bowl of turmeric spice

Q. I read that turmeric could help relieve muscle pain, so I began taking three capsules each day for my fibromyalgia. The pain has eased somewhat, but the greatest benefit was that the neuropathy in my feet has almost entirely disappeared.
After two weeks I urged my sister, ten years younger than me and with a much more severe neuropathy problem, to try it. She began taking turmeric and is now almost completely pain free.
A. Neuropathy can manifest as numbness, tingling or pain in hands or feet. This kind of nerve disorder is notoriously hard to treat.
Turmeric has long been used in the traditional medical systems of Asia. Malaysian scientists confirmed last year that an extract of this bright yellow spice could quell nerve-related pain in rodents (Molecules, April 22, 2010). The anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric may also provide benefit.

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  1. Bernard

    As noted in my prior posts, turmeric appears to be effective in a 24 hour test. Reduced pain from a 10 to about 3-4 (10 point pain scale as used by hospitals). I am now beginning a 1 week test (7 days) to determine if the pain relief is maintained over time. I will post again after completion. I will then complete a 1 month test. I will post at that time as well. Note: I have stopped taking Lyrica and Butrans during these testing periods. Of course, in the event turmeric loses its effectiveness, I will re-instate the Rx’s. My hope is turmeric continues to work???

    • Sunmonkey

      Hi Bernard. Do you have any updates for us?
      I am considering trying turmeric tea for my sciatica.

  2. Bernard

    I wanted to add that you must take large doses of turmeric (and add a black pepper supplement) to assure that the herbs chemicals (curcumin) can be properly absorbed. The body has difficulty absorbing turmeric (thus the need for mega-doses with a black pepper supplement). BTW – I also take Corydalis (Chinese herb) and Alpha Lipoic Acid. However, I recently did a 24 hour test of turmeric and it appears (at least short term) to reduce the pain equally as effective as the Rx pain meds I take (Lyrica and Butrans). I am now testing the longer term effectiveness (1 week test).

  3. Bernard

    I have had severe neuropathy in my feet for about 15 years. It disabled me for 10 of those years (completely disabled). I recently tested turmeric by stopping Lyrica and Butrans (morphine patch) and then beginning turmeric (2000 mg every 4 hours). Based upon this very short term test, turmeric reduced my pain score to about 3-4 (10 point pain scale) within the first 24 hours. Essentially, turmeric decreased my pain score to about the same level as the two Rx’s (without the side effects of those meds). Does it have long term pain reduction effectiveness? DK??? Have to wait and see. I will continue the regimen of 2000 mg every 4 hours over the next week or so. That should determine its longer term effectiveness (at least for me). Note: I also add turmeric (and black pepper) to my daily meals.

  4. melissa

    I have sciatica I have been reading that turmeric can help with the pain. Is there anyone who has used turmeric and experienced relief from sciatic pain?

    • Bernard

      I do not have sciatica, but I do have a spinal cord injury (severe – requiring a 10 hour surgery to repair). Read my prior posts (Bernard).

  5. John

    Dry turmeric powder made into a paste with salt can be applied to swollen or damaged muscle/tendons/joints, then cover lightly to protect color damaging clothes etc. 3 nights should do the trick, tea spoon of turmeric add to a glass of warm milk does wonders too.
    when we grew up in India this is all we had, it has wonderful medicinal properties.

  6. shirin

    Hi, I was having severe back pain (cervical spine) since about 8 months. I visited a couple of doctors but they were unable to identify what was wrong. I got an x-ray done which showed some nerve damage at C5-C6 and C6-C7 level in the spine. These nerves extend to the arms from the upper (cervical) spine. At times when the pain was severe it would extend from my neck/ upper back and go down my arm causing tingling and dullness and weakness in the arm. Can this nerve damage be cured by turmeric or any other herb?

    • Bernard

      Cure?? Probably not. Reduce pain. Yes it works quite well especially nerve damage pain.

  7. Eve

    Hi I also have fibromyalgia pain…make the golden milk it. it does help a lot. I drink it at bed time and no longer wake up stiff and in pain most of the days. I start feeling the pain around at 2pm the next day. So now I drink a cup at noon.

  8. Bonnie

    Does Turmeric interact with Metformin for Diabetes?
    Peoples Pharmacy response: We have not found an interaction with metformin, but it seems that turmeric or curcumin may have an impact on blood sugar. Here is the link to the study abstract:

  9. denise h.

    Hi, I suffer from Fibromyalgia, and don’t want to take the meds prescribed from my Nuero. They’re soo strong, and I feel so out-of-it, so I’d be very appreciative if you could share with me how much of Turmeric I need to take, I don’t have the tablet form, I bought the spice. It’s a fine powdery spice, but how do I prepare it, or eat it? I don’t know how to cook Asian or Indian food, so how easy can I prepare it, or “wash it down” to reap the benefits. Please let me know, thank you. In the meantime, I will try to find the capsules somewhere.

