This research is truly about a “breakthrough remedy!”
Here’s what has got the entire entire holistic healing world all worked up.
An exciting new clinical trial published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has revealed that an effective natural alternative to the exceedingly popular pharmaceutical painkiller ibuprofen exists for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA), and it is a familiar kitchen spice known to be far superior both in safety and the number of side benefits it confers to any drug in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug class.
Last year, in a Lancet review on the topic, ibuprofen was identified to be as toxic to the heart as the banned anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, likely contributing to tens of thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. This is one of the reasons why evidence-based natural alternatives are extremely important, especially when they involve culinary spices that are already known to be safe, affordable, accessible and time-tested.
Titled, “Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma domestica Extracts in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis,”[i] the multi-center trial was conducted with 109 patients with primary knee osteoarthritis who were randomized to receive either ibuprofen 800 mg day ibuprofen (55 patients) or 2,000 mg turmeric (Curcuma domestica) per day (52 patients), for 6 weeks. The ibuprofen was divided into 2 doses of 400mg daily, and the turmeric into 4 doses of 500 mg daily.
The researchers measured pain on level walking, pain on stairs, and functions of knee assessed by time spent during 100-m walk and going up and down a flight of stairs, as the primary outcomes.
After six weeks, significant improvements were observed in both groups, with all primary outcomes similar, except the turmeric group showed slightly better performance on the 100-m walk and less self-reported pain going up and down a flight of stairs. Also, the turmeric group showed less adverse events. Also, the subjects rated themselves to have higher satisfaction with the treatment results in the turmeric group (91.1%) versus the ibuprofen group (80.4%).
While the researchers acknowledged the limitations of their study – no double-blind protocol, the need for a higher dose in the placebo group, and the need for a larger patient sample size – they concluded that “C. domestica extracts seem to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of knee OA similarly to ibuprofen.”
They also pointed out that while some patients in the ibuprofen group rated themselves as having little satisfaction or no satisfaction (10.9% and 2.2%, respectively), not a single patient in the turmeric group reported being unsatisfied.
The always excellent Mary West, writing over at Live In The Now, adds more context to this study.
Turmeric Is Much Safer Than Ibuprofen
WebMD reports that numerous adverse effects are associated with ibuprofen, some of them quite severe, such as heart attack and stroke. The most common effects are stomach pain, rash, dizziness, heartburn and nausea. In addition, the publication lists 14 infrequent side effects and 84 rare adverse effects, many of which are serious, such as kidney failure and fatal bleeding from the stomach.
On the other hand, according to WebMD, turmeric is likely safe for most people unless it is taken in very high amounts (more than 3,000 mg/day). It normally does not cause side effects, but some people have experienced stomach upset, dizziness and diarrhea. It is not recommended for patients with gall bladder disease, gastrointestinal reflux disease or those who are anticipating surgery within two weeks.
Turmeric Has Many More Good Effects Than Ibuprofen
Noted alternative medicine proponent Dr. Joseph Mercola reports the list of potential benefits of turmeric is impressive and extensive. Possible uses include increasing the health of bones and joints along with improving immunity, digestion and cholesterol. The spice may also boost memoryand heart health as well as reducing skin problems.
Conversely, ibuprofen’s good effects are limited to the alleviation of pain and inflammation.
When you put turmeric and ibuprofen on a set of scales and weigh their effectiveness, safety and good effects, turmeric trumps the drug by leaps and bounds. The spice appears equal, if not superior, to the medication in effectiveness; but it trounces ibuprofen into the dust in the areas of safety and benefits.
May I gently suggest that if you know anyone with osteoporosis, you should tell them about this important new research.
Considering that ibuprofen has so many dangerous side effects, you might be doing far more than relieving pain and suffering.
You might save their life.