As we age, pain and discomfort becomes more pronounced. Now you can turn to natural healing herbs to bring relief without the side effects. Nature provides some of the most potent and reliable therapies for pain. The benefits of turmeric for pain top the list, particularly for helping to reduce inflammation, joint pain and stiffness that accompany arthritis.
Turmeric, the principal spice in curry, is a plant with a bitter, tangy taste. It is commonly used to season or add color to mustard, curry powders, cheeses and butter. However, turmeric root is also extensively used to create medicine because its essential chemicals decrease inflammation and reduce swelling.
Historically, turmeric has been used as an ingredient of Indian Ayurvedic medicine and ceremonies for centuries. Curcumin, a bright yellow spice, is the active ingredient in turmeric, and is found as the base of many Pakistani, Indian, Persian, and Thai dishes.
How Does Turmeric Work?
The antioxidant properties in curcumin protect cells from the normal, damaging process of oxidation by scavenging free radicals, which are a root cause of aging. One of the biggest challenges is that curcumin is especially difficult for the body to absorb. Fortunately, a way has been found to counteract it by attaching it to a soy derivative, which the body absorbs very well. The soy derivative acts as a shuttle to move the curcumin through cell membranes into the tissues and bloodstream so it can provide pain relief.
Pain Relief Benefits
New research shows that curcumin possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties with a plethora of pain relief benefits. Certain anti-cancer properties also help to improve circulation and prevent blood clotting. The healing energy of turmeric stems from curcumin, its active ingredient, which reduces the levels of two inflammation-causing enzymes in the body. Although traditionally used as a spice, turmeric has also been used for thousand of years in Asia as a widely accepted medicinal herb to treat a broad array of ailments. Modern day benefits of turmeric for pain include treating the following conditions:
Sprains and strains
First aid and wound care
Lower back pain
Some people rub turmeric painful inflammatory skin conditions and bruises. It can also be used to alleviate soreness inside of the mouth. Just keep the powdered spice handy and add some when you cook in place of salt and pepper.
Tips for Increasing Absorption
There are a few methods to introduce turmeric into your body. You can use it in its powdered form as a cooking spice, or you can find it in extract form as a supplement. While turmeric is widely available in supplement form, relatively high doses are required to achieve its therapeutic effects because it is not absorbed easily. One alternative is to combine one or two egg yolks, a teaspoon or two of melted coconut oil, and a tablespoon of curcumin powder in a hand blender to emulsify the powder.
Curcumin contains antioxidant and anti-tumor elements in addition to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory capability of curcumin originates from inhibitive ability to alleviate the natural production of pro-inflammatory signaling compounds. The result is returning the levels in the body back to normal and decreasing chronic inflammation significantly.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Diet
Depending on if you use fresh turmeric or dried, ground turmeric, you will want to use different amounts. For instance, one inch of turmeric root is equivalent to approximately one teaspoon of ground, dried turmeric or one tablespoon of fresh, grated turmeric. Begin your daily routine by sprinkling turmeric on your omelet or scrambled eggs. You can blend up a delicious smoothie with banana, mango, turmeric, pineapple, honey and coconut.
You can also make a delicious dip for veggies with mayonnaise, minced onion, turmeric, vinegar, garlic powder, and horseradish. For a side dish, mix turmeric with raisins, rice and cashews, or add it to sauteed vegetables, such as a mix of green beans and onions or cauliflower. Your egg salad will be even more yellow and flavorful with turmeric. Some people like to drink a blend of milk or nondairy milk, honey, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon before bed.
Effectiveness and Indications
Adding turmeric to your diet may help curb inflammation in your body. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps alleviate inflammation in a wide variety of ways, including decreasing your body's production of the neurotransmitter histamine and prolonging the anti-inflammatory activity of the hormone cortisol. Both cortisol and histamine help control inflammation in your body.
Some medications for pain relief have unwanted side effects, especially when used for a long time. Introducing anti-inflammatory ingredients and foods, such as turmeric, to your regime may help curb swelling and pain due to health conditions, such as arthritis. Add to that, the use of turmeric in your diet may help you decrease the amount of non-steroidal pain medications you need to take.