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Taking Turmeric as a Supplement Banished the Pain of Bursitis

Q. I have suffered from bursitis in my right hip for about four years. I had six cortisone shots in my hip during this time. The first shots helped a lot, but the later ones did virtually nothing.

I started taking turmeric daily, and the bursitis is gone! I saw benefit within a few months. Regular turmeric intake keeps my hip well.

A. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that is being actively studied for its effects on joint pain. Scientists are figuring out how it fights inflammation at the molecular level (F1000Research, Aug. 20, 2013).

People taking warfarin (Coumadin) should avoid turmeric, because it may interact to increase the risk of bleeding. Others are allergic to turmeric and develop a rash. They may welcome different remedies.

We discuss the use of turmeric, ginger, boswellia and home remedies to ease arthritis pain without drugs in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. No one supplement or remedy works for everyone. (This is also true of drugs, including NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen.) So it makes sense to try out the options, see what works best for you, and check to make sure your supplement is not likely to interfere with other medications you take.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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