Ginger, Curcumin, and Other Remedies for RA

Ginger, Curcumin, Boswellia, and Feverfew

Some other botanicals marketed with claims to benefit arthritis pain are:
  • Ginger
  • Curcumin (a component of the spice turmeric)
  • Boswellia (also called Indian frankincense, made from the resin of a tree that grows in India).


These three botanicals have a history of use in Ayurveda to treat inflammatory conditions.
A fourth botanical, feverfew, has been used in folk medicine with an intent to treat arthritis, migraines, and other conditions. One small published clinical trial was located for this report. It found no more benefit from feverfew than from the placebo. Overall, feverfew has not been proven to help rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Effectiveness and safety information:
  • Ginger's possible side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, and irritation to the mouth and throat. It is not recommended for people who have a bleeding disorder, a heart condition, or diabetes. Ginger may further slow blood clotting when combined with other herbs and drugs that slow blood clotting, add to the blood-pressure-lowering effects of drugs for high blood pressure and heart disease, and add to the blood-sugar-lowering effects of diabetes drugs.


  • Curcumin can have side effects that include stomach problems like nausea and diarrhea. It could also add to the effects of other herbs and drugs that slow blood clotting. People with gallbladder disease or gallstones should not use it at all, as it can cause gallbladder contractions.


  • Boswellia can have side effects of abdominal pain (stomach pain), stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. It is not known whether boswellia interacts with any drugs, supplements, or diseases and conditions.


  • Feverfew appears to be safe for short-term use, but the safety of long-term use is not known. It can cause an allergic reaction, especially in people who are allergic to the daisy family. Side effects can include diarrhea and other stomach upsets. Chewing fresh leaves of feverfew may cause mouth irritation and sores. Feverfew might interact with medications broken down by the liver and increase the actions of drugs that slow blood clotting. Pregnant women should not take feverfew.


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