Throughout history, healers have been using herbs and roots to create and blend the medicines that heal, soothe and mend. Many of the pharmaceuticals that we have today make use of the same base ingredients. Nature provides many alternatives to harsh chemicals and turmeric has been a mainstay for centuries as a medicinal root.
Pain is often caused by inflammation and when left without treatment, it can become chronic pain that cascades into other health problems. It is important to address and reduce the inflammation as the introductory portion of a healing process. Turmeric is a naturally sourced root that is used for both healing and as a spice in cooking. The people of India have been using turmeric for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. Unlike the harsh medications that have been developed for pain relief, turmeric can reduce the inflammation in a natural way without damaging kidneys or the liver.
According to a report in Healthier Talk on the topic of turmeric and the curcumin pigment that it contains: “It has been found especially helpful in treating conditions like arthritis, sports injuries, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, tendonitis and various autoimmune diseases. Some research even suggests that curcumin may also help those suffering asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and, yes, even cancer.”
When our bodies have areas that are inflamed it triggers a systemic response to attempt to heal from within. Over time, this will cause the immune system to overreact, often causing the reaction of white blood cells and chemicals to continue production. In some cases, the body will react when there aren’t any present threats to the system. This type of reaction is what we see in patients that suffer from allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease and even heart disease and other disorders. The process of inflammation causes the tissues to have redness, heat, swelling and the pain that is associated with these symptoms.
Curcumin is the golden yellow pigment in turmeric and it has been used as a cooking spice and healing element. The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin includes a compound that has been shown to affect over 700 genes and can inhibit both the synthesis and activity of COX2 (cyclooxygenase-2) and 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) along with other enzymes that have been associated with inflammation.
A study that was done with curcumin found that those patients suffering from osteoarthritis experienced reduced pain symptoms and an increase in mobility when they added 200 mg per day of curcumin to their treatment plan as compared to those in the control group that did not receive curcumin and showed no significant improvement in their symptoms. Additional research has found that the extract of turmeric, which is composed of the plant-based nutrients that house the antioxidant properties (curcuminoids) worked to block the inflammatory pathways and was effective in the prevention of the launch of a protein that is a trigger in pain and swelling.
Always confer with a primary health provider before making any changes or additions to your dietary and physical daily routines and regiments.