I’m always interested in research that compares Nature or God’s medicine to Man’s. Especially if the research is done well.
In the September 2019 issue of Natural Medicine Journal, I came across a study that was conducted in India and included 139 patients, ages 38-65, with osteoarthritis of the knee (confirmed by x-ray) who experienced moderate pain for at least 3 months.
Half of them took 500mg of curcumin with turmeric essential oil three times a day; the other half took 50mg of diclofenac twice a day for 28 days. On Day 1, both groups rated their pain at 7.8/10, 10 being the worst pain. On Day 28, both groups rated their pain at 2.2/10. Pretty much identical results with respect to pain ratings.
But then we take a look at side effects. In the diclofenac group, 28% of them had to go on another medication – an acid blocker – to prevent GI upset issues. And the potential side effects of long-term use of proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Nexium? Dementia anyone? Vitamin B12 deficiency? How about pneumonia or Clostridium difficile? Increased risk of fractures? How about we go on more meds to combat the side effects of the medicine given to reduce the side effects of the first medicine?? Does this sound familiar to anyone? Make you want to pull your hair out? Breathe.
There’s an alternative.
Side effects experienced in the curcumin group? Significant reduction in flatulence and body weight. 😊
Other effects of long-term use of curcumin? Improved cognitive function, less dementia, less cancer. 😊
The main problem with curcumin, the active compound in turmeric or Curcuma longa, is bioavailability. This is NOT an herb you can buy from big block stores or cookie cutter chain “nutrition” stores you find in the mall. Not if you expect it to work.
In this study, the curcumin was extracted from turmeric and then mixed with turmeric essential oil to improve availability. Some preparations mix it with black pepper (slightly more bioavailable) or bind it to a phospholipid to enhance effectiveness (even more bioavailable).
To date, the most bio-available form of Curcumin is a micronized form and the recent studies on bioavailability suggest that it beats the socks off the competition.
I put almost all of my clients on this gorgeous herbal supplement for at least 1-2 months and I take it every day personally for the anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, dementia-preventing effects that are proven to come from this powerhouse in plant medicine.