curcumin improves osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

This massive new systematic review and meta-analysis of curcumin puts all the evidence together for the power of curcumin over several types of arthritis. See just how powerful and versatile this remarkable herb really is.

There are over a hundred different kinds of arthritis, but the most common ones are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The different arthritises have different causes, but they all share pain as well as inflammation in the joints and loss of mobility.

The drugs used for arthritis are limited by their array of side effects that complicate long term use. Curcumin, the active component in the herb turmeric, is remarkably safe and works remarkably well in arthritis. It has been used for a very long time in traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine of India as an anti-inflammatory.

This massive study included 30 controlled studies of curcumin, and it included several types of arthritis.

The meta-analysis revealed that, when it came to rheumatoid arthritis, there was significant improvement in disease activity when using curcumin versus the control group. It also found significant advantage for curcumin for improving inflammation. Rheumatoid factors are proteins that attack healthy tissue that are associated with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Compared to controls, curcumin significantly reduced rheumatoid factor.

The results were just as encouraging for the other major type of arthritis: osteoarthritis. Curcumin was significantly superior to controls for reducing pain and stiffness and for improving physical function. As in rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was significantly better than controls for reducing inflammation. It also significantly reduced free radical damage. Curcumin is better than placebo and as good as NSAIDs but safer. When added to drugs, curcumin adds to their effect without adding to their side effects.

This meta-analysis also included one study on ankylosing spondylitis and two on juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The results suggest that curcumin also helps these types of arthritis. One study found less benefit for gout.

This large meta-analysis adds even more evidence that curcumin is an important herb for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It also introduces the possibility that it may benefit other types of arthritis as well.


Front Immunol. 2022; 13: 891822


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For much more on treating rheumatoid and osteoarthritis naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive natural help with arthritis, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven nowLinda‚Äôs clinic is now open for virtual appointments.

The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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