Turmeric is commonly used in some Southeast Asian countries, especially India. It is believed that this spice has been used in these regions, through the centuries. Turmeric has been used in the traditional medical system of India as well as China, for treating various ailments. The yellow-colored spice, called turmeric, is derived from the ginger-like roots of the plant Curcuma longa. The root with a brownish skin and orange-colored flesh, is dried before grinding to make turmeric powder. Turmeric is equally popular as a spice as well as a natural remedy. It is said that the medicinal properties of turmeric is due to the presence of curcumin, which imparts the yellow color to the spice. According to recent studies, curcumin is highly effective in relieving pain.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is one of the three curcuminoids found in turmeric. It is a natural phenol that is responsible for the yellow color of turmeric, and is mainly responsible for the health benefits of this spice. Curcumin is said to have antitumor, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is said to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent as well as an antioxidant. Traditionally, turmeric is used for treating medical conditions, like gastrointestinal disorders. Being a powerful antioxidant, curcumin is believed to lower cholesterol, thereby preventing various medical problems, like heart attacks.
As it blocks the action of free radicals in the body, curcumin reduces the risk of certain diseases, and also fights aging. It has also been suggested that, this compound is useful for treating cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin is used for lowering high blood sugar level and for detoxification. Various studies support the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, which is now widely promoted as a safe alternative to common pain relievers.
A Natural Anti-inflammatory
Of late, curcumin has been promoted as a natural pain killer. The body enzyme named COX-2 is primarily responsible for pain and inflammation. According to researchers, curcumin acts upon this enzyme and blocks it action, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. So, it is now used for relieving pain and inflammation associated with conditions, like arthritis, asthma, and colitis. However, there is no conclusive proof for the effectiveness of curcumin in relieving pain.
Recently, a study was conducted to compare the effects of curcumin and commercial pain killers, in relieving pain. It was found that curcumin is effective to the same extent, as that of commercial painkillers. It is also suggested that apart from being effective in relieving pain, curcumin does not cause most of the side effects associated with commercial medication.
So, curcumin is claimed to be effective for pain relief, and most of the users are satisfied with the results. However, it is always better to consult your health care provider, and seek his opinion about the use of curcumin for pain relief. You may include turmeric in your diet, and reap the health benefits offered by this compound. However, excess consumption of turmeric is not advisable.