How Effective is Turmeric as Pain Relief Medication?

Are you suffering from unbearable pain due to arthritis? Can’t you stop your child from crying due to a toothache and your emergency medicine kit has run out of supply? Well, don’t you worry because there is a natural solution that can provide effective relief to such maladies, and this can be found right in your kitchen.

Considered as the key ingredient in the making of curry powder, turmeric has long been used as a treatment for various kinds of health problems and diseases in the healing system called Ayurveda. This system was conceptualized in India thousands of years ago and is based on the theory that the balance among the body, mind, and spirit determines a person’s state of health.

How Turmeric Relieves Pain?

Turmeric, which is also called curcuma, curcuminoid, longae rhizoma, and curcumine, is a spice sourced from the turmeric plant and is chiefly used to provide flavor and color to curry powders. However, the root of this plant contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is proven to be effective in decreasing swelling or inflammation.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of conducted randomized clinical trials (RTC), curcumin was proven to have the same effects as analgesic medicines like ibuprofen, glucosamine, and diclofenac in alleviating symptoms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This study used data from 12 electronic databases, including Embase, Cochrane Library, and PubMed.

Diseases or Ailments That May Be Cured by Turmeric

As a pain reliever, turmeric was already proven to lessen pain and cure several illnesses and diseases. Here are some of the ailments that can be alleviated with turmeric:

  1. Osteoarthritis – Various researches on the effectiveness of turmeric extract as a pain reliever showed that taking the extracts alone or with other herbal medicines lessen the pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
  2. Hay fever – Based on research, curcumin was found to be effective in lessening hay fever symptoms like nose congestion, runny nose, and sneezing by reducing nasal airflow resistance.
  3. High cholesterol – Studies showed that turmeric has the ability to lower high cholesterol levels by reducing the blood fats called triglycerides. It helps in eliminating arterial blockages that obstruct blood flow and in repairing damaged arteries. The spice is also a natural anti-atherosclerotic agent.
  4. Mental depression – Based on various studies, turmeric’s curcumin was effective in limiting the depressive symptoms of patients who are already taking antidepressants.
  5. Toothache or dental pain – In their study, scientists observed that turmeric is more effective than the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), mefenamic acid, in alleviating pain related to post-surgical extraction of impacted third molar tooth or wisdom tooth. The study results were published in a 2018 issue of the “Journal of Oral Rehabilitation.”
  6. Tendonitis – A study published in a 2011 issue of the “Journal of Biological Chemistry” showed that turmeric is a potential treatment to the condition called tendonitis, an inflammation or irritation of the tendon.
  7. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – Based on a research published in “Complementary Therapies in Medicine” in 2015, turmeric could alleviate various symptoms of PMS such as breast tenderness, abdominal pain, backache, and headache.

Is Turmeric Safe for You?

Based on research, turmeric is safe when taken orally or used in the skin as treatment. It is also safe when used as a mouthwash or an enema in the short-term. It is recommended that turmeric should be regularly included in your diet to boost your wellbeing and overall health. This is because the spice contains antioxidants, which prevents the production of free radicals that may damage body cells. Turmeric can also be taken in tea form.