Healthy Holistic Living

Why You Should Always Consider Taking Turmeric For Pain and Inflammation Before NSAIDs


Turmeric has proven itself more to be more than just effective in cooking, but as a natural pain reliever as well!

In one study published in 2009 by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, turmeric 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 turmeric 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 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. The polyphenol in turmeric, known as curcumin, has also been found to have incredible benefits, like anticancer and pro-kidney properties.

It’s a good thing, too, that we finally have an effective natural alternative to ibuprofen. In a Lancet review, ibuprofen was found to be as toxic to the heart as the banned anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, which has contributed to tens and thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease each year.

Clearly, more research should be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of natural alternatives, especially if they can allow consumers to substitute expensive, artificial medicine with culinary spices that are already known to be safe, affordable, accessible, and time-tested.



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Michelle Toole

Michelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living. Learn all about her life's inspiration and journey to health and wellness.

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