Stories suggest that Curcumin, a traditional Chinese medicine, was used as far back as 10,000 years ago to treat pain. While Marco Polo was in China in 1280 AD, he wrote in his journal: “There is a vegetable which contains all the properties of true saffron. It also has the color and small, yet it is not actually saffron.” Turmeric, as far back as 1280 AD, has been used as a saffron substitute. Curcumin is one of the major healthful ingredients in the turmeric spice.
Horse owners have been using curcumin to reduce inflammation and pain in their horses rather than using bute. Curcumin reduces any inflammation and pain by inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzyme 2 (COX-2) while keeping COX-1 enzymatic function which is good news as the COX-1 enzyme protects your horse’s stomach lining. The COX-2 inhibition is a better choice for pain control than the more commonly known drugs as bute, Banamine or aspirin. By using curcumin supplementation, not only will you be offering a natural approach that can be effective, but far less costly as well.
An appropriate dosage for horses has not yet established, although it is suggested that one tablespoon per day works well as a maintenance dose. If diarrhea or changes in your horse’s appetite occur, discontinue use. Do not administer any NSAID drugs along with turmeric/curcumin containing compounds.
Curcumin, a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, has been used for centuries to treat a list of conditions including diarrhea, respiratory infections, dermatitis and even cancerous tumors. Now, this ingredient which is easy to obtain in bulk can be used to keep your horse comfortable and pain-free.