It is an enormously powerful anti-inflammatory
Turmeric might appear to be an unusual choice to help with the relief of severe joint pain.
This spice has always been used to enhance the colour and flavours of South Asian cooking in India and worldwide.
However, it is also an enormously powerful anti-inflammatory and has been proven to reduce joint stiffness and swelling.
It is also very effective when used as a compress to treat sprains and puffiness caused by injuries.
The popularity of this spice has increased in Western societies due to the evidence that links it to its medical properties.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. So powerful that it matches the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects.
Arthritis and Joint Inflammation
5 Amazing Benefits of Turmeric
- It is good for your liver and has been shown to improve liver function
- The curcumin found in turmeric appears to block the enzyme which promotes the growth of cancer
- Regular use of curcumin can lower the risk of developing diabetes
- Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
- Turmeric promotes the healthy growth of hair and nails
The diagnosis of arthritis can be distressing and the pain can become intolerable making mobility a problem. People of all ages may become affected and it is particularly difficult when young children are the victim.
Anyone suffering from arthritis or inflammation of the joints will understand how it can radically change and affect everyday life. Simple tasks become a chore and the intolerable pain makes them difficult to execute.
Eventually, severe damage to the joints could indicate that the loss of cartilage is irreparable and in some cases, it will progress to osteoarthritis.
Often, the inflammation in the knees will lead to the formation of a Baker’s cyst in the back of the knee. This can sporadically rupture causing the fluid to leak into the back of the calf causing sharp pain and swelling.
The obvious choice for pain relief would be anti-inflammatories and painkillers. However, the problem here is that taking these over a long period of time can have a devastating effect on the lining of the stomach.
Cod liver oil capsules and glucosamine tablets may help with mobility over time. In severe cases, though, they will not be of much use as an instant or short-term solution. This is where turmeric can make life easier.
Maximising Benefits of Turmeric
The side effects experienced by some people when they have been taking anti-inflammatories can be devastating and sometimes irreversible. It makes perfect sense then why some might seek other safer alternatives.
Turmeric is one of those choices. It is safe to take alongside other painkillers and has no side effects. If preferred, it can be used as an alternative to over the counter drugs or those prescribed by a doctor.
This wonder spice taken on its own will undoubtedly do some good in helping to relieve pain. Nonetheless, to get the best possible benefit it needs to be combined with certain other ingredients.
For maximum absorption of the turmeric, it should be mixed with coconut oil or any other good fat such as olive oil or ghee. Adding freshly ground black pepper increases the bioavailability of the curcumin present in turmeric.
The food matters website says: “Bio-Piperine, the compound responsible for the heat of black pepper, when consumed with turmeric helps to slow the liver from metabolising curcumin too quickly.”
Aside from coconut oil’s long list of health benefits, the saturated fat it contains help increase the absorption of turmeric.
These three ingredients, once combined, are powerful and work wonders to alleviate pain. Ideally, they should be made into a paste and stored in a fridge to be consumed at regular intervals during the day.
The paste is really simple to make and takes just fifteen minutes; time well spent to reap the benefits of this amazing combination of ingredients.
Turmeric Wonder Paste Recipe
Half a cup of turmeric – this can be obtained from any supermarket or Asian shop and does not have to be organic.
A third of a cup of coconut oil
One and a half teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
One to two cups of water as needed
It is advisable to wear an apron whilst making the paste as it may splash and the stains are not easy to remove.
- Put the turmeric and water into a saucepan and mix them together to form a paste.
- Place the saucepan on the hob on a low heat and simmer for about ten minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add more water as necessary whilst continuing to stir the mixture.
- The paste should not be too dry but also not too runny.
- Remove from the heat and add the coconut oil and black pepper.
- Mix thoroughly and allow to cool before spooning into jars.
The paste can be stored in the fridge in airtight jars or containers for up to three weeks and can be added to food during cooking.
There is no minimum or maximum quantity and the dosage will vary for each individual. The best guide is to try a small amount first and gradually increase as necessary.
A teaspoon a day for a couple of days should be enough to decide if the dosage can be increased. This can then be boosted to two teaspoons or higher.
For anyone wanting to make a large batch, it can be frozen in small amounts and used as necessary. Ice-cube trays work well for this as do the silicone trays used for freezing baby food.