In conventional practices, NSAIDs and glucocorticoids are used the most frequently for RA treatment, but they also bring with them a host of side effects, especially in long-term use. Possible adverse effects include stomach and liver damage, allergic reactions, lowered immunity, increased blood pressure, lowered red blood cell activity (myelosuppression), and increased risk of osteoporosis. Worse yet, even though they help control pain and inflammation, they really only cover the problem for a while. Beyond stopping some of the inflammation, they still can’t stop the joint damage of RA, or lower attendant depression, or address other chronic conditions. I think one of the most difficult things for any practitioner is treating chronic conditions that have left a patient feeling frustrated, helpless, and at the mercy of synthetic drugs that can bring a wake of terrible side effects. As an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) falls into a category of illness that is typically difficult to treat conventionally beyond symptom control and – if caught early enough – a slowdown in joint destruction.
CURCUMIN TO THE RESCUE
Fortunately, there is hope for healing without complications. It is a compound from an herbal source known to practitioners of traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for generations: curcumin from turmeric (Curcuma longa).
Without a doubt, curcumin is well known to practitioners here in the United States too. And certainly, I’m sure that more than a few reading this column have used it for fighting pain. But I believe that it could be a complete RA-fighting herbal powerhouse unto itself. Consider the study, published in Phytotherapy Research, consisting of a randomized 8-week study. 45 participants were randomized to 3 groups. All of them had been diagnosed with RA, functional class I or II. Group 1 received diclofenac sodium, 50 mg BID; group 2 received 500 mg BID of an enhanced-absorption curcumin that also contains turmerones from turmeric essential oil; and group 3 received both diclofenac sodium and the curcumin. In both curcumin groups, there were no drop-outs due to adverse effects; however, in the diclofenac sodium-only group, 14% withdrew due to adverse effects.
Read Dr. Holly Lucille’s full article published April 12, 2016 with Naturopathic Doctore News & Reviews. The above excerpt is from Dr. Lucille’s article publish in Narturopathic Doctor News & Reviews.
OWC Editor Note: To learn more about curcumin and its plant source, click here.