Pain is a feeling of discomfort.
The basic gist of the definition given by The International Association for the Study of Pain is that pain is an unpleasant emotion or sensation felt due to possible or actual tissue damage.
Pain can be sharp or dull.
There are two types of pain, namely; acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute pain usually limited to a certain period of time. Its severity doesn’t exceed past a given bar. If left untreated, acute pain has the danger of turning chronic.
It is usually a protective response to tissue injury, disease, and inflammation. This type of pain strikes suddenly, (for eg, after surgery/trauma) and causes emotional/psychological distress.
Chronic pain is now identified as a medical condition itself and is said to be resistant to most medical treatments.It causes severe problems. Environmental factors and psychological factors may/may not worsen it.
Pain is very helpful in diagnosing health problems.
If a person couldn’t feel pain, then he/she might overlook a serious condition that may require immediate medical treatment.
Pain is distinguished into three categories, namely
- Nociceptive pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Psychogenic pain
Nociceptive pain is caused by the activation of pain receptors in the body. It is of two types, somatic pain, and visceral pain.
Somatic pain is usually related to the inflammation of injured tissue. This type of pain is caused by injury to skin, tissues, joints and/or muscles. Somatic pain is usually localized to one area.
It is described as dull and aching, though any injury to skin or tissues below the skin is of a burning/prickling type. Rheumatoid arthritis is a kind of somatic pain.
Visceral pain originates from injury to the internal organs and the tissues surrounding them. If the injured tissue is of a hollow organ, like the gut, a cramping sort of pain is felt. When the injured tissue is not of a hollow organ, the pain felt is deep and stabbing.
Neuropathic pain is the type of pain felt by the nervous system, even after the injury is healed.
This pain is associated with trauma, or other diseases like diabetes, etc. It affects the central nervous system or the peripheral nervous system. Patients who experience this type of pain describe is as “Unfamiliar, or bizarre”.
Psychogenic pain deals mainly with the psychological aspect of people suffering in pain. Such patients might be depressed, anxious and may have trouble coping with the pain.
Pain is treated with a wide array of drugs. Pain killers are called analgesics. However, over usage of analgesics cause complications in the human body.
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How Turmeric Benefits In Pain
Turmeric as well as curcumin have natural analgesic activity and bring about rapid pain relief.
- Turmeric is proven to be a natural painkiller.
- Pain and swelling are two characteristic features of inflammation. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory property prevents the activity of the components of the inflammatory pathway.
- Turmeric inhibits the production of proteins which helps in the expression of neuropathic pain
- Curcumin helps in the intervention of the pain receptors which are responsible for casing nociceptive pain, hence reducing it.
Best Ways To Take Turmeric For Pain
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for pain. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in relieving pain.
Various studies have confirmed the positive role of turmeric in pain and analgesia.
The dosage depends on the formulation of the turmeric supplement and severity of the health condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet but the limited quantities we eat can not exert a significant pain relief.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually as 30 ml thrice a day to curb pain. You can also make Golden paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
However, if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of a teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper, and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric.
It is highly recommended to take this paste after/with meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications. (Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (precisely 1 tsp 3 times a day).
Also if the pain is too severe you can consider splitting the dose and taking it in regular intervals. Or you may increase the dose.
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. The ideal dose differs with every individual; some do fine on a small dose while some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 tablespoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Some individuals swear by turmeric tincture’s pain relief action. And it also skips the taste issue. We recommend tincture in case of flare; on the long term we recommend golden paste or turmeric powder.
You can consult an herbalist about the use of turmeric tincture for pain relief on the long term.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
This is just perfect when it comes to combating pain naturally. You can find the recipe for Turmeric Milk here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking supplements on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking medicines. Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
Various experiments performed on animals have proven the pain relieving aspect of turmeric in the most scientific way possible. Turmeric’s analgesic property, and its abundance in distribution have greatly altered treatment options for natural pain relief in a positive way.
It is a natural, 100% safe organic pain killer with almost no side effects as compared to the steroid analgesics. Turmeric is on its way up the ladder to becoming an awesome superfood.