Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory .
Turmeric Traditionally called Indian saffron or Haldi turmeric has been used throughout history as a condiment healing remedy and textile dye Its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prised saffron It is the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh Its flavor is peppery warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild yet slightly indicative of orange and ginger to which it is related Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory substance in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine
Today turmeric is widely cultivated in the tropics and goes by different names in different cultures and countries It is also known as the miracle drink that treats arthritis.
In Ayurveda turmeric is useful to treat many ailments including arthritis stomach problems poor circulation and skin diseases Turmeric is mixed with liquids made into a paste or ointment or burned for the patient to inhale Turmeric contains about 100 different properties that account for its long-lived success.
Turmeric Chemical composition
The most important chemical components of turmeric are a group of compounds called curcununoids which include cur- cumin (diferuloylmethane) demethoxycur- cumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin The best-studied compound is curcunun which constitutes 3 14% (on average) of powdered turmeric In addition other important vol¬atile oils include turmerone atlantone and zingiberene Some general constituents are sugars proteins and resins.
Arthritis is a chronic disease that results from the inflammation of one or more joints It usually results from deregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e g TNF. IL-16) and pro -inflammatory enzymes that mediate the productionof prostaglandins (e g COX-2) and leukotrienes (e g lipoxygenase). together with the expression of adhesion molecules and matrix metalloproteinase Although more than 100 different kinds of arthritis have been reported the three most common forms are osteoarthritis rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
The available data on the activity of Turmeric in Arthritis is described below-
- First study of curcumin against arthritis was reported m 1980 m a short-term double-blind cross over study involving 18 young patients with rheumatoid arthritis In this study curcumin s efficacy was compare d with drug phenylbutazone Patients were randomly assigned to receive either curcumin (1 2 g/day) or phenylbutazone (0 3 g/day) for 2 weeks Curcumin was well-tolerated had no adverse effects and exerted an anti-rheumatic activity identical to that of phenylbutazone as shown by improvement in joint swelling morning stiffness and walking time
- Another recent study suggests that curcumin alone (0 5 g) and in combination with diclofenac sodium (0 05 g) was found to be safe and effective in 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis the level of CRP was suppressed in these patients after curcumin administration
- Meriva at a dose that corresponded to 200 mg of curcumin per day a study in 50 patients with osteoarthritis evaluated The signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis were evaluated with use of WOM- AC scores an indicator of pain level The mobility was assessed by walking performance (treadmill) and inflammatory status was assessed by measuring the lewis of CR P After 3 months of treatment the globed WOMAC score was decreased by 58%: walking distance was increased from 76 m to 332 m and CRP levels were significantly decreased In comparison only modest improvement in these measurements was observed in the control group
- In long term efficacy and safety of Meriva in a
longer (8-month) study involving 100 patients divided into the control group (50 patients) and the curcumin group (50) patients with osteoarthritis was investigated Results suggest that the WOMAC score was decreased by more than 50% whereas treadmill walking
performance was increased almost threefold compared with the control Serum inflammatory biomarkers such as IL-18 IL-6wsoluble CD40 ligand, soluble vascular’ cell adhesion molecule-1 and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were also significantly decreased in the treatment group In addition remarkable decrease in gastrointestinal complications distal oedema The use of NSAI Ds painkillers by the patients were also decreased 367 primary knee osteoarthritis patients were investigated with a pain score f 5 or higher 185 and 182 patients were randomly assigned into C. domestica
extracts and ibuprofen groups respectively Results suggest that the mean of all
WOMAC scores at weeks 0.2 and 4 showed significant improvement when
compared with baseline in both group
Mode of Action
Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects As an antioxidant curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes This is important in many diseases such as arthritis where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and eventual damage to the joints Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. In a recent study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness lengthened walking time and reduced joint swelling
From the above review it is evident that Curcuma domestic /turmeric is very effective as preventive and curative agent for arthritis It has been extensively used by Indian system of medicine and in other countries since thousands of year.