Aa
A
A
A
Close
Nutrition Community
2.84k Members
973741 tn?1342342773

Tumeric for Inflammation

Is there a down side or risks involved in taking supplements heavy in turmeric for body inflammation?  Is it an alternative to ibuprofen or other products that work well but can raise blood pressure?
1 Responses
Avatar universal
As far as I can tell, this is only a problem if you have hypertension.  If you have normal blood pressure, the rise isn't going to affect you that much.  Celebrex and Vioxx are far more connected to major heart events, again as far as I'm aware.  The alternative drug would be good old aspirin, which everyone seems to have forgotten about because regular use at levels high enough for it to work for fever and inflammation can tear apart the stomach lining and cause ulcers, but so can ibuprofen and naproxen.  All of them can so throw off your digestive tract that even when you stop taking them you might have problems chronically, as happened to me recently after bouts on ibuprofen for a hip problem and then a tooth problem.  Didn't work for either problem, by the way, but has left me with stomach problems I've been trying to fix with good old gentle natural remedies, but this time it went really far.  Acetaminophen might also be connected to heart problems in high doses and it's got no anti-inflammatory effect, just pain killing.  One of the problems, of course, and the bottle doesn't say this but your prescribing physician will, is that none of these drugs actually work as an anti-inflammatory except at relatively high doses, such as 600mg 3 times a day.  That's not the dose on the bottle, which won't actually result in much control of inflammation.  Things I've learned in the last two years about this stuff, as I never took this kind of thing before that.  I've been taking turmeric and ginger standardized along with other supplements to make an anti-inflammatory formula, and it's like anything else including meds -- sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn't.  Some research shows standardized turmeric to work almost as well as ibuprofen and naproxen, but as we know, individuals do vary.  As for the downsides of turmeric, first, you have to buy it from a reputable company.  It needs to be made correctly for it to work.  It also probably is one of the supplements that works better, if you're using it for inflammation, if you use the one standardized for circumin content.  Unlike NSAIDS,. turmeric is probably more effective for most people at protecting your liver than as an anti-inflammatory, and also has minor anti-bacterial properties (this is thought to be the reason they started putting it in curry in the first place, not for the taste).  So it has benefit even if it doesn't fix your pain.  It is, however, a blood thinner.  How potent is unknown, really, but it's one of a ton of supplements you have to stop taking a couple weeks ideally before having surgery.  This means it does have the potential to cause bleeding, so if you're on a blood-thinner, don't take it.  It's also a hot herb, which means some people will have heartburn or reflux from it, so take care.  This can usually be avoided by taking it with a meal, and if you like hot herbs and they don't bother you, this won't either.  Take it in a capsule, not in powder form, as again, that would be like eating peppers -- if you do it too much it can irritate your esophagus especially again if you aren't used to eating spicy food.  In sum, the blood pressure risk of ibuprofen is probably low if you don't already have a blood pressure problem but that's only one of the risks of taking these meds.  Turmeric overall is probably a lot safer, but is a blood thinner of unknown power.  It works better when combined with ginger, and also with other anti-inflammatory herbs, as you get a synergy, but it has worked well enough to be recommended by many these days.  It's certainly worth a try, but I emphasize, buy a noted brand.  
Have an Answer?
Top Healthy Living Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
14 super-healthy foods that are worth the hype
Small changes make a big impact with these easy ways to cut hundreds of calories a day.
Forget the fountain of youth – try flossing instead! Here are 11 surprising ways to live longer.
From STD tests to mammograms, find out which screening tests you need - and when to get them.
Tips and moves to ease backaches
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.