Middle-aged and older men sometimes suffer from a condition known as Dupuytren’s contracture. Their fingers may curl in to the palm. They may find it difficult if not impossible to open the hand fully. Doctor sometimes treat this disorder by dry needling or by injecting corticosteroids or collagenase (Xiaflex). Surgery is a last resort. Up until now, we did not know of any home remedies that could help.
Will Turmeric Capsules Improve Dupuytren’s Contracture?
Q. My brother has had worsening Dupuytren’s contracture for the last ten years. In the last month he has seen amazing improvement. He can now open his hands nearly all the way.
He attributes this change to the turmeric capsules he started taking for knee pain. Within three days of taking the first pill, he felt a change happening in his hands. Have you ever heard of this?
A. We had never heard of turmeric helping Dupuytren’s contracture until we read your note. This condition results from a thickening and tightening of connective tissue in the palm of the hand. Frequently the fourth or fifth fingers may curl in toward the palm, making it hard to put on gloves, grip tools or put hands in pockets.
Turmeric to Fight Inflammation:
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory activity. That may explain why it can be helpful for knee pain (Journal of Medicinal Food, May 2018) as well as why your brother has found it helpful for Dupuytren’s contracture. We have found no studies demonstrating that it can help this condition, however. A review of research points out that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) may be beneficial in cardiometabolic disorders (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Sep. 24, 2018). The authors point out a need for more rigorous clinical trials.
You can learn more about turmeric, ginger and other natural agents with anti-inflammatory activity in our book, Spice Up Your Health: How Everyday Kitchen Herbs & Spices Can Lengthen & Strengthen Your Life. You may decide that this book would make an excellent holiday gift for someone you know.
You can also learn more about turmeric or curcumin and its ability to fight colon cancer cells. That is the topic of our interview with Dr. Ajay Goel in Show 1079: What Is the Science behind Fabulous Foods for Health?