The use of turmeric dates back 4,000 years. It was found to be used in the Vedic culture of India as a spice and for religious ceremonies. It was used medicinally as far back as 250 BC (Susrutas Ayurvedic Compendium). In the last 30 some years, it began to gain recognition by modern medicine for its medicinal properties, indicated by the over 3000 publications discussing turmeric in the last 3 decades.1
Most turmeric is cultivated in India and 80% of it is used in India. It is a spice widely used in cooking in South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well as in Ethiopia and South Africa. The part of turmeric that is used for cooking and medicinally comes from the root of the plant.1
Botanical supplements have been used in traditional medicine such as Ayurveda (India), Chinese medicine, Japanese and Egyptian medicine for centuries. Many traditional medicines have anti-inflammatory properties and turmeric is one of those.
How Much we Spend on Natural Remedies
Here in America, we definitely like our natural remedies. Studies have shown that over $10 billion USD is spent every year on alternative therapies and over $650 million is spent on supplements used for chronic inflammatory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.1
Benefits Turmeric Curcumin
Turmeric has many medicinal uses. Extensive research in the last 20 years suggests that Turmeric Curcumin is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has anti-microbial properties, helps to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive disorders, pancreatitis, chronic anterior uveitis and arthritis. Other benefits are: strengthening overall energy of the body, relieving gastrointestinal discomfort, dispelling worms, improving digestion, regulating menstruation, dissolving gall stones. It benefits bacterial infections, burns, and has antiseptic properties.3
In a recent study numerous plant extracts including Curcumin and Boswelia Extract have shown a significant effect for reducing pain and functional disability, larger that those observed with analgesics and products such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) was also considered to have a significant effect on osteoarthritis.2
In another study of 367 knee osteoarthritis patients with a pain level of 5/10 or more were randomized to use either 1200 mg/day of Ibuprofen or 1500 mg/day of Curcumin for 4 weeks. There was improvement in both groups for pain, stiffness, and function, however the group that took the Ibuprofen experienced significantly higher gastrointestinal discomfort.4 Newer research shows turmeric to impact cognitive health. It enhances cognitive function, benefits cardiovascular health, bolsters immune system defenses, and fights free radicals in the body. More benefits Turmeric Curcumin: promotes mobility and flexibility, and increases overall body comfort and positive overall well-being.5
My Experience with Turmeric
After many years of being an intense athlete, my body has developed arthritis, especially in my knees, low back and hands. I experienced pain and swelling daily in these areas of my body that were intensified by activity or standing for long periods of time.
I tried using over the counter analgesics, but in no time started to feel the stomach upset associated with using these medications. I found that I needed something that would give me the benefits of pain relievers without the side effects and the potential harm it could do to my stomach, liver and kidneys.
Having tried many supplements over the years, not to mention diets, I found that eating a reasonable anti-inflammatory diet is very important to help reduce inflammation as well as utilizing a regimen of turmeric supplementation and additionally taking an omega 3 oil supplement.
I tried the Terry Naturally Curamin supplement for a brief period and found it to be effective, but then found out about another supplement that contians curcumin, boswellia extract and other herbs in it as well that were supposed to be beneficial. I’d been on that supplement for a couple of years, took a pretty large dose every day, but I didn’t feel as good as I thought I should for as much as I was taking. Without it I definitely felt worse with regard to joint pain and overall inflammation
I recently went back to using the Terry Naturally Curamin and WOW!! what a difference. I have a lot less inflammation in my joints. I especially have very swollen, degenerated knees and the swelling has gone down significantly. I’m not even taking the Terry Naturally Curamin extra strength formula.
What I discovered in my recent search for Terry Naturally Curamin is that he also puts out formulas that target athletes, migraines and low back pain by adding various nutrients that zero in on these specific needs.
Turmeric is likely safe for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding when taken in the amount that is used in food preparations, however is likely unsafe in amounts used medicinally.
It could make gall bladder problems worse such as gallstones or bile duct obstruction. Might increase bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. In diabetic patients it can cause low blood sugar. It can worsen symptoms of GERD. Might be problematic for people with hormone sensitive conditions. To be used with caution in iron deficient people. Could slow blood clotting post surgery. Stop taking 2 weeks prior to surgery.
*Note: Clinical studies showed that curcumin is well tolerated by cancer patients, however it can interfere with certain chemotherapy medications used to treat breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, so it’s best to check with one’s oncologist before using turmeric curcumin if they are in treatment for one of these cancers.5
In conclusion, in order to combat pain and inflammation in the joints, you have to do a quick review of your life style, what you eat, drink, what is your activity level, your health history. I recommend that you make changes if they are needed because as the years go by our bodies become less tolerant of bad eating and drinking, especially in excess as well as to a sedentary lifestyle. And make sure to get those 6 to 8 8 oz glasses of water a day. You’ll be doing your body a big favor.
I hope you found this post about the Benefits of Turmeric Curcumin helpful. I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or any comments on your experience with Turmeric. I look forward to hearing from you in the comment section below.
Stay tuned for my next blog discussing the anti-inflammatory diet.
5) Web M.D.