In the past few months (maybe due to the snow birds, maybe not) I have seen more and more patients with joint aches and pains. Though acupuncture and fish oil help immensely (and are usually included in my joint pain treatment protocol), I have found a great amount of success with Turmeric! Yes, the same spice found in a lot of Indian food, only at a medical grade consistency and potency.
Curcumin (Latin name of Turmeric) has been show in multiple studies to decrease joint inflammation (arthritis) in the body. There is a growing amount of evidence indicating its use for inflammation in general. Interestingly enough, there are also some promising studies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and even cancer.
Just last week I had a patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. After one treatment of acupuncture and starting to take high strength Turmeric and fish oils each day, I was amazed at how much easier her gait was on her visit this week and how she could feel the difference upon taking the Turmeric.
I trust in the herbs, but I also like to experiment on myself. The last couple weeks I have been increasing my running and for several days I was waking up with sore hips, I began taking Curcumin capsules before bed, and again I’m amazed at the difference! I love natural medicine!!
Of course, this gets me thinking… can I just cook with turmeric and get the same results? The answer, YES!! Which I have done, but the amount of turmeric needed in your cooking (and on a daily basis) to get the same results gets a bit excessive… however, I would recommended adding it to meals whenever possible to get some powerful antioxidant effects. Be warned however, that it will stain almost anything bright yellow! (I did use it last year in a tiny amount to color frosting for holiday cookies!)