Relieve Joint Pain without Drugs

The other day a group of us ‘elders’ were talking about the differences between what we ate as children when our mothers prepared all our meals, and what food ‘tastes’ like now. After a few minutes, the discussion turned to spices. Yes, all our mothers were virtual ‘experts’ at cooking (who doesn’t like Mom’s cooking best?), and we noted that all of us were taught to cook with spices. Something that nowadays cooks (sans the cooking show ‘guys’–think ‘bam’ Emeriel Lagasse) rarely think of adding. And (in the old days!) we were all healthier for it. (adding the spices to our cooking that is).

Which brought us up to a ‘new’ found old favorite of mine–tumeric. I remembered Mom using this wonderfully colored spice sprinkled lightly over our morning eggs, in omelets, casseroles (particularly mac and cheese casserole), stews, soups, and especially in any curry dish she cooked. And we had at least one curry dish a week (What a wonderful bright and sunny yellow tint it added to our food!) Always a treat. I also remember her using tumeric at Easter to color our eggs that very bright yellow for that famous morning hunt!

One can get very creative with this spice, even adding some to mashed potatoes for ‘yellow’ potatoes to the delight of picky-eating youngsters.

In the ‘golden olden days’, when Mom stayed home and did all the cooking, liberally using the wide variety of natural herbs and spices always so readily available, we rarely found need to visit a doctor. (Except for the occassional broken bone that we youngsters all seem to encounter at least once in their lifetime.)

With a little research, I found a virtue trove of useful information about TUMERIC. Modern day scientific proof that all the ‘old wife’s tales’ are, in fact, true regarding specific spice’s health benefits.

One use in particular, is as an anti-flamatory, with none of the side effects that are so consitent with both prescription and over the counter drugs presecribed by our current medical profession. All this needless pain and suffering (both from original malady and the drug’s side effects) for nothing more than a balanced diet spiced up with herbs! (pun intended).

My research revealed that Tumeric is also an Indian Cure for Relieving Joint Pain. The reason tumeric is one of the effective spices in releaving joint pain and inflamation is because of its active ingredient curcumin. Further dvelving revealed that this ‘new-age’ remarkable finding from Cornell University shows that curcumin blocks the COX-2 enzyme that plays a role in causing pain, thus being very effective.The new high-priced pain-relieving prescription drugs do the same thing, but as I said before, the drugs can have risky side effects. Natural physicians now prescribe this spice to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The following is the google search of ‘curcumin’ found in tumeric, for those scientificially inclined.
Curcumin is known for its antitumor,[3][4] antioxidant, antiarthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic[5] and anti-inflammatory properties.[6] Anti-inflammatory properties may be due to inhibition of eicosanoid biosynthesis.[7] In addition it may be effective in treating malaria, prevention of cervical cancer, and may interefere with the replication of the HIV virus.[8] In HIV, it appears to act by interfering with P300/CREB-binding protein (CBP). A 2008 study at Michigan State University showed that low concentrations of curcumin interfere with Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) replication.[9] The same study showed that curcumin inhibited the recruitment of RNA polymerase II to viral DNA, thus inhibiting the transcription of the viral DNA.[9] This effect was shown to be independent of effect on histone acetyltransferase activities of p300/CBP.[9] A previous (1999) study performed at University of Cincinnati indicated that curcumin is significantly associated with protection from infection by HSV-2 in animal models of intravaginal infections.[10]
Curcumin acts as a free radical scavenger and antioxidant, inhibiting lipid peroxidation[11] and oxidative DNA damage. Curcuminoids induce glutathione S-transferase and are potent inhibitors of cytochrome P450.
For the last few decades, extensive work has been done to establish the biological activities and pharmacological actions of curcumin. Its anticancer effects stem from its ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without cytotoxic effects on healthy cells. Curcumin can interfere with the activity of the transcription factor NF-κB, which has been linked to a number of inflammatory diseases such as cancer.[12] Indeed, when 0.2% curcumin is added to diet given to rats or mice previously given a carcinogen, it significantly reduces colon carcinogenesis (Data from sixteen scientific articles reported in the Chemoprevention Database). A 2007 report indicates that curcumin may suppress MDM2, an oncogene involved in mechanisms of malignant tumor formation.[13]
A 2004 UCLA-Veterans Affairs study involving genetically altered mice suggests that curcumin might inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta-amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients and also break up existing plaques associated with the disease.[14]
There is also circumstantial evidence that curcumin improves mental functions; a survey of 1010 Asian people who ate yellow curry and were between the ages of 60 and 93 showed that those who ate the sauce “once every six months” or more had higher MMSE results than those who did not.[15] From a scientific standpoint, though, this does not show whether the curry caused it, or people who had healthy habits also tended to eat the curry, or some completely different relationship.

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