Turmeric For Rheumatoid Arthritis: Does It Work?

Some research suggests that turmeric may help alleviate the inflammatory symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The spice affords several benefits such as anti-inflammatory functions provided by its main component curcumin.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition common among older adults. Its symptoms include inflammation, stiffness and joint pain, according to Medical News Today.

What Is Turmeric?

It is a spice that contains anti-inflammatory properties. Otherwise known as Curcuma longa, the bright yellow or orange spice is also the main component in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda. The latter treats skin diseases, stomach problems, blood disorders, cough, mild infections and liver conditions.

According to a review article published in the US National Library of Medicine, turmeric is rich in curcumin that has an antioxidant effect, lowers blood sugar, is anti-inflammatory and affords anticancer benefits. Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue, patients experience inflammation that leads to bone and joint damage. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric could alleviate its symptoms.


In a 2016 systematic review, researchers measured the effectiveness of turmeric and curcumin extracts on arthritis patients. Those who took 1,000 milligrams of curcumin daily for eight to 12 weeks reduced their pain sensations and inflammation which are common symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Researchers found that curcumin extracts are effective in treating these symptoms by recommending patients to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and diclofenac. They, however, noted that there is a need for further research to confirm their findings. Nevertheless, they recommended that arthritis patients may use curcumin as a dietary supplement while undergoing conventional therapy.

A subsequent study looked into the effects of curcumin on rats with rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers determined that the component reduced inflammation and redness among the lab rats by blocking an intercellular signaling process called mTOR pathway.

rheumatoid arthritis Adding to a laundry list of ailments, researchers find rheumatoid arthritis is twice as common in Ground Zero first responders. handarmdoc, CC BY 2.0