The Spice that Stops Muscle Pain in its Tracks

Who hasn’t felt that heavy, achy feeling of overworked muscles? You know the kind—it’s the type that settles in a day or two after exercising beyond one’s current level of fitness. I tend to experience this sort of thing at the first sight of spring when I overzealously hit my gardens and orchard as though all of this yard work must be accomplished in a single day. Wouldn’t it be nice to stop it in its tracks? Or better yet, before it starts?

Exciting new research in the Journal of the International Society for Sports Medicine found that curcumin, one of the active ingredients in the spice turmeric, could significantly decrease muscle injury due to over-activity.

Twenty healthy, active men were given either a placebo or one gram of curcumin twice daily. They were given the supplement or placebo starting 48 hours prior to a 45-minute downhill running race and for 24 hours after the athletic test to determine whether curcumin could prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

The study scientists chose the activity of downhill running because it is known to for its ability to forcibly lengthen muscles while they are in the midst of contracting, causing a stress on the body that triggers inflammation and the production of damaging free radicals which causes muscle pain and inflammation.

Muscle damage following the period of activity was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Muscle damage was also assessed using blood tests and microscopic cell and tissue analyses 48 hours after the athletic tests. Participants also reported their levels of pain before and after the running test. The scientists found that significantly fewer people in the curcumin group showed MRI evidence of muscle injury. They also found that the curcumin group had fewer markers of muscle damage or inflammation from over-exercising. This study suggests that curcumin can help prevent and heal muscle injuries, potentially even before they settle in. The study size was small but the results were impressive and warrants further research.

In a previous study in the Journal of Pain Research, curcumin has demonstrated a potent pain-relieving effect, even greater than 500 mg of acetaminophen. This new study shows that not only is curcumin an effective pain-relieving natural remedy, it also helps prevent and heal muscle injuries and inflammation.

The study dose was one gram of curcumin twice daily. Always check with your physician prior to starting a new treatment.


Jeramie D
Jeramie Dabout a year ago

I add turmeric and fresh ginger to everything, even green tea.

Melania Padilla
Melania P3 years ago

I like turmeric! Thanks :)

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn4 years ago

those 2 spices are good for life in general

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 years ago

I add turmeric to a lot of things, don't think it's enough to really do much good though.

Ingo Schreiner
Ingo Schreiner4 years ago

good ones

Monika Ka
Monika K4 years ago


Patrice Z.
Patrice Z4 years ago

Interesting article.

RICKY SLOAN4 years ago


Katie and Bill D.
Katie & Bill D4 years ago

with rice and chicken maybe
thank you