Traumeel has been around for over half a century as a pain relief gel. It is a homeopathic remedy, and for a long time it was dismissed as a placebo.
Recently there has been emerging scientific evidence that it actually works as well as other over-the-counter pain medications with fewer side effects.
Although Traumeel ointment is sold as a ‘musculoskeletal aches and pains’ medication many consumers swear by its pain relief properties for much more severe conditions like arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Traumeel speeds wound healing in addition to pain relief. It also has no dose cap, so you do not have to worry about overdosing or adverse reactions from using too much as is the case with hydrocortisone cream and oral pain relievers.
Traumeel also has no drug interactions, no common side effects, and does not exacerbate any disease symptoms.
Mechanism of Action:
Multiple active ingredients in Traumeel work on several different pathways related to pain, inflammation, and swelling.
While each of the individual ingredients reduces pain and inflammation, accelerates wound healing, and reduces swelling, Traumeel works better than the sum of its individual parts, suggesting that the ingredients actually build off each other to produce a greater effect.
Traumeel works on different pathways than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, so using other pain medication along with Traumeel may decrease pain more than either medication alone.
How to Use:
Traumeel ointment is for bruises, swelling, strains, muscle soreness, sprains, cramps or any other injury that does NOT break the skin.
- Use a generous amount to cover the injured area and gently massage it into the skin until it disappears.
- If needed, wrap the injury in a pressure bandage overtop of the ointment, and cool with ice.
- Apply Traumeel several times per day as needed until the injury is healed.
- Reduce pain and inflammation: Aconitum napellus, Matricaria recutita, Hamamelis virginiana, Hypericum.
- Anti-inflammatory: Mercurius solubilis
- Accelerate wound healing: Arnica montana, Calendula officinalis, Echinacea, Symphytum
- Reduce swelling: Arnica montana, Hamamelis virginiana, Achillea millefolium, Aconitum napellus, Atropa belladonna, Mercurius solubilus
Problems and Limitations:
This may sound like a wonder ointment, but there are some limitations to our current understanding of Traumeel.
While the current research shows promising results, it is not comprehensive. During my search of the literature, I was able to find two studies that showed Traumeel to be no better than a placebo.
The first used a mouthwash five times per day to treat mucositis in children. The mouthwash did not improve the children's condition.
The second had patients take a Traumeel pill for pain after having foot surgery.
A different study on the same foot surgery compared pills to injections and found that the pills had no effect while the injection decreased pain and sped healing. Traumeel pills are an available product, but there's a good chance they don't work.
Even though there's not tons of evidence that the pills don't work, if we think about it logically, it makes sense. When you put an ointment on an injury, it's very concentrated right at the spot of the pain.
If you took the same dose of medicine and ate it, it goes into your blood stream and spreads out over your whole body. Only a very small fraction of the medicine gets to the spot you want to treat.
- Singer, Shepherd R., et al. "Traumeel S® for pain relief following hallux valgus surgery: a randomized controlled trial." BMC Clinical Pharmacology 10.1 (2010): 1-8.
- Singer, Shepherd Roee, et al. "Efficacy of a homeopathic preparation in control of post-operative pain—A pilot clinical trial." Acute pain 9.1 (2007): 7-12.
- Schneider, Christian. "Traumeel–an emerging option to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the management of acute musculoskeletal injuries." Int J Gen Med 4 (2011): 225-34.
- Sencer, S. F., et al. "Traumeel S in preventing and treating mucositis in young patients undergoing SCT: a report of the Children's Oncology Group." Bone marrow transplantation 47.11 (2012): 1409-1414.