Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turmeric for Osteoarthritis

Turmeric is a popular spice which has had a special place in Indian Ayurveda for over 2000 years. This remarkable herb has been used since ancient times to promote a healthy digestive system and to cleanse and heal cuts, bruises and sprains including to reduce swelling.

Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is the pigment which gives the spice its golden yellow color and it’s also the ingredient which gives turmeric the power to reduce inflammation and help bring relief to pain.

Since the practice of using turmeric to reduce inflammation is over a thousand years old, some experts believe the yellow colored spice has the potential to bring relief to pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a disease which damages the cartilage that pads the joints. Cartilage is a spongy tissue which prevents the bone joints from rubbing against each other. When the bones rub against each other it causes pain, swelling and stiffness at the joints. The joints at the knees, hips, spine, hands and toes are the areas where osteoarthritis occurs.

Osteoarthritis can be divided into two types: primary osteoarthritis and secondary osteoarthritis. The elderly are the ones susceptible to primary osteoarthritis since this form of osteoarthritis is linked to the degradation of the cartilage. Secondary osteoarthritis on the other hand can occur due to a variety of factors with two being if surgery has been done on a joint or when excess weight is exerted on the joint due to obesity.

Some doctors advise their patients who suffer from osteoarthritis to take turmeric in the form of pills or capsules.
A popular home remedy is to mix 2 teaspoons turmeric with enough coconut oil to make a paste and apply it to the joint.

When consuming turmeric you can eat it raw by sprinkling it on vegetables, salads and dressings or you can have it with your favorite curry. One of the core ingredients in curries is turmeric.

Turmeric is also added to savory rice dishes to give it a yellow color.

A popular drink using turmeric which goes back to traditional times in certain parts of India is to mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of hot milk and drink it.

Make sure to consult your doctor and get his advice about the side effects of using turmeric and its effectiveness in treating osteoarthritis. You will then have a better understanding of this wonderful spice and whether it can help bring relief to you if you’re suffering from osteoarthritis.

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