Curcumin beneficial when combined with a medication
Ulcerative colitis is a severe inflammatory bowel disease of the colon that produces bloody diarrhea. With Crohn's disease the inflammation typically involves the small intestine, but it can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, whereas with ulcerative colitis, the disease is usually confined to the colon and rectum.
Doctors at Tel-Aviv University in Israel gave daily 3 grams a day of curcumin to patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis who had not responded to optimized mesalamine treatment. Half of the patients achieved clinical remission with the addition of curcumin after a month. None of the placebo-plus-mesalamine control group had a remission. See www.raysahelian.com/
Mesalamine and curcumin (which has anti-inflammatory properties) have different but potentially synergistic mechanisms of action, therefore producing a better outcome than using either the herb or the medication alone. Normally, when a patient with ulcerative colitis does not respond to mesalamine, steroids or more dangerous medications are added to the regimen. If curcumin can replace these dangerous drugs, it would be quite a benefit to many patients.
These findings are exciting because it now encourages many more hospitals and academic centers to conduct research using herbal products, alone or in combination with medications. There is so much that is still undiscovered.