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Better Remission with Ulcerative Colitis

Research on Tumeric (Curcuma longa) is now proving its many health benefits.

Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the colon that is characterized by episodic ulcerations along the colon.  These ulcerations are usually accompanied with bleeding or mucous in the stools, fatigue, pain, diarrhea, joint pain, mouth sores, and more.

Ulcerative colitis in Naturopathic Doctor’s offices has shown to be very responsive to natural treatments as well as the combination of natural and pharmaceutical treatments. 

This article will highlight a review of the literature from the Cochrane library on one such natural treatment for Ulcerative Colitis.  Tumeric (curcuma longa) or otherwise known as curcumin has shown health benefits in many inflammatory conditions such as; arthritis, hepatitis, ulcerative colitis, to name a few. 

The review was on the maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.  It showed that turmeric or curcumin reduced the remission rates in patients who were taking conventional pharmaceuticals.  These patients had been taking the typical pharmaceuticals prescribed and had plateaued with treatment.  Then they added in curcumin to see if there was benefit and to assess safety. 

Turns out that the group using curcumin in conjunction with their meds only had a 4% relapse rate at 6 months and the placebo group had 18% relapse rate.  This means 96% remained in remission.  The curcumin group also had a lower disease activity index (Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity Index is a scale that measures all the symptoms of ulcerative colitis). 

The conclusion was that curcumin was safe and effective for the treatment and prevention of relapse in ulcerative colitis.  We have found this to be clinically proven in our practice as well.

We would also add that in changing other parameters such as diet and the addition of more healing herbs for the colon lining, we are able to see clinical improvement in the majority of ulcerative colitis cases we treat.  For a condition where the options of treatment in the pharmaceutical arena are limited and riddled with side effects the use of natural treatments or the combination of natural treatments is a must in my opinion.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD008424.pub2/abstract