This causes pain.
The process occurs through “wear and tear” as the joint is stressed through activity. The joints at risk for this are the “weight-bearing joints”.
Turmeric has been found helpful in reducing the pain of Osteoarthritis. In one study, it was as effective as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil).
2) Rheumatoid Arthritis: this fairly common auto-immune form of arthritis effects nearly any joint in your body. It is a form of arthritis where the body fails to recognize self and forms antibodies against the joints of your body.
The cell membrane stabilizing function of the Turmeric decreases the inflammation of the joint which decreases pain. In one study, it was more effective than diclofenac (a potent anti-inflammatory commonly used…available by prescription only).
Turmeric May Be Helpful In The Following Conditions
The following disorders may benefit from Turmeric supplementation. In some cases, the Turmeric may need to be taken regularly as a prevention for the disorder. They are as follows:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Eye Inflammation (uveitis-area including the colored part of the eye)
- Colon Cancer
- Reduce a heart attack after open heart surgery
- Reduce the severity of Crohn’s Disease (a painful intestinal condition)
- Reduce the conversion from a Pre-Diabetic state to actual Diabetes
- Reduce gum disease
- Reduce the inflammation of Ulcerative Colitis (an auto-immune intestinal condition)
- Reduce the severity of stomach ulcers
- Reduce the severity of kidney inflammation
- Improve the speed of recovery from surgery
- Improve the rate of healing in Tuberculosis
Turmeric Is Probably Not Helpful In The Following Conditions
Though Turmeric can be taken for the following conditions, the experimental evidence for its benefit is lacking:
- Menstrual problems
When Should Turmeric Be Used With Caution?
As with many of the CAM therapies, though they are fairly safe as single agents, they can interact with other medications and disorders to worsen the condition of a person. Here are the most common situations to watch out for:
In pregnancy: it is always a good idea to check for the safety of supplements you are taking when pregnant. Turmeric could promote uterine stimulation and miscarriage.
Gallbladder Disease: as with the uterus, contraction of the gallbladder could be stimulated increasing pain.
Bleeding problems: as Turmeric slows blood clotting, if a person is on a “blood thinner” or has a clotting problem, bleeding problems could be an issue if on large doses of Turmeric.
Turmeric could make the blood sugar go too low in people already on diabetic medication.
Turmeric can act as an estrogen effecting hormonally sensitive conditions such as Breast Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Endometriosis, and Uterine Fibroids.
Infertility: Turmeric can act to decrease sperm motility
Interact with medications that decrease blood clotting causing excessive bleeding
What Is The Proper Dose To Take?
Take 500mg twice daily of the Meriva or Indenal Turmeric extract. For the other products 500mg four times a day seems to be effective. Always check the dosing instructions on the label of any supplement you purchase.
For Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Take 500mg twice daily of the Arjuna Natural Extracts, BCM-95, India. This formulation has a higher than usual Curcumin concentration. For any other formulations check the dosing instructions on the label.
All the information and dosing guidelines are not to be construed to be medical recommendations. The use of Turmeric should always be supervised by you primary care practitioner.
I have reviewed the indications, precautions, and dosing for Turmeric.
If you any further questions, please comment. I would love to hear from you and will promptly answer you.
Wishing you joy and healing.