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Turmeric or Ibuprofen

24 Mar 2016   Shanti Gowans

Lily used to suffer from chronic headaches. At 26, her already frequent headaches became so serious that they practically turned into one major headache. For four and a half years, she claims that she had a headache every minute of her life and used to take ibuprofen for it several times a day, often exceeding the maximum recommended amount. It didn’t even ease the pain, yet each time she popped the pill, she hoped for a miracle.

Lily was never told that ibuprofen or other over the counter pain-killers could be harmful to her health. As a college sports person, most of her teammates popped ibuprofen like lollies for all injuries and minor pains. Her boyfriend took it for his back pain. Every website and doctor suggested it. Lily thought it was the right thing to do. She thought it was her fault that it wasn’t even helping.
Turns out that ibuprofen is actually damaging to your health and that there are much better natural alternatives  for pain and inflammation. The Lancet review has found ibuprofen to be as toxic to the heart as are many (now) banned anti-inflammatory drugs that have caused thousands of deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
Lily hasn’t taken ibuprofen or any other similar over-the-counter drug for three years, and is living her life pain-free and naturally. I invite you to do the same.
Turmeric is Ayurveda’s secret weapons against visible and silent inflammation. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a yellow-orange spice that is part of the ginger family. Native to tropical South Asia, turmeric is well known in traditional Asian medicine and cuisine. More recently, its health benefits have been recognised in Western medicine. According to a study published in the Journal of Nephropathology (2012), “Turmeric, a neglected Asian traditional drug might re-emerge as a remedy and/or preventive tool for various illnesses including different type of cancers, obesity, type-2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, CKD [chronic kidney disease] and ESRD [end stage renal disease], which are steadily increasing globally, claiming many lives and tremendous amount of resources worldwide.”

One active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has been the focus of several academic studies.

Curcumin may alleviate inflammation: According to research from the Department of Stomatology at the University of California, San Francisco, curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory properties. The research, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004), found that curcumin, “may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.”

Curcumin’s anticancer potential: Curcumin may play a vital role in cancer prevention, according to a study published in BioMed Research International (2014). Previous research has highlighted curcumin’s antioxidant, antibacterial and antitumor properties, according to the study, which concluded, “Curcumin, a vital constituent of the spice turmeric, is an alternative approach in the prevention of cancer.”

Therapeutic applications of curcumin: According to a review study published in the AAPS Journal (2013), “curcumin has shown therapeutic potential against a number of human diseases,” including multiple types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, H. pylori infection, Alzheimer’s disease, acute coronary syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.

You deserve to live a happy and healthy life. The next time you have a headache or are experiencing pain, just go open your kitchen cabinet and reach for that turmeric to make the turmeric and lemon elixir as your new choice of medicine. You won’t believe how quickly you feel its effects. Once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make turmeric a part of your daily life a long time ago.

The Turmeric and Lemon Morning Elixir
1 serving
Prep Time- 5 minutes
Cook Time - no cooking

What you’ll need…
1/4 - 1/2 of a lemon, squeezed for juice
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Dash of pepper
1 cup warm water, and/or coconut milk (the coconut milk adds healthy fats, and helps absorption of turmeric)

How to make it…

Mix the lemon juice, turmeric, pepper and honey into your cup of warm water or milk. You will want to stir these ingredients well. Add cinnamon on top and continue to stir your morning elixir as you drink it, to ensure that the turmeric does not settle at the bottom of your cup.

Turmeric with its main active ingredient, curcumin, may be that one healthy addition to your morning routine you’ve been looking for, and can help you fight inflammation in your body.  You can enjoy this elixir nearly every morning with fruit, which adds a sweet, delicious twist.

Turmeric has been known as a natural pain reliever for centuries. It has been proven to reduce or eliminate pain better than leading prescription medications. The spice has proven to be more superior without serious side effects. In fact, the polyphenol in turmeric has been shown to have over 600 health benefits.
According to a clinical trial published in the Alternative and Complementary Medicine journal, turmeric is an effective alternative to ibuprofen for osteoarthritis. 
The study on was conducted with 109 patients with knee osteoarthritis. In a randomised selection, some were given 800 mg of ibuprofen, while others received 2000 mg of turmeric a day for six weeks. Their pain level while walking, stair climbing and performing other basic functions were measured. 
After 6 weeks, improvements were measured in both groups and the turmeric group showed slightly better performance. The turmeric group also described having a higher level of satisfaction than the ibuprofen group.
A 2004 study published in the journal Oncogene found that components of turmeric were effective alternatives to the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone, naproxen and diclofenac, to name a few. How can one little root do so much? Most researchers agree that the turmeric’s profound healing abilities can be traced to its powerful anti-inflammatory action, but turmeric doesn’t just fight pain and inflammation, it does so much more.
Full-spectrum turmeric (as opposed to an isolated curcumin extract) is especially effective because it operates by both mechanisms of anti-inflammatory action.
Most inflammatory foods, working in one of the following ways:
• They neutralise inflammation causing free radicals in the body with a flood of antioxidants or
• They stop the body from producing the chemicals that initiate inflammation in the first place (this is how aspirin and other pain medicines work)
What is unique about turmeric is that it combats inflammation through both of these mechanisms simultaneously! Its multi-pronged approach allows it to work wonders for aches, pains, and arthritis (by stopping inflammation at the source), while also strongly supporting the immune system with antioxidants. And because nearly all diseases and ailments can be traced back to inflammation and oxidative stress, it seems like there’s almost nothing that turmeric cannot help to heal.
Turmeric is not only effective, safe and natural, but it’s also accessible to all, affordable and time-tested.
Looking at these amazing results and understanding how simple, cheap, safe and yet incredibly effective turmeric can be, you can only get excited about this. 
But not all forms of turmeric are created equal. Most of the turmeric supplements you see in the shops come in the form of encapsulated powders. The truth is with turmeric powder you might begetting very little actual benefit. The reason is that turmeric powder has a fairly low bioavailability (meaning that a good portion of it isn’t properly absorbed by your body), it often isn’t very fresh, and it’s sometimes made with harsh processes that can destroy or degrade turmeric’s healthful components. Because turmeric is hard to absorb, it must be formulated in a certain way allowing the body to absorb and utilise its entire spectrum of nutrients. Turmeric powder is best absorbed if you eat it with fats (try ghee, or coconut oil) and also black pepper. When turmeric binds to phosphlipids (fats) it increase its bioavailability and absorption dramatically. 
Turmeric is an important staple spice in Ayurvedic cooking. But it's got more to do with health than just for a flavourful curry. Curcumin is the magical substance which gives turmeric its golden colour and which is responsible for being a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Curcumin modulates around 700 genes, improves more than 160 physiological pathways, helps organise cell membranes and affects signalling molecules that interact with proteins to prevent inflammation, boost immune responses and improve metal removal. According to studies conducted on curcumin, the compound can be therapeutic for lung and liver disease, neurological and metabolic diseases, autoimmune disorders, heart and inflammatory diseases. it even supports healtjhy cholesterol levels and prevents low-density lipoprotein oxidation, blood clots, heart attacks, cuppresses symptoms of type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. It enhances healing of wounds, protects against cataracts, reduces systemic inflammation such as osteoarthritis, is a strong anti-cancer agent, and so much more. It is even capable of crossing your blood-brain barrier to promote brain health. For instance, it helps inhibit the build up of beta-amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer's patients and breaks up existing plaques associated with this disease. 
Why not consider adding it to your dinner tonight?


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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