Turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and India, where it has been widely used for culinary purposes for thousands of years. Apart from being effective in cooking, it has remained an important herb with numerous medicinal uses going back many years in Ayurvedic medicine.
When bought in fresh form, turmeric resembles ginger root, although its flesh has different color when compared to cut ginger root. Americans are most familiar with the powdered form of turmeric, which is characterized with unique color, interesting aroma, and peppery flavor.
It is worth mentioning that turmeric has a robust nutritional profile, low calorie value, and relatively low GI. It is packed with minerals like calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium as well as vitamins like vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, and more. Specifically, 4, 40 grams of turmeric (2 teaspoons), provides 8.05 mg calcium, 1.82 mg iron, 8.49 mg magnesium, 11.79 mg phosphorus, 111.10 mg potassium, and 1.67 mg sodium. As for the vitamin content, the same serving offers 0.01 mg vitamin B2, 0.23 mg vitamin B3, 2.16 mg choline, 1.72 mg folate, 1.14 mg vitamin C, etc.
With this being said, it`s no wonder that this miraculous plant provides a wide array of health benefits, such as inhibiting inflammation-causing molecules, increasing the antioxidant capacity of the body, improving brain function, relieving pain, protecting against cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer, treating symptoms of arthritis, and many more.
A relatively recent study published study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has come up with exciting news! Namely, this particular study has found that turmeric is an effective natural alternative to ibuprofen, a pain-killer used to treat knee osteoarthritis. Most importantly, this spice has been shown to be even superior in terms of both its efficiency and safety.
In a Lancet review, ibuprofen was shown to be toxic to the heart as Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug which is banned for a few years now due to its contribution to many deaths from cardiovascular disease on an annual basis. This is critical factor to why natural alternatives are of utmost importance, particularly when they involved spices that are known to be accessible, time-tested, and safe.
The study assessed efficiency and safety of curcuma in patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. The trial was done with 109 patients with osteoarthritis who were given 800mg of ibuprofen daily or 2,000 mg of turmeric a day, over the course of six weeks.
The researchers measured pain during walking stairs and basic functions of the knee asses by time spend during 100-m walk. The improvements were assessed in both groups and the primary outcomes were pretty much the same, with the exception of turmeric being more effective regarding the performance regarding the 100-m walk and less self-reported pain going up and down a flight of stairs. The turmeric groups also noted less adverse effects. Ultimately, the researchers noted different trend toward a greater effect in those receiving turmeric compared to those receiving ibuprofen. Simply put, the subjects in the turmeric group experienced higher satisfaction and little or no side-effects.
Dried rhizomes from C.domestica were made into powder. The powder was extracted using ethanol and then evaporated to obtain ethanolic extract containing curcuminoids and oil. Each of the capsules of C. domestica contained up to 250 mg of curcuminoids.