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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Over 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, or joint pain, and many sufferers take prescription medication to combat the ailment. According to researchers from the Anugraha Medical Center in India, a supplement containing curcumin and boswellia may be more effective at fighting joint pain than pharmaceuticals.
Both curcumin and boswellia have been used in folk remedies to combat arthritis pain.
Indian researchers from the Anugraha Medical Center may have done just that, They presented a study at the 2011 World Congress on Osteoarthritis (September 15-18, 2011) showing that a supplement known as Rhulief may be more effective at fighting joint pain than pharmaceuticals.
The study included 28 participants with moderate levels of osteoarthritis between the ages of 18 and 65. They were randomly assigned to consume 500 mg of Rhulief or 100 mg of celecoxib (the generic name for Celebrex®), a pharmaceutical commonly prescribed to combat joint pain.
After 12 weeks, 93% of the herb group participants could walk more than 1000 meters, compared to only 86% of the pharmaceutical group. Additionally, 93% of the herb group self reported reduction or elimination of pain, compared to 79% of the drug group.
The researchers also noted that there were no adverse side effects present in the herb group, including changes in liver and kidney function.
Overall, the herb treatment outperformed the pharmaceutical treatment in pain relief, walking distance and joint line tenderness scores. It performed as well as celecoxib in range of joint movement, and crepitus, which is a crunching sensation in the knees that often accompanies arthritis.
Curcumin and boswellia serrata have been linked to numerous other health benefits. Curcumin has been shown to combat head and neck cancer cells, ease menstrual cramping, help heal wounds, and to improve the appearance of skin. Boswellia serrata is a common folk remedy for a variety of inflammatory issues.
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