How does turmeric work compared to other pain relievers? When comparing turmeric to ibuprofen for pain relief, it looks like turmeric wins.
This can be great news for seniors who are at greatest risk with high dose ibuprofen.
Ibuprofen, Turmeric, The Difference, The Risk, and The Benefits.
Ibuprofen has always been my go to treatment for aches and pains. I have quite a few. I was told by a doctor many years ago that it, ibuprofen, was my best option.
Aspirin is a great pain reliever, but the side effects relating to stomach damage is very real. The doctor told me to that a daily dose of ibuprofen of no more than 2200 mg or 10 to 12 – 200 mg tabs would not cause any long term problems.
That has been my program for pain relief.
I have recently learned about the natural ingredient, turmeric. I was prompted to read a short article about the benefits compared to the risks of ibuprofen.
It was also pointed out that using ibuprofen never causes pain to go away. It’s always there, day after day. Something all of us know, but can only shrug.
Next I am warned that those over forty are at a greater risk of heart problems with continued, long term use of ibuprofen.
I set out to learn the real deal. Here is what I found.
What Is Turmeric?
In what can be called a positive review of the supplement, WebMd said, ”Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant.”
The powder from a south asian plant is commonly added to curry. It is what gives curry a yellow color.
Originally used in its plant form, the powder is now available in most stores or supplement shops. Even Amazon.com offers the product.
With centuries of use in the treatment of some 600 maladies, turmeric seems to be the real deal.
The recipe I saw had the powder being administered easily
- Mix a tablespoon of turmeric into one cup of honey. Add the juice of one squeezed lemon.
- Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Measure one teaspoon of this product to a glass of warm water and consume.
- Take three times a day.
There is no magic in the honey and lemon. It is simply flavor. If you choose to take the power dry and chase with water, you would find the same results.
Where Is The Magic
Here again is what WebMd had to say.
Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation.”
They continue with a lengthy list of medical issues that have benefited from turmeric. You can read it all here WebMd.com
The list includes:
- Joint pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Stomach pain
- Ulcerative colitis
- Many, many more including some cancers.
I also read some reviews published in the article linked above. The majority of nearly 300 readers wrote of their successes in taking the power. It was pointed out that taking the product with black pepper is important.
In an article from Authority Nutrition, I learned that the absorption of turmeric is increased by over 2000% when taken with black pepper.
If taste is an issue, use the honey and lemon combination above.
Where Does It Come From
If knowing the source is important, then I urge you to read a long but important post from Authority Nutrition.
They spend a lot of time talking about the source product, it’s history in India, and the medicinal properties that make it a valuable addition to any diet.
Authority Nutrition said this,
Bottom Line: Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.”
As an anti-inflammatory, Authority Nutrition summed it with this:
Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.”
Relating to the antioxidant properties of turmeric Authority Nutrition had this to say:
Bottom Line: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.”
I urge you to read the full piece. Here’s the link again, Authority Nutrition. They list seven more reasons you need to be thinking about this supplement.
My Bottom Line
I don’t go nuts over every craze that comes my way. I am old school and don’t believe most of the stuff I read.
This one is different. I take a lot of ibuprofen. I never get better. I only find relief from pain when taking the little brownish pills.
Turmeric is new to me, but based on all I have read, I am giving it a shot.
Like you, I have nothing to lose.
That reminds me. We didn’t address side effects.
Side Effects Of Turmeric
Here is what I read in WebMd:
Turmeric is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin appropriately for up to 8 months.”
Turmeric is POSSIBLY SAFE when it is used as an enema or a mouthwash in the short-term.”
Turmeric usually does not cause significant side effects; however, some people can experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.”
Compare that to the list of possible side effect of taking Ibuprofen. If you remember, that is the pill a doctor told me I could take all I wanted.
From Drugs.com Click this link to see the list
Commonly reported side effects of ibuprofen include: Hemorrhage, vomiting, decreased hemoglobin, hypertension, eosinophilia, and anemia. Other side effects include: upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage, upper gastrointestinal tract ulcer, dizziness, and dyspepsia. Check the link above for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
They go on to list 28 common symptoms you should ‘consult you doctor’ about.
It reminds me of the television ads for various prescriptions. They list possible side effects.
You’ve seen the ads. After you hear the side effects, you wonder why anyone would take the drug.
Living healthy as a senior can be hard. There are a lot of things that catch us as we try to enjoy our best years yet.
If you are asking, how does turmeric work, according to experts, the answer is, great.
Turmeric just might be one of the things you need to consider. It may eliminate a lot of risks in so many areas. I urge you to think about it.
If you read the article linked to Authority Nutrition you know the importance of black pepper. (piperine) It increases the absorption of turmeric by 2000%. Without the addition of black pepper, most of your turmeric dosage with simply pass through your digestive system without any benefits.
Turmeric/curcumin can be purchased with an additive called bioperine (another name for piperine). It works like the black pepper you can add at home when mixing a pleasant tasting dose.
For the record. The honey lemon recipe mentioned earlier tastes, if anything, lemony. Otherwise, it’s fairly bland.
When ever considering a change for health purposes, it is wise to ask your doctor.
As always, if you have a question or would simply like to comment, drop a note in the comments section below.