Since turmeric that has been used in traditional ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic agent a study was conducted on mice to guage its effectiveness for treating postoperative pain.
Curcumin a phenolic constituent of turmeric administered to the mice at the rate of 50 mg/kg caused significant reduction in the intensity of mechanical and heat sensitization. No effects of curcumin on baseline nociceptive thresholds were observed. Curcumin also reduced swelling after incision. Moreover, treating the mice with curcumin before operation reduced hyperalgesic priming or the long lasting hypersensitivity to inflammatory stimuli when prostaglandin E2 was later given to the hindpaw.
Mice who had not been given the curcumin showed spontaneous pain 48 hours after incision in the CPP paradigm. However there was no observation of ongoing pain in the mice treated with curcumin. In gait-related indices, hindpaw incision caused changes, but most of these were normalized in the curcumin-treated mice. The peri-incisional levels of several pronociceptive immune mediators including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor α, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α were either not reduced or were even augmented 1 and 3 days after incision in curcumin-treated mice. The anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was unchanged, while transforming growth factor-β levels were enhanced under the same conditions.
The study showed that turmeric extract was useful in reducing pain and promoting recovery from surgical incisions.
More information on Turmeric and its benefits:
Anesth Analg. 2014 Jun;118(6):1336-44. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000189.
Curcumin treatment attenuates pain and enhances functional recovery after incision.
Sahbaie P1, Sun Y, Liang DY, Shi XY, Clark JD.
1From the *Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; and †Anesthesiology Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California.