“Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family” (Wikipedia). The root of the plant is an excellent addition to any meal, adding zest to the flavor. However, satisfying your taste buds is not the only benefit of turmeric. It was been used for thousands of years to treat many health ailments. With its reputation of being a strong pain reliever, turmeric is effective in treating of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Turmeric is a spice to keep on your rack if you want to protect your heart from diseases since it is a natural blood thinner. When you have high levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream, your arteries get clogged up with fatty buildup. This causes high blood pressure, because your heart has to work faster to move the blood through the arteries. This in turn can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Turmeric contains curcumin which helps the liver prevent cholesterol from absorbing into the cells of the body. Including turmeric in your daily diet helps reduce the chances of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Turmeric helps increase the amount of antioxidants in our bodies. We need these to protect our bodies against free radicals or damaged cells. These damaged cells will attack the good ones and damage them as well. Turmeric plays a key role of destroying the bad cells before they cause any further damage. While these antioxidants help repair damaged cells because of free radicals, they also bring about anti-aging properties. Including turmeric in your daily diet will help you maintain that youthful look. Not only will you look young on the outside, you also will be young on the inside since these anti-aging properties are effective in fighting against degenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Just like ginger, turmeric is an excellent tool in weight loss. Taking it will speed up your metabolism. When your metabolism rate is increased, more fat will be burned. Why spend money on expensive over-the-counter and prescription medications where you can use a spice that has less side effects to treat and control obesity?
Using Turmeric to Relive Arthritis Pain
According to WebMD there are ” more than 100 types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and gout.” Each type of arthritis affects people in different ways. For example, with osteoarthritis -which is the most common type of arthritis-the joints, bones and cartilage degenerate. Gout is another form of arthritis where there is sudden swelling of the affected joint. In many cases, gout occurs in the feet, especially with the big toe being affected. While these forms of arthritis ar not life-threatening, the individual can suffer from pain on a daily basis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not the type of arthritis that wears and tears your joints such as osteoarthritis and gout. This type of arthritis causes “a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity” (mayoclinic). This type of arthritis is considered to be an autoimmune condition because the immune system attacks different organs in your body. While this form of arthritis is a crippling condition it is also considered to be life-threatening because your heart, lungs and liver can become damaged.
When people suffer from arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, the doctor, in most cases, will prescribe a medication to help with the symptoms. In some forms of arthritis, patients will be taking prescription medications for a long period of time. These medications may cause the patient to develop stomach ulcers, blood clots and problems with the kidneys. Taking turmeric is a safer alternative to treat rheumatoid arthritis
While the curcumin of turmeric is good for the heart, it is also excellent for pain relief. If the pain is severe you may need to mix this herb with another natural pain reliever. One excellent combination is turmeric and ginger. Since these two spices contain anti-inflammatory properties, you can safely get fast pain relief. Black pepper is another spice that you can use. You can either use these herbs in cooking, by adding turmeric to give flavor to your steak. You can also make a pain relieving tea by cutting turmeric roots and putting it into a hot cup of water. After twenty minutes, you can enjoy your pain relieving tea.
You can also make a poultice to apply directly to painful and swollen joints. Do this by mixing turmeric with coconut or vegetable oil. Apply this mixture to your injured joint.
Where to Purchase Turmeric
You can find turmeric in most grocery stores. You can purchase it in different forms. These include:
As a root-many grocery stores sell this year round in the produce section.
Do not use turmeric if you have stomach ulcers.
Do not use turmeric if you are currently taking blood thinners.
Do not use turmeric if you take acid blockers.
Do not use turmeric if you are taking medications to control diabetes.
Do not use turmeric if you have gallbladder disease.
Before using turmeric, it is important to talk to your doctor. Even though it has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration as a safe supplement to take, turmeric can interact with any other medications and vitamins you are taking.