What is tumeric and how is it used in healthcare?
Turmeric, often used in cooking, as a colouring agent and food preserve, has also been used for its medicinal purposes for 1000’s of years. In practices such as Ayurveda it is used to assist issues like infections, skin issues and tummy troubles.
Research papers report on the use of turmeric in helping inflammation, alongside acting as an antioxidant. The active component in turmeric, known as curcumin, has also been used medically to help improve health and combat dis-ease.
Early studies demonstrated that a rise in curcumin levels in the cell can help improve immune response to inflammation and human studies have found this too. Use of curcumin has been researched in connection with osteoarthritis.
In 2019, 16 randomised controlled trials examined the use of curcumin in osteoarthritis. 14 reported significant improvement and it was concluded that supplementation appeared to be an effective therapy for osteoarthritis with minimal to no adverse effects.
Turmeric can be easily added to meals or drinks including curries, soups, stews and teas and can be used in powder or root form. The active ingredient, curcumin, for which most studies are based on, is often taken in supplement form.
Simply increasing turmeric in your diet, may not be sufficient to bring positive benefits for your joints. Supplementing may be the key to helping this and speaking to a local health shop may be a perfect solution. They can advise further on easily absorbable products, which improve gut uptake of the raw ingredients and may also advise on a supplement containing black pepper to improve this further.
As with any supplementation, we would always recommend you talk to your doctor or pharmacy before you start, so as to ensure they can check the supplement interaction with any of your prescribed medication.