As per research, turmeric is one of the most potent herbs for treating arthritis naturally. Turmeric as a herb and its active ingredient curcumin are proven, natural anti-arthritic agents.
They help reduce pain and inflammation and also halt disease progression.
Arthritis treatment involves the prescription of various drugs to help manage pain and prevent the disease from progressing. So a common concern presented by the readers is the possible herb-drug interaction with turmeric and arthritis medications.
But is it safe to take turmeric alongside arthritis medication? Let’s find out.
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Is it safe to take turmeric/curcumin with arthritis medication?
The answer is -Yes, it is safe to take turmeric (curcumin) in the regular diet with arthritis medications. If taking large doses of Golden Paste or turmeric supplements for arthritis, maintain a 3-4 hour gap between taking turmeric and arthritis medications.
Turmeric and black pepper interfere in the activity of drug metabolizing enzymes, and hence it is advised to maintain the gap. Curcumin in turmeric may increase the therapeutic action of arthritis medications and protect from their side effects as well.
Let’s examine the scientific details behind the safety of taking turmeric and curcumin with arthritis medications.
1.Curcumin may change drug absorption
Turmeric and curcumin are safe for consumption. Dietary turmeric does not pose any risk. Curcumin present in turmeric is found to regulate the activity of enzymes involved in drug metabolism.
Piperine, bioactive of black pepper, is used to enhance the bioavailability of turmeric (Read How to improve turmeric’s bioavailability). Piperine is a strong bioenhancer and increases the absorption of various drugs. This increased absorption delivers a therapeutic effect, but on a long-term, it may cause side effects.
Hence it is advised to maintain a 3-4 hour gap between taking arthritis medications and curcumin supplements or large doses of Golden Paste. (Read Does Black Pepper in Golden Paste interact with Drugs?)
2.Turmeric and curcumin may decrease the side effects of arthritis drugs
Various studies show that curcumin may have a synergistic action with few of the commonly prescribed anti-arthritis medications such as methotrexate, indomethacin, diclofenac sodium. It can also protect from the side effects of these medications.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research, 2012 examined the effect of curcumin in comparison to standard treatment for active rheumatoid arthritis. Patients were given 500mg curcumin or 50mg diclofenac sodium or their combination.
The curcumin groups, especially the combination group, showed significant improvement in comparison to the diclofenac only group. Also, curcumin was found to be safe and did not cause side effects.
Research suggests that it is safe to take turmeric when taking arthritis medications.
How to take turmeric for arthritis?
Including turmeric in the diet is the best way to take the herb. Please check our list of recommended organic turmeric brands. The Golden paste is an effective way to take turmeric as it contains healthy fats and black pepper to enhance absorption. You can Golden Paste from fresh turmeric roots as well.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks.
It is best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take meds.
1 cup Turmeric Milk or Turmeric Tea daily can help with pain relief in arthritis. For more details, please read Turmeric Dosage For Arthritis.
To understand the science-backed benefits of turmeric for arthritis, please read 15 Benefits of Turmeric for Arthritis.
If opting for supplements, please consult a health practitioner prior. Read 8 Popular Turmeric Supplements Available In Market Today
A few precautions to be noted when taking turmeric:
- Opt for organic turmeric powder.
- Avoid taking turmeric supplements if experiencing bleeding disorders or taking antiplatelet medications. (Read Curcumin: Side effects & Precautions)
- Discontinue turmeric supplements two weeks before surgery.
- Limit or avoid turmeric powder if you have kidney stones or gout. Opt for supplements if needed. (Read Side Effects of Turmeric)
- Limit turmeric intake in case of gallbladder stones.
- Avoid taking turmeric on an empty stomach. (Read Precautions with Turmeric Use)
- Start with small doses of turmeric and increase gradually to minimize gastric side effects.
- Avoid turmeric supplements in pregnancy and lactation.
Turmeric can be safely consumed as a part of the regular diet when taking arthritis medications. You can also take turmeric therapeutically or as supplements when on conventional arthritis treatment; maintain a 3-4 hour gap.
If you have found a dose of turmeric that benefits in arthritis or would like to share your feedback on turmeric’s efficacy in arthritis, please leave your comments below.
6 thoughts on “Is It Safe To Take Turmeric / Curcumin With Arthritis Medications?”
Last summer, a friend of mine with knee arthritis injected himself with hyaluronic acid. German injections, very expensive. It was my back that I could not walk on the street from pain. My wife had a swollen foot like a log.
Now, all three of us feel very good. What do we have three in common? …
All three of us are taking curcumin supplements.
The final conclusion: with a good curcumin supplement and proper dosage, you no longer need medications for arthritis. Curcumin was dealing with pain and inflammation. We are the proof.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Glad to hear that turmeric benefits you and your family!
Maybe this is a little off-topic, but nightshade veggies (tomato, green pepper, potato included) aggravate arthritis, at least in some people. Turmeric (which I consider curry, ’cause I love curry) cooked WITH these potential aggravants probably deactivates their harm. And, trust me, turmeric (curry) sprinkled on chopped onion cooked in coconut oil, and topped at end stage with freshly ground pepper, is beyond delicious when you add the nightshade veggies however you choose to assemble these ingredients. Sprinkle parsley on top, and add crushed fresh garlic end stage. Never was a health regimen so delicious.
A good general rule with any herb or spice is that dietary levels are normally fine regardless of health condition or medication (there are exceptions, but that’s rare). On the other hand, supplements could be an issue and it’s always worth talking to your healthcare professional before taking them.
I take a teaspoon of Turmeric boiled in mill daily amd find it helps tremendously with my arthritic knees. I even take Rumulya Tablets (it’s an Himalayas product )… I take the turmeric on an empty stomach and it hasn’t affected me in anyway.
I get the whole dry turmeric roots from India and Grind it myself.
Hi Gulnar. Glad to know that turmeric helps you. Wish you great health!