  10. FP

    Had a root canal 2/01/2013, since then I have been miserable: experiencing severe pain when I talk & when I eat: my pain is @ the left tongue & the base of my tongue, it is always @ the scale of 10 out of 10. For 6 weeks now I have the same level of pain… I am taking Neorontin & narcotics which really did not give me any relief. I was talking to my niece tonight sharing with me about her relatives overseas having therapeutic response from turmeric, so right away I looked @ my pantry have some powdered ones started taking it.
    By the way I got diagnosed by the endodontist (went for a second opinion said it is a lingual nerve injury secondary to trauma from the anesthesia injection) my pain specialist said I have a glossopharyngeal nerve injury. I am hopeful this amazing turmeric will relieve my agony, worst pain in my life I swear & I am ready to sue my dentist. Will get u updated of the outcome!

  11. jean

    I have muscle pains, and sometimes felt like have nerves problems too, been experiencing this for 10 years now..someone told me about this turmeric. If have the fresh turmeric, 1 thumb size of it is 2 cups. Boil it and then upon reaching its boiling point, you have to uncover it and reduce the fire of your stove and just boil it without cover for 10 to 15 minutes. Excited to do this today and this turmeric juice will serve as my water… I’ll give you the result after a week or a month.

  12. E.A.Lee

    I have type 2 diabetes after six years of insulin I began to have severe-pain in my legs thighs hands and feet which was at it’s worst at night I am seventy-years old and don’t care for all the pain medication. A friend told me about turmeric I started three weeks ago taking 800mg twice a day morning and before bed with food And for Me It Work!!!!!!! The pain has decrease and I am so “Happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Justme

    You can also make turmeric tea. I drink this with honey. It is not bad tasting and the suspension makes it easy to digest. Look up golden milk tea or turmeric tea. You can adjust the amounts.

  14. CH

    I have found that taken with insulin it dramatically DECREASES your blood sugar. You need to make sure you check your glucose levels more frequently if using turmeric.
    -Type 1 diabetic

  15. Gene S.

    for those who can not get relief from neuropathy or lower back pain, take hot coffee or milk, add 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric, sprinkle heavy with black pepper, sweeten to taste with milk and sugar. This combo will give instant relief for pain. Be sure to drink while hot. This is the only thing in 34 years of diabetes that has brought relief.

  16. ML

    Another easy way to take turmeric is to spread the powder on buttered toast, then sprinkle on salt for taste and pepper for bioavailability.

  17. PP

    Barbara, you can use it in a lot of foods. It’s what makes mustard and commercial chicken noodle or rice soup yellow. I use about one-eighth teaspoon in soup or rice. (not good in Senate bean soup–it clashes with the nutmeg) I mix the same amount or less with paprika, parsley and crushed rosemary with olive oil for salad dressing, or spreading on fish before microwaving. Or when making sweet potato fries, I brush the olive oil mix on the sliced yams before baking. A little bit goes a long way, and in small amounts doesn’t change the taste that I can tell. Experiment with it, and see what you like. My husband is used to yellow rice at home now, because he knows the yellow is supposed to help his leg cramps! (Besides he can’t tell if it’s white or brown rice, or a mix that way!)
    You have to be careful about getting it on your clothes. It makes a bright yellow stain. The best way to get it out is salt, lemon or lime juice and sun. if you get to it quickly, that can take the stain out pretty well.

  18. Barbara P.

    After reading the letter in the newspaper column, I decided to try Turmeric for my foot pain. I bought some at the market in the spice section not realizing it comes in capsules. How much do I take and how do i take it? Should I just scoop some out with a spoon or add it to something? Is Turmeric in capsules the exact same thing as what I bought?
    I haven’t tried it yet but want to make sure I am using it correctly and in an effective dose. Any advice would be appreciated.
    p.s. I don’t know why I have foot pain but it is sometimes severe. I have been suffering for many years. Sometimes I have no pain at all! OTC analgesics help but I’d rather use something more natural. Thanks!

  19. SITA

    HI every body, I heard turmeric capsules are not that effective as organic ground turmeric. You can find that in whole food stores. It’s expensive but it’s real and work .good luck

  20. Carla

    Hi my boyfriend has renel cancer and has very painful neuropthy in his legs and fingers he was hospitalized for 2 weeks for high calcium levels. Now he is bedridden because of the pain in his feet. I was wondering would it be harmful for him to try turmeric capsules?

  21. Carla

    Hi my boyfriend has renel cancer and they believe he has neuropthy he has a very hard time walking because the pain in his feet. In fact he was in the hospital and now he is unable to walk at all. Do you think I should give him this product? Thanks
    Peoples’ Pharmacy response: Talk to his oncology team before giving it to him. There is always a danger of interaction between botanicals and chemotherapy drugs, and we don’t know if it is safe.

  22. rwssmooth

    Thanks for the tip on using turmeric and honey. It has helped get rid of the pain in my hands. I use it every night.
    As ever

  23. Carolyn

    You can purchase Turmeric capsules at Walgreen’s. I usually purchase the capsules when it is a buy one/get one free sale. You can purchase the turmeric at other drug stores also.
    I have read that turmeric is also good for lowering triglycerides. When I had my last blood test in July, I was shocked that my triglycerides were only 59! I take 900 mg daily!

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