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Phytotherapy in joint pain I

The inflammation, in addition to the associated symptoms that it has by itself: pain..., contributes to the worsening of other disorders. Various plants have been used for centuries to treat pain and inflammation. Today, we know that the active principles of these plants are capable of inhibiting or modulating the two major pathways for the metabolism of pro-inflammatory substances: the cyclooxygenase pathway and the 5-hydrocygenase pathway, thus contributing to reducing the inflammation.

Phytotherapy in joint pain I Phytotherapy in joint pain I

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Turmeric alonga is one of many plants that have been used for centuries for therapeutic purposes, particularly in traditional Indian medicine.

Turmeric contains yellow coloring principles called curcuminoids (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin). It also contains essential oils with sesquiterpenes and monoterpene derivatives, although to a lesser extent. It also contains starch, whose main component is arabigogalactans. But its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antidegenerative activity is due to curcuminoids. In recent years there have been many international studies that support these therapeutic effects.

Joint pain and stiffness are of great interest. Curcumin helps reduce inflammation and malnutrition of cartilage. In fact, it can slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.

Curcumin has an effect similar to that of some anti-inflammatories. Modulates inflammation and pain in the following way:

  • It inhibits the activation of the transcription factor NF-KB.
  • Reduces the expression of IL-1 and TNFa.
  • Reduces the expression of COX-2 which reduces the production of PGE2.
  • Reduces the expression of LOX and thus of leukotrienes.
  • Reduces the expression of metalloproteases.
  • Prevents IL1-induced chondrocyte apoptosis.
  • Increases the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines IL10.
  • It reduces the rate of ROS and lipid peroxidation due to its ability to increase the activity of catalase and SOD, and thanks to its own antioxidant activity. Although it is recognized that curcumin is the main active molecule in turmeric, it is important to consume all of it and not just one of its bioactive ingredients, as it works best when all of its bioactive elements are present. This happens in many natural compounds.

Turmeric can also be used topically, although it is much less common and the studies are much less conclusive.

The tolerance and safety of turmeric are very high, but some contraindication or side effect has been described and deserves mention. They are the following:

  1. Obstruction of bile ducts.
  2. Biliary infection.
  3. Possible interactions with anticoagulants.
  4. gastric irritation.
  5. Dry mouth

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