Speeding Recovery from Surgery with Turmeric

Medicine is messy. One of the reasons researchers experiment on animals is they can create uniform, standardized injuries to test potential remedies. It’s not like you can just cut open 50 people and see if something works better than a sugar pill. But, wait a second, we cut people open all the time. It’s called surgery.

In my video below, I discuss a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study that investigated the efficacy of turmeric curcumin in pain and post-operative fatigue in patients who had their gallbladders removed. Fifty people were given either curcumin or an identical-looking placebo, along with rescue analgesics—i.e., actual painkillers to take if the pain became unbearable. Even though it’s just laparoscopic surgery, people don’t realize what a toll it can take. (You can be out of commission for a month!) In India, turmeric, found in curry powder, has traditionally been used as a remedy for traumatic pain and fatigue, so the researchers put it to the test.

According to the study, in the weeks following surgery, there was a dramatic drop in pain and fatigue scores in the turmeric curcumin group, with p-values of 0.000. Those are my kind of p-values! The “p-value” refers to a measure of the strength of evidence. The smaller it is, the stronger the evidence is that the result they found didn’t just happen by chance. By convention, a p-value under 0.05 is considered small enough for a result to be considered statistically significant. This means that you’d only expect to find a result that remarkable simply by coincidence 5% of the time, or in 1 out of 20 cases. So a p-value like the one in the study, <0.000, suggests you’d have to run the experiment thousands of times before you’d come up with such a dramatic result just by chance.

It’s hard to come up with objective measures of pain and fatigue, but drug-wise, the curcumin group was still in so much pain they were forced to take 7 of the rescue painkillers. In the same time period, though, the control group had to take 39 pain pills.

The benefits of turmeric are clear—and not just as a remedy for pain—check out these 7 Creative Uses for Turmeric.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations—2013: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day, 2014:From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016: How Not to Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

Related:

Who Shouldn’t Consume Curcumin or Turmeric?
Turmeric Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Boosting the Bioavailability of Curcumin

108 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Justina C.
Justina C.about a year ago

I have been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for my whole life, it started about in my early 30s back in the 90s. I would have my hand swell up to big red balloons around my knuckles and I wouldn't be able to move the hands at all. What I did notice that helped relieve the pain, but not the swelling was Absorbine Jr. The arthritis cream made it easier with the stiffness and the pain when I had the worst conditions. The swelling and the movement were still bad though and sometimes that made it hard to do the easiest of tasks around the house. The thing I noticed at first and the early signs were pain and the swelling. The swelling where my knuckles would get red where the first indications that I had rheumatoid arthritis I searched for alternative treatments and started on rheumatoid arthritis herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, my symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the rheumatoid arthritis disease natural herbal formula.i read reviews from other previous patients who used the herbal formula,i am now active, i can now go about daily exercise!! Visit there website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email Info@ healthherbalclinic. net herbs are truly gift from God.

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Melania P
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

Turmeric is awesome, thanks for posting!

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Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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