If you are anything like how I used to be, you are popping far too many ibuprofen tablets (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin & Nurofen) for everything ranging from headache, backache and other muscular aches and pains.

Whilst ibuprofen is great at reducing pain and inflammation, there are many adverse effects from long-term use… The side-effects of long-term ibuprofen (and other NSAIDs) use can include nausea/diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, hypertension (high blood pressure), increased risk of heart attack, increased risk of kidney cancer, erectile dysfunction and more… Luckily nature has provided a safer, natural alternative – turmeric.

Ibuprofen (and other NSAIDs) work by inhibiting an enzyme, COX-2 (or Cyclooxygenase 2) that causes inflamed areas of the body to become painful and more inflamed. Block the enzyme and you block the pain and reduce the inflammation. Turmeric is high in a compound called curcumin, and it too is a COX-2 inhibitor! Unlike ibuprofen, very few people experience any side-effects from drinking turmeric tea, after-all, turmeric has been eaten and drunk in South Asia for 1000s of years. You should however not drink turmeric tea when pregnant or breast feeding. I have researched this topic to satisfy my own needs, but I am not an expert, please do your own research if you want to know more and the benefits/side-effects to both ibuprofen and turmeric (In fact I recommend it!).

I drink turmeric tea to help with tension headaches and painful muscles/joints. Below is the turmeric tea recipe I use, which was adapted from a recipe I found online. I have seen other turmeric tea recipes with much higher amounts of turmeric, with some also adding ginger. Google ‘turmeric tea recipes’ for more recipes and dosages.

Turmeric Tea Recipe

2 tablespoons of grated fresh turmeric root, or 1 heaped teaspoon of ground turmeric
4 cups of water
Honey/fresh lemon to taste


Bring the water to the boil on the stove and then add the turmeric. If using fresh grated turmeric, boil for 15-20 minutes. If using powdered turmeric, boil for 10 minutes. When ready, strain the tea through a fine sieve, and add the honey and lemon to taste.


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