If you are anything like how I used to be, you are popping far too many ibuprofen tablets (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin & Nurofen) for everything ranging from headache, backache and other muscular aches and pains. Whilst ibuprofen is great at reducing pain and inflammation, there are many adverse effects from long-term use.
The side-effects of long-term ibuprofen (and other NSAIDs) use can include nausea/diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, hypertension (high blood pressure), increased risk of heart attack, increased risk of kidney cancer, erectile dysfunction and more.
Luckily nature has provided a safer, natural alternative – turmeric.
Turmeric Pain Relief Tea
- 2 cups water
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced
- 2-teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 lemongrass tea bag
- 6 peppercorns (you can leave these out if you prefer!)
- Pinch of sea salt
How To Make the Tea
- Bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan.
- Add the peeled, minced ginger root, turmeric, cinnamon, peppercorns (remember, these are optional!), sliced oranges, and sea-salt.
- Allow the mixture to simmer on a medium low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the lemongrass teabag and allow to steep for around 3 minutes.
- Remove the teabag and pour the mixture into a mug.
In one study published in 2009 by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the active compound in turmeric, curcumin, was found to be as effective as ibuprofen in treating arthritis of the knee. More specifically, the study randomly administered either 800mg of ibuprofen or 2000mg of curcumin a day for six weeks to 109 patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. At the end of the clinical trial, the researchers found that both treatment options had improved pain levels, with no significant difference between their effectiveness.
In a follow-up study conducted in 2014, entitled Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study, 367 patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis were randomized to receive 1200 mg of ibuprofen or 1500 mg of turmeric extract (curcumin) over 4 weeks. Researchers again found very similar improvements in both treatment types. However, the patients administered ibuprofen were much more likely to report side effects, like stomach pain, than patients administered turmeric extracts.
In other words, turmeric could be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, when taken in the form of curcumin at a dosage of 1500 mg or higher. Similar benefits may be achieved by including plenty of turmeric in your diet in soups, curries and of course, as turmeric tea!