These days, there's a pill for everything, and most people won't even think twice before popping some over-the-counter painkillers for even the smallest aches and pains. While I'm fully in support of medical science and definitely believe in the power of Western medical science, I do have to wonder: are pills really always the best solution?
Take ibuprofen, for instance. Almost everyone's got some handy these days, you can even buy them at gas stations. Sure, they work, but only temporarily. Eventually, you have to take another pill, then another, and then another. This may not be so bad for a fleeting headache o muscle pain, but if you suffer from chronic pain, is this really worth it?
Ibuprofen use has become incredibly common, but did you know that it's not without its own set of dangers? New research indicates that ibuprofen may be pretty harmful to humans if used incorrectly, potentially even poisoning the cardiovascular system and even resulting in death in severe cases.
So, you're probably thinking, "Ok, Mr. Arch, I'll throw out my ibuprofen, but what am I supposed to take for my pain instead?" Fear not, because the answer might already be in your spice rack: turmeric! By this point, I'm sure you've at least developed a passing familiarity with this miracle spice and its many, many health benefits. Now, you can add pain relief to the list.
Back in India where I'm from, turmeric is considered by many a housewife to be as essential to a well-stocked kitchen as salt and pepper. I can personally attest to the fact that turmeric has pain-relieving properties, having had my mother apply various ointments of turmeric to my injuries over the years.
Turmeric and Inflammation
Turmeric works to relieve pain by acting upon inflammation in the body. Incidentally, this is essentially the same thing ibuprofen does - reduce swelling. Turmeric manages this trick thanks to its high concentrations of polyphenols. Additionally, turmeric has been listed as having over 600 other beneficial uses!
All you need to do is take a tablespoon of turmeric, some honey, and the juice of one lemon. Put everything in a glass and stir until combined. Add a teaspoon of this concentrated formula to a cup of warm water and drink thrice daily. Alternatively, you could do what we do back in India and combine a teaspoon of turmeric and some honey (to taste) with milk instead of lemon juice. This delicious, nutritious drink has been a favorite amongst children and the elderly for centuries, and it really works.
In a clinical study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, turmeric was shown to be a much safer and more efficient alternative to ibuprofen, particularly in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In the study, 109 participants with osteoarthritis were split up. Participants in one group took 800mg of ibuprofen, while the other group was given 2,000mg of turmeric. Both groups received treatment daily for a period of six weeks. At the end of the study, the turmeric group showed significantly better results.
So, next time you get an ache or pain, don't reach for the ibuprofen - head to your kitchen cabinet instead. Stocking up on turmeric and incorporating it into your diet will not only help relieve pains, it also adds wonderful aroma and color to your food. You certainly can't do that with ibuprofen!
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H/T: Healthy Food House