Turmeric as Arthritis, Joint Pain & Inflammation Treatment

By: James Guffey

The reason you are reading this report is probably due to your frustration in not finding the information you need readily. So without further ado:

To better understand possible ingredients that can be used to treat joint pain, we must first understand what this pain stems from and how it may come about. Joint pain or arthritis can begin as a result of injury, repetitive actions that cause stress on a particular joint, an auto-immune disease (which occurs when the body "attacks" itself because it believes a body part is foreign), or just as a result of age and the general wear and tear associated to it. After time, the cartilage in your joints begins to wear away and this cartilage is what makes the movement in your joints smooth; without it the bones will actually rub together causing pain, stiffness or inflammation (swelling). Inflammation is meant to be a healthy response wherein the white blood cells and chemicals in our body attempt to fight off infection or viruses. However, the occurrence of auto-immune diseases result in our body's defense system triggers an inflammation when there are no such viruses or infections, thus causing damage to its own tissues. This is the onset of one of the many subsets of arthritis.

Did you know that there are over 100 types of arthritis and that roughly 1 in 7 people in America have it? That's pretty substantial! Now don't think you have arthritis immediately because your knee or finger hurts. If joint pain is something that been bothering you for a short amount of time, you should consult your doctor to find the cause. For those who know they have arthritis, they know.

So as I have read about arthritis and inflammation and general joint pain, I came across an ingredient that has apparently been used for thousands of years in the east that the doctors out here in the west are just stumbling upon and studying. It's an herb in the ginger family called Turmeric. If you are familiar with holistic medicine then you will probably be familiar with Ayurvedic practices. Let me be forthright with you when I say that I am not promoting either of these. However, I have read up on it and found that some if it may have some credibility. I bring them up because in Ayurvedic practice, which is rooted in 5,000 years of wisdom, is based on a principle that among other things, vegetables and minerals hold a medicinal value. Turmeric is no different and is widely used throughout India and Asia. Its uses have primarily been as an antiseptic for cuts and bruises, so much so that Johnson & Johnson sells a Turmeric band-aid in India. They use it to keep their skin aglow, it's used in sunscreen, and is also a good anti-scarring agent when mixed with milk and applied to the skin. It is used through Asia to help with stomach problems You will find it in every house across India and isn't it ironic that the spread of cancer doesn't even compare to that in the US? What does this have to do with my joints???

In the past couple years, western doctors have begun to research other effects of Turmeric, for its uses against Arthritis and joint inflammation, cancers, and Cystic Fibrosis. The findings are incredible and show that Turmeric is a great agent to decrease the pain and inflammation of your joints.

In the Medical News Today on November 3, 2006 was an article about a study performed by Dr. Janet L. Funk, MD at the University of Arizona College of Medicine regarding the effects of Turmeric and its ingredient curcumin. Her findings indicated that the use of the Turmeric in animal models completely inhibited the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. It provided insight into the reaction of transcription factors when curcumin extract is introduced. A transcription factor can best be described as a protein in the system that controls whether genes turn on or off. When a certain transcription factor is turned on it begins the inflammation process, thus creating pain. However, the curcumin extract actually inhibits the transcription factor, which results in it's remaining off; thus the inflammation does not occur. (Summary - Turmeric contains curcumin extract, which inhibits inflammation, thus reducing pain as a result of arthritis). The suggestion is that turmeric as a nutritional supplement may have the same effects as pharmaceuticals.

The same is said by the Brain Research Institute of The University of California Los Angeles in an article by Hilary E. MacGregor on February 6, 2006. However, they go even further to say Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, and could possibly be used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's and more.

Other institutions around the country including John Hopkins, Duke, and Texas University, are doing similar studies, and even studying Turmeric's effects on cancer.

Throughout the years Turmeric has been used not only as an anti-flammatory, but to improve circulation and digestion. Within the field of Ayurveda, doctors have valued Turmeric for its fluoride.

With that, I will wrap up this report.

I would like to make it perfectly clear that I am not an expert in the field of medicine.

Rheumatology
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