Throughout history mankind has been making use of the phytochemicals that are naturally found in plants for pain relief. Each plant brings its own unique chemistry for specific types of pain and many of today’s pharmaceuticals are sourced from the very same plants. Curcumin is part of the ginger family and has been used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for treatment as an anti-inflammatory, to enhance the healing of wounds and for digestive disorders. East India has made use of curcumin for all of its properties for thousands of years.
The yellow color of curcumin comes from the pigment in the flowering turmeric plant. It has been used as a traditional flavor spice for foods as well as for its beautiful color. As with many of nature’s gifts, curcumin also includes pain relieving properties.
While there have been quite a few clinical trials demonstrating the curcumin effects as an antioxidant, antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory, the New England Journal of Medicine also added that curcumin may be useful in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Due to its natural abilities, it has also been included as potential treatment for chronic neurodegenerative diseases, colitis, arthritis and cancer. It contains several cytokines and enzymes that inhibit both the COX-1 and COX-2 inflammatory pathways and it may be considered as an alternative therapy for inflammation treatment as a nonsteroidal agent. The therapeutic effects of curcumin are considered to be comparable to pharmaceutical nonsteroidal medicals, but the difference is that curcumin is relatively free of side effects and is nontoxic.
Caution should be alerted for curcumin if patients are taking anticoagulant medications or nonsteroidal drugs. Studies have shown that curcumin has medicinal interactions. Always consult with a primary care physician prior to adding any new product to your regiment.
It is known that curcumin doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream and some recommend that you consume black pepper with curcumin as it increases the absorption rate.
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Whichever method you choose for your natural joint pain relief, always confer with a primary health care provider before making any changes to your daily regiment, including the addition of any supplements and herbs.