Turmeric is as effective as paracetamol or ibuprofen, study revealsCreative Commons

Turmeric has for ages been believed to be good for treating injuries and reducing pain. In a recent study, scientists found out that this to be actually true and that it is just as ­effective as drugs for treating injured sportsmen.

Study author Dr Francesco Di Pierro from the Milan-based pharmaceutical company Velleja Research told Daily Mail: "This study suggests the naturally-derived, curcumin-based product could represent a promising safe, analgesic remedy in painful osteo-muscular conditions associated with intense, high impact, physical activities."

Researchers analyzed 50 rugby players from the Italian premier club Piacenza south of Milan. They were suffering bone or muscle problems.

For up to 10 days, half of the participants were given the one gram curcumin-extract tablet Algocur, which is known as Turmeric+ in the UK, for twice a day. The rest of the participants took painkillers.

The physical states of all the study participants were evaluated regularly over 20 days to determine any improvement.

The researchers found that after less than three weeks, Turmeric+ eased injured rugby players' discomfort just as much paracetamol or ibuprofen, but without any side effects.

Di Pierro said: "Only one subject (4 percent) treated with Algocur experienced adverse events whereas four subjects (16 percent) treated with conventional analgesic drugs reported gastric pain as an adverse event."

According to a Daily Mail report, former player and director of the London Scottish Rugby Club, Angus Stewart, 65, who was not involved in the study but takes two turmeric tablets a day, said: "I was much more comfortable whilst exercising and recovered more quickly."

Stewart added: "After a day in the gym I found the feeling in my joints felt the same as when I was younger. Now I feel I can train comfortably"

The findings were published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences journal.