Lifehacks for the Notoriously Active College Students

Skip the pill and pick up the plant


Andrew Avilla

Turmeric has shown signs of having less harmful side effects than over-the-counter drugs.

After a minor injury, it’s too easy to pop a few ibuprofen. Some people might be familiar with the side effects that these over the counter medications can have on a consumers body, others might not. Many, though, might be unfamiliar with alternative, homeopathic methods.

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). There are more, but this one is over the counter, which makes it a common choice for consumers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that people who take NSAIDs (other than aspirin) such as ibuprofen may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications. These events may happen without warning and may cause death. This risk may be higher for people who take NSAIDs for a long time, or very frequently.

While taking ibuprofen can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, there are warnings on the labels to inform consumers about what exactly is going into their bodies.

Studies show that turmeric, on the other hand, may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Instead of taking a pill to reduce inflammation, turmeric can be consumed or applied as a topical solution.

As a spice, turmeric has an intense flavor when consumed alone.

To make it less of a chore to drink, some people make “golden milk.” This is a mixture of turmeric, black pepper, milk or water, and coconut oil. Black pepper is added to increase the absorption of turmeric in the body. Honey or agave syrup can be added as a natural sweetener.

If a part of the body is sore of inflamed after long intensive physical activity, turmeric can be mixed with coconut oil or aloe vera and applied to the area affected. Users should keep in mind that turmeric is a bright yellow and orange spice and that it will stain skin temporarily, and clothes for longer or possibly permanently.

Like taking ibuprofen, turmeric only works to the consumers advantage when consistency is practiced. Drinking or applying turmeric will not work as a one time use. But after taking ibuprofen, is the pain gone indefinitely?

No. The side effects aren’t gone either.

In July 2015, the FDA released a notice that they are strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

Side effects of turmeric may occur after taking large amounts of turmeric for long periods of time. This may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications.

If it wasn’t apparent, I’m not a doctor. If you’re considering taking ibuprofen or using turmeric as a health benefit, please speak to a doctor before doing so. What might help some can potentially hurt others.