The stretch or tear of soft tissues around a joint such as ligament is known as sprain. Common symptoms and signs of sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, instability and loss of function. One or more ligaments can be injured at the same time. The severity of the pain will depend on the extent of injury, i.e. whether a tear is partial or complete and the number of ligaments involved.
A sprain can result from a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of its normal position. This results in an overstretching or tear of the ligaments supporting that joint. Typically, sprains occur when people fall and land on an outstretched arm, land on the side of their foot, or twist a knee.
Haridra powder mentioned in Ayurvedic classics is a simple formulation which is effective when taken internally as well as applied locally.
Dose and mode of administration
- For oral use, the dose of turmeric powder for adults is 2 to 5 grams and for children it is 1 to 2 grams. The dose of fresh turmeric juice is 10 to 20 millilitres in adults and 5 to 10 millilitres in children. Normally two doses a day should be taken with water or mixed with honey.
- A paste made from rhizomes, mixed with lime and salt, is applied to the sprained area and removed when it gets dried.
Precautions and safety aspects
(1) Turmeric being regularly used as a food item is considered safe and no adverse effects are reported of its long-term use. However, its oral use in children and pregnant women should be done under medical supervision. Turmeric or its alcoholic extract administered respectively in the dose of 2.5 grams per kilogram body weight and 300 milligrams per kilogram body weight on different species of animals proved non-toxic. It is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medicine.
(2) Turmeric’s side effects may occur with the use of more than the recommended doses. In that case, it may cause stomach upset or other gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea.
(3) As turmeric is bitter in taste, it is better not to take its powder or juice on empty stomach.
(4) Persons suffering from bile duct blockage, blood-clotting disorder and stomach ulcers should not take turmeric in excessive quantity.
(5) Treatment with turmeric may be stopped if it does not yield beneficial effects in a couple of days and medical advice should be sought.
(6) Proper rest to the affected part should be given along with the application of medicament.
(7) Persons receiving aspirin or warfarin should take turmeric with caution since their combined use may aggravate bleeding tendency.
(8) The following measures can help to prevent or aggravate sprain:
- Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to keep muscles strong.
- Practice safety measures to prevent falls.
- Wear shoes that fit properly.
- Do stretching exercises daily.
- Warm up and stretch before engaging in any sport or exercise.
- Avoid running or fast walking on uneven surfaces.
Reference – Traditional Herbal Remedies for Primary Health Care