In past blog posts, we have discussed the many curative properties of turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin. One of the best effects from curcumin is its pain relief properties. Curcumin reduces inflammation by lowering histamine levels and stimulating the adrenal glands to produce more cortisone, the body’s natural painkiller. It works to alleviate pain from a number of issues- we address several of them below.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Two conditions caused by autoimmune dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two problems whose pain can be curbed by turmeric. A 2010 clinical trial found that a turmeric supplement (standardized to 75 percent curcumin) provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Additionally, in a small 2012 pilot study, a curcumin product reduced joint pain and swelling in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis better than a traditional anti-inflammatory drug commonly used for pain relief.
An inexpensive, but surprisingly effective fix, turmeric helps heal ulcers and their subsequent pain by working against Helicobactor pylori which causes gastric ulcers. Turmeric also provides treatment for a type of inflammatory bowel disease called ulcerative colitis. Some early research suggests that taking curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric, daily for up to six months can reduce symptoms and the recurrence of ulcerative colitis when used in combination with conventional treatments. Other research shows that taking turmeric extract as an enema might help people with this condition.
Turmeric has also been found to be useful in treating several common stomach issues, including dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Some research shows that taking turmeric by mouth four times daily for seven days might help improve an upset stomach (known in the medical world as dyspepsia). Additionally, early research suggests that taking a turmeric extract daily for eight weeks reduces the occurrence of IBS in people with IBS who are otherwise healthy.
Fibromyalgia and Joint Pain
Research shows that taking a specific combination product containing turmeric and other ingredients three times daily for eight weeks reduces the severity of joint pain. Turmeric has also been known to help with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal and joint pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Modern-day science and studies show that curcumin may help fight inflammation related to fibromyalgia, as the mineral acts like a pain reliever.
Headaches and Backaches
Inflammation in the brain is a known migraine trigger and since curcumin is lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a great natural remedy for a headache. Regularly taking a turmeric/curcumin supplement has been anecdotally proven to help migraine reduction. Since back pain, especially low back pain, is also caused by inflammation, turmeric is a no-brainer in seeking resolution for the pain. Try a supplement or turmeric tea to get your back feeling mighty fine in no time.