Once consigned to the margins of the medical world, complementary and alternative medicines are now increasingly finding a role in the medicine regime of many people in the western world. This uptake of complementary medicine is not just by the general public, but by medical professionals as well. A key example of the increasing role of complementary and alternative medicines is curcumin, in patients with knee osteoporosis.


A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, with ibuprofen for pain relief in 107 people with knee osteoarthritis. The curcumin eased pain and improved function about as well as the ibuprofen. While the authors noted there were limitations in the study, the authors concluded that curcumin extracts seem to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis similarly to ibuprofen.


An exciting new recent clinical trial published has shown that curcumin in combinations with piperine is a safe and effective means of improving the debilitating effects of knee osteoarthritis. The combination with piperine (an extract of black pepper) was used to boost the bioavailability of curcumin, which is compound that is hard to absorb. In the 40 patients in the trial, 19 patients were administered the combination of curcumin and piperine, while 21 patients received a matched-placebo. The authors concluded that curcuminoids represent an effective and safe alternative treatment for osteoarthritis.


Blooms Curcumin 600 Plus is a formulation that contains curcumin with its strong anti-inflammatory action. Blooms Curcumin 600 Plus contains a refined curcumin powder that provides a high dose of the active curcuminoids found in turmeric, turmeric is a golden coloured spice with a long history of use in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and also the Ayurvedic medicine of India. The anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic effects of curcumoids may help provide temporary relief from the pain and inflammation associated with arthritic conditions, such as knee osteoarthritis. Another formulation with curcumin is Nagesic Forte.


Blooms Green Lipped Mussel and Turmeric with BioPTM is a combination product that provides double anti-inflammatory action and is ideal for use with stiff, swollen joints. Green Lipped Mussel and Turmeric are a powerful anti-inflammatory duo. Green Lipped Mussel is a good source of glycosaminoglycans which have a beneficial effect on painful and swollen joints. Green lipped mussel is also a source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids and a rich blend of natural proteins helpful in maintaining joint mobility. Turmeric as discussed helps the management of joint pain and inflammation. BioPTM is the black pepper component that has been added for its ability to enhance absorption.


It should be kept in mind that because the active compound in turmeric can sometimes slow blood clotting, avoid taking it at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery, and do not mix with blood thinners like warfarin and Plavix. It may also worsen gallbladder problems, so avoid it if you have gallstones. Always check with your doctor before trying it.