Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition which affects your joints. It is associated with a inappropriate responses from immune system. Rheumatoid arthritis results in swelling and pain in joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disorder which eventually leads to bone erosion and joint deformity. In some people it can damage more than just joints. Eyes, lungs, skin and heart are reported to be harmed in rheumatoid arthritis.
Around 1% of the population worldwide is affected with rheumatoid arthritis. It is seen 2 to 3 times more in women than in men. The disorder can occur at any age but most often observed at ages between 35 yrs and 50 yrs.
The onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis is gradual and involves mild symptoms. Some initial symptoms include pain and swelling of same joints in both sides of the body, morning stiffness, weakness and loss of appetite.
Rheumatoid Arthritis affects other organs and body systems when inflammation is at high level. It causes pain and dryness in eyes and also triggers the formation of small lumps under the skin. Rheumatoid arthritis may also lead to anemia.
There is no single test that confirms Rheumatoid Arthritis. But few tests are involved with RA such as ESR, Serum RF, CRP, x-Ray, MRI and ultrasound.
The cause of RA is still unclear. However, it occurs when your immune system starts attacking your own cells. This abnormal immune response leads to inflammation. The immune cells release few chemicals that cause inflammation and damage bones.
Treatment of RA involves a balance of rest and physical exercise, appropriate diet, drugs, and sometimes surgery.
Some home care tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis include proper rest and exercise.
Heat pads are warm and baths are useful in soothing stiff joints. Supplements like turmeric and omega-3 fish oil are beneficial in pain and morning stiffness.
How Turmeric Benefits In Rheumatoid Arthritis
Turmeric is emerging as novel anti-arthritic herb arthritis and holds multiple benefits in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Turmeric exerts anti-inflammatory effects on RA.
- Turmeric helps in reduction in degeneration of arthritic tissues and joints.
- Turmeric induces programmed cell death in the inflamed and damaged tissue to protect the nearby cells.
- Curcumin exerts protective effects on the joints.
- Curcumin exerts anti-oxidant effects on the target tissue and joints in RA.
- Turmeric can help in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis pain.
- Turmeric can reduce side effects of anti-arthritic drugs.
For more details regarding turmeric’s therapeutic efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis please read:
Best ways to take Turmeric in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for rheumatoid arthritis. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in this disorder.
The dosage depends in terms of the formulation of the turmeric supplement and severity of the health condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet. However to achieve a therapeutic effect the limited amount of turmeric root we consume isn’t sufficient.
However you can still include it in juices, or consume it with regular meals or even make Golden Paste from it.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually as 30 ml thrice a day to curb pain.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day.
Start with small doses and increase gradually. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. You can also make Turmeric capsules at home.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric.
It is highly recommended to take this paste after/with meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications. (Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (precisely 1 tsp 3 times a day).
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. However if you still don’t you can do two things:
- Increase the dose
- Split the dose and consume at regular intervals (1/2-1tsp every 5 hourly so around 4 times a day)
The ideal dose differs with every individual; some do fine on a small dose while some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Some individuals swear by turmeric tincture’s pain relief action. And it also skips the taste issue.
We recommend tincture in case of flare and not on long term.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
This is just perfect when it comes to combating pain naturally. You can find the recipe for Turmeric Milk here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract. Always start with the smallest dose and increase gradually over weeks.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Supplements should not be taken on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking other medicines. Consult a health practitioner prior to taking turmeric supplements.
How to use turmeric topically for pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis?
You can apply turmeric powder for pain relief topically. Conduct a patch test prior. Take sufficient amount of turmeric powder and mix it with lukewarm oil, preferably coconut or olive oil, and apply it to affected area.
Gently massage the affected area. Leave it on for 30 minutes at least and longer if possible. Cover the area with gauze if needed. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
For more details read Topical Turmeric for Inflammation.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
If harrowed by turmeric stains here is how you can take care of them.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis which affects your joints. It is caused due to an abnormal immune response.
The drugs that are used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis such as NSAIDs in turn have side effects. Turmeric is emerging as a non-toxic anti-arthritic herb.
Curcumin which is a major ingredient of turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects that help in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Turmeric is also beneficial in soothing stiffness and pain.