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 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.
The following article was written by by Fazila (B.Sc Biotech. & Bioinformatics for the website Turmeric For Health. Follow Turmeric For Health by clicking the following link: https://www.turmericforhealth.com/
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.
Curcumin may change drug absorption
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.
A few precautions to be noted when taking turmeric:
- 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.
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