Most of us are familiar with Turmeric as the spice that lends a distinctive deep yellow colour to Indian dishes. A lesser known use for Turmeric is as an excellent natural alternative approach for the management of back problems and inflammation.
Here we examine the research into this ancient root and look at why it may be particularly useful for back problems, an issues which is thought to plague most people at some point in their lives.
Many sufferers struggle to sleep well and this can have knock-on effects on energy and concentration levels. Little wonder, then, that back pain is one of the leading causes of sick leave.
A great deal of the pain associated with back problems is due to inflammation, the body’s natural response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain and discomfort, heat, redness, swelling, and the loss of function. Many sufferers struggle to sleep well and this can have knock-on effects on energy and concentration levels. Little wonder, then, that back pain is one of the leading causes of sick leave.
Traditionally prescribed drugs can have serious side effects
For most sufferers, the first step is to turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or diclofenac, and analgesics such as paracetamol. These are widely accepted drugs for managing pain, however regular use of these types of medications is associated with significant and very serious side effects. These include cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal harm such as stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and/or liver injury. For these reasons, many people are now turning to alternative approaches for help.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) - a natural alternative
Turmeric is a spice that is believed to have been used medicinally for thousands of years. In 1280AD, Marco Polo noted the use of turmeric in his diary while in China. The ancient Polynesians of Oceania took turmeric with them on their voyage across the Pacific to Hawaii where it is still widely used.
Several studies have found that turmeric appears to have a powerful ability to target inflammation in the body. This anti-inflammatory activity is thought to be due to an active component in the spice called curcumin, which disrupts inflammatory pathways that trigger swelling and discomfort. This compound is thought to work by inhibiting a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation in the body.
Whilst it is not a cure for back problems, extensive research and evidence suggests that it is highly beneficial for helping to aid in people’s suffering.