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What are the benefits of turmeric for rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition that causes pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the patients for the long term. There is ample research that gives testament to the benefits of turmeric in relieving the inflammatory symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.


Turmeric has paved the way to healing several ailments and diseases in traditional medicines.

It is an ingredient used in a number of dishes like curry.

In recent years, scientists have studied the benefits of turmeric on your health. Evidence proved that turmeric can be extremely useful in not only maintaining your health and strengthening your immune system but also to manage your symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Specifically, turmeric is made of a compound known as curcumin. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

However, there are a few elements you need to factor in when you introduce turmeric supplements into your treatment plan. You should probably consult a doctor before actively including the spice into your life. This article explores the various benefits of turmeric on RA based on the various research conducted. The several uses of turmeric, along with their risks and side effects, are also stated.

Can RA patients benefit from turmeric ?

Turmeric, also referred to as Curcuma longa, is quite a common ingredient in a number of cuisines. It is orange or yellow in appearance, which gives your food a distinct colour along with taste. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients used in Ayurveda, which is a traditional medical practice. The spice is known to help skin diseases, mild infections, stomach problems, blood disorders, liver conditions and cough.

There are several studies being conducted in western medicine on the benefits of turmeric on your body to treat various ailments and diseases. There is evidence that suggests curcumin is one of the main ingredients in turmeric that helps get high blood sugar under control, have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. In this condition accidentally attacks your healthy joint tissue as it perceives it as it's enemy. These attacks result in inflammation that causes joint and bone damage in the area that is affected. RA can be hugely benefited by it's naturally occurring antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What does the research suggest?

Turmeric is made of a number of different compounds which includes curcumin. Most of the present research has its focus on curcumin rather than on turmeric, which includes all of its components. However, studies do testify to the fact that most of the turmeric components can help manage RA symptoms. 


Eight trials were conducted randomly to check the benefits of turmeric and curcumin on providing relief to the symptoms of arthritis affecting your joints. There is ample evidence to suggest that an intake of 1000mg of curcumin for 8 to 12 weeks can help keep the pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, under control. 

The results also showed that the benefits of curcumin extract could be as potent as NSAIDs, also referred to as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include diclofenac as well as ibuprofen.


Unfortunately, the scope of the study was small and moderate, which means a lot more research is needed before anything can be definitely decided. So it is suggested that people should not only rely on curcumin but use it in addition to regular traditional therapy.A study was conducted on 36 subjects who had RA in 2017. They were given a bioavailable concoction of curcumin. The treatment was carried on for 90 days. 

The subjects that participated in the trial testified to definite improvements in the inflammation as well as pain in their joints than the ones in the placebo group.


Another study conducted in 2018 on a rat model of RA suggested that curcumin indeed brought down inflammation in the joints as well as redness in the rats by creating a blockage in the intracellular signalling process known as the mTOR pathway.The studies together testified to the beneficial properties of curcumin in easing symptoms of arthritis and its uses in treating various forms of arthritis. However, it is important to conduct a lot more research on it to be absolutely sure.

How to introduce it into your life

Turmeric is available in a couple of forms including whole root form as well as in powder form. It can be an excellent addition to a number of meals in a sliced root or powdered form, which include soups, curries and dishes with rice. A number of people use grated or ground turmeric to make herbal tea. There area number of turmeric packaged tea bags readily available in the market.


Although turmeric can be added to your diet in a variety of ways, a majority of evidence of its benefits is specifically focused on curcumin, which is available in the form of supplements.  


There are several supplements of curcumin on the market, which are available in a capsule or tablet form. There are a number of manufacturers who add ingredients like black pepper to their tablets.

This helps it easier for your body to absorb the compound.


The dosage that is recommended by the doctors can vary. 1000 mg is the recommended amount of curcumin you need to take daily in order to treat the various symptoms of arthritis. However, it is important that you get it from sources and manufacturers that are entirely reliable. It is of paramount importance that you opt for guidance to know which supplements are good for you and which are not, as well as the proper dosage.It is vital to talk to your doctor before you prescribe to turmeric or curcumin to help with the various symptoms of arthritis. It is crucial that you do not get rid of your previous treatment unless you consult your doctor. You must also not replace any of your treatment plans. 

Risks and potential side effects

Mild side effects can be seen by introducing curcumin and turmeric into your diet. Digestive upset and headaches can be experienced by a few people. Patients who have a sensitivity to some of these substances or have a high intake might experience symptoms such as nausea, rashes and diarrhoea. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant must consult their healthcare professional before subscribing to curcumin or turmeric supplements.Turmeric might also react badly when combined with some of the other medications you might be taking.

It could either make them more potent or less so. People who have been prescribed and are taking blood thinners must make sure that they talk to their doctor before using turmeric as well as curcumin supplements. 


There are several supplements that could be mixed with heavy metals, for example, lead. Therefore, it is important that you purchase them from a manufacturer that is highly reputable.

RA is an autoimmune disease that affects your joints long term. It causes pain, inflammation and stiffness. There is a lot of research that provides evidence that suggests turmeric as well as it's major elements, like curcumin, can help get rid of or prevent symptoms of arthritis.


However, patients of RA must make sure that they consult a doctor for a thorough evaluation and to map out a treatment plan. Although there is a possibility of turmeric helping you get rid of your symptoms, it is circumstantial. 

There is no concrete evidence to suggest that it can, in any way, replace the medical procedure prescribed by the doctors. It is important to consult your doctor as early diagnosis and starting a treatment plan can help forgo joint damage that could be irreversible.


There are several turmeric products available online that includes whole turmeric root, turmeric powder, turmeric tea bags and curcumin supplements. So, in case you are prescribed to other medications, it is of paramount importance to consult your doctor before you start taking curcumin supplements.