We all do it – whenever we experience an ache or pain, the first thing we do is reach for some form of pain-relieving medication. Before you grab another ibuprofen, however, try looking a little deeper in your kitchen cabinets! Tumeric has proven itself to be more than just a delicious cooking spice — it also acts as a natural pain reliever. In fact, a recent study found turmeric beat ibuprofen for osteoarthritis in the knee!
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects over 27 million U.S. adults. It most often occurs from normal ‘wear and tear’ on the knee that causes a loss of cartilage in the joint. The loss of cartilage can result in severe pain, swelling, stiffness, or tenderness in the affected area.
A new clinical trial published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that turmeric acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to counteract the pain and inflammation found in osteoarthritis. Within a group of 109 patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, those who received turmeric as compared to ibuprofen noticed significant improvements in their pain. Pain levels were measured throughout a variety of normal activities including walking and taking the stairs up and down.
Tumeric contains curcumin, a strong anti-inflammatory that targets the inflammatory pathway at a molecular level. This capacity rivals the effects of ibuprofen on pain and is much safer considering ibuprofen was found to be toxic to the heart and has contributed to thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease each year.
Research is also emerging showing it may play a beneficial role in the following diseases: