Curcumin Great for Hand, Knee, and Hip Arthritis

Published: September 10, 2012

An NSAID is an anti-inflammatory used for arthritis. But it causes an estimated 16,500 deaths a year from bleeding ulcers. It also doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke. But you don’t have to die from arthritis medications! Two new studies show that safe and natural remedies are just as effective at relieving arthritis pain.

Chondroitin Sulfate

A recent study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism shows that chondroitin sulfate is safe and effective in addressing hand arthritis, a problem that affects 20 to 30% of the more than 27 million people with osteoarthritis. (Previous studies have already shown it to be effective in addressing knee osteoarthritis.)

The study looked at 162 people with hand arthritis. Subjects were divided into two groups. One group took 800 mg a day of chondroitin sulfate. The other group took a placebo. After 6 months, those taking the supplement had less hand pain and better hand function, and without side effects. The only downsidewas that the supplement took three months to work. But on the big upside, it didn’t cause bleeding ulcers. A possible strategy suggested by the researchers was to take both chondroitin sulfate and NSAIDs for three months, and then drop the NSAIDs.

Curcumin and Boswellia

In another powerful study reported at the recent annual meeting of OARSI (Osteoarthritis Research Society International), researchers reported that a special mix of the herbs curcumin (using the BCM-95 form) and boswellia was more effective than an NSAID (100 mg of Celebrex, twice a day) in controlling pain and improving function in knee and hip osteoarthritis.

Ninety-three percent of the folks on the herbal preparation could walk father, compared to 86% of those taking Celebrex. After 3 months, the number of people who were in severe to moderate pain dropped from 85% to 21% among those taking the herbal mix (an amazing decrease), compared to a smaller drop of from 78% to 50% among those taking Celebrex.

The supplement being studied contained the equivalent of an herbal supplement that promotes joint health (with curcumin and boswellia). A similar mix can also be found in a high-potency herbal supplement based on curcumin that provides relief for muscle pain. These are both formulated to deliver a uniquely absorbable form of curcumin.


"Dietary Supplement Effective for Hand Osteoarthritis," Medscape, September 9, 2011

"Herbs Beat Pain Drug in Study," Chris Kilham, FOX News Health, September 28, 2011

"Symptomatic effects of chondroitin 4 and chondroitin 6 sulfate on hand osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial at a single center," Gabay C, Medinger-Sadowski C, Gascon D, Kolo F, Finckh A.,University Hospitals of Geneva and University of Geneva School of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland, November 2011

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. His newest book (June 10, 2024) is You Can Heal From Long COVID. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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