Does Turmeric Help with Pain Relief?
More People Are Beginning to Realize Turmeric’s Potential
Many people are familiar with turmeric as a spice, often used in curries and many other Middle Eastern and Asian dishes. However, in recent years, it has gained widespread recognition for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is why you will see turmeric recommended to help manage pain from arthritis, joint problems, and many other conditions. A centuries-old spice, the more we learn about turmeric’s healing capabilities, the better. Turmeric isn’t only a common spice. It is now popping up in drinks, chocolate, protein bars, cereals, chips, and more. But is this just another new health trend, or can turmeric live up to the hype?
If the research tells us anything, this certainly is not just a health craze – it’s the real deal. However, there are a handful of things to keep in mind before jumping on this train. Today we are going to take a deeper look at turmeric, including what it is, how it can fight inflammation and some of its other health benefits.
Here at Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we are dedicated to helping you find pain management solutions that address your concerns. We have seen firsthand how powerful regenerative medicine can be and want to help you see its benefits. We offer a wide range of regenerative medicine services, such as stem cell therapy and ketamine infusions, and we also can advise our patients on other ways to heal the body, such as turmeric. If you have any questions about the benefits of regenerative medicine or about turmeric and how to use it to fight inflammation, please do not hesitate to contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.
What is Turmeric?
Most people often characterize turmeric by its bright orange-yellow appearance and comes from a flowering plant (Curcuma longa) native to India, Asia, and parts of Central America. A rhizome or rootstalk, it has been used in traditional herbal medicines for hundreds of years. Another example of a rhizome that is commonly found in both kitchen cabinets and herbalist shelves is ginger. Both turmeric and ginger come in the form of a knotty root that most specialty grocery stores will carry. It is also available in supplement form or tincture.
For this helpful spice to work its wonders, it needs to absorb into the bloodstream. Sadly, simply eating a bowl of curry once or twice a month won’t do the trick. To achieve the levels of turmeric that are necessary to encourage healing, it should be taken in the form of a supplement, whether that’s a capsule or tincture.
Here is a look at some of the conditions turmeric has been known to help treat:
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Dental pain
- Heartburn and other gastro conditions
- Joint pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney problems
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Some cancers
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Stomach ulcers
- Crohn’s disease
- Viral infections
The more research that is done on this spice, the better. Right now, turmeric is mainly touted for its inflammation-fighting properties, but numerous studies show that it may be even more powerful than previously thought.
What is curcumin?
One of the reasons turmeric is great at healing is because it contains curcuminoids, which are health-promoting plant substances. It contains three notable curcuminoids:
Curcumin is the most notable of the three and is what gives turmeric its characteristic bright yellow color. It is the most active compound in it and represents about 2-8 percent of all turmeric preparations. Alternative health practitioners all over the world hold curcumin in high regard for its ability to fight inflammation and treat many other conditions. In fact, this study shows that curcumin may be more effective than common pain-relieving and inflammation-fighting medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.
How Turmeric Fights Inflammation
If you are suffering from chronic inflammation due to certain conditions like arthritis and IBS, it may be time to consider turmeric. This is a safe and very effective alternative to traditional over-the-counter medications that are used to manage pain. However, high doses of turmeric may act as a blood thinner and could cause stomach problems.
Be sure and check with our healthcare provider before integrating a turmeric supplement into your daily routine.
Other Health Benefits of Turmeric
We’ve discussed how powerful turmeric is and it’s anti-inflammatory powers, but what else can it do? Let’s take a look:
- Turmeric and heart disease – Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, killing more than 610,000 people in the United States alone every year. This is why regenerative medicine like stem cell therapy and natural remedies such as turmeric are so important. Numerous studies have shown that curcumin can improve the health of the membrane that encompasses the heart and blood vessels.
- Curcumin may help prevent and treat cancer – Other studies have found that curcumin and turmeric may be able to treat and prevent different types of cancer, such as prostate, breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric cancers. This again goes back to the anti-inflammatory compounds found in this spice.
- Manage symptoms of osteoarthritis – Because turmeric has so many potent anti-inflammatory properties, scientists believe it could be an effective option for those with osteoarthritis. One study found that osteoarthritis patients who took 1,000 mg a day of turmeric noticed improvement with joint stiffness and overall physical function.
- Curcumin and diabetes – Several past studies have shown that curcumin may be able to treat and prevent diabetes and diabetic nephropathy, once again thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Turmeric may delay Alzheimer’s disease – New studies indicate that this spice may protect the brain against harmful degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, curcumin may have the power to reverse degeneration that occurs in the brain.
At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we strive to help you understand your pain management options. If you would like to learn more about alternative solutions such as turmeric and curcumin, please do not hesitate to contact our pain management clinic in Frisco, Texas. We are here to answer any questions you may have and ensure you have the tools and knowledge necessary to take a proactive approach to your health.