5 Reasons Turmeric Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

turmeric for rheumatoid arthritis


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder affecting over 1.4 million Americans. It causes joint swelling, pain, and joint damage and, if left untreated, leads to disability. Due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric, also called “the golden spice,”  has generated much interest as a complementary treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  But does the science support turmeric supplements for Rheumatoid Arthritis ?

Here are five science-backed reasons turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, helps people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

1- Turmeric has centuries of medicinal use in holistic medicine

Turmeric comes from the root of Curcuma longa, a relative of ginger. It lends its vibrant golden color and bitter, pungent flavor to curries and mustards. The active component curcumin provides turmeric’s therapeutic effects.

In Ayurvedic medicine and Asian culinary traditions, turmeric has been used medicinally for centuries. Historical applications include treating respiratory illnesses, wound healing, liver disorders, pain relief, and other inflammatory conditions. 

2- Preclinical studies show curcumin reduces joint inflammation and damage.

Some laboratory and animal studies showed promising results about curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects. Rat models of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) found curcumin could:

  • Lower inflammatory molecules (cytokines like TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6)
  • Reduce markers of oxidative stress
  • Protect against cartilage and bone degradation in joints
  • Decrease joint swelling and inflammation

3- Human studies support Curcumin or Turmeric Benefits.

turmeric for rheumatoid arthritis

Human clinical studies showed that using turmeric or curcumin potentially benefits patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis if used consistently for at least 90 days.

Research showed that using turmeric in 500-1000mg daily cause

4- Turmeric Dose Makes the Difference

Many supplements available over the counter vary in dose from 250 mg to 1000 mg. Turmeric supplements can come in capsules or liquid form. The dose of curcumin/ turmeric that will make a difference matters.

Clinical studies used turmeric doses ranging from 500 to 1,000mg daily. Absorption can be poor, so enhanced curcumin preparations with piperine may work best. 

5- Turmeric appears safe with minimal side effects.

Current research suggests turmeric is well-tolerated with few adverse effects like nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Remember that turmeric may increase bleeding risk if you use anticoagulants (blood thinners). 

Turmeric should complement standard rheumatoid arthritis medications and treatments, not replace them.

Turmeric: A Promising Complementary Approach

In summary, a growing body of research indicates turmeric may help control rheumatoid arthritis progression and symptoms. The data looks promising, but larger trials are still needed. Turmeric should always be discussed with your rheumatologist as a complementary option, not to replace the treatment. 

At Rheumatologist OnCall, we emphasize a specialized and integrative approach specifically designed for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. We offer our patients treatment and strive to educate them about nutrition through online courses, online physical therapy sessions, and mindfulness practices through a personalized approach to each patient’s needs.


All content shared on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medicine. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment regarding your specific medical needs. We don’t represent that any of the products or services offered through this site are safe, appropriate, or effective for you. We advise you to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider regarding personal health or medical conditions. If you know or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a qualified healthcare professional immediately. If you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

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