Curcumin is one of the most active substances found in Turmeric, the yellow powdered spice traditionally used in Indian cooking, and is said to have powerful healing qualities. Turmeric and ginger are in the same ‘family’; a group of plants botanically named Zingiberaceae, which provide an array of benefits that challenge even the potency of pharmaceutical drugs.
Curcumin is known to have the ability to greatly reduce inflammation, and has been used to treat anything from sports injuries and chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, to inhibiting the growth of cancer stem cells. It’s been said time and time again, but this spice really proves that ‘food is thy medicine and medicine thy food’ when it comes to healing with curcumin.
How does it work?
The anti inflammatory effects of curcumin are said to be just as effective (if not more-so) than NSAIDs (nonsterodial anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen etc) but the added bonus is that curcumin without the sometimes worrying side effects.
To put it very simply, curcumin works by binding to damaging and difficult to process proteins, toxins and chemicals within the body, and helps to extract and essentially ‘get rid of them’. This is especially effective when looking at treating and preventing neurological diseases such as alzheimers and can vastly improve cognitive function.
Why Do I Use Curcumin?
As someone who is physically pretty active; practicing and teaching yoga, swimming, strength training, and cycling, it doesn’t help that over the past few years I’ve also discovered some parts of my body are prone to injury. It’s probably down to over-use and a tendency to be a little over-zealous and exciteable when it comes to letting out stress in to form of physical activity (blame the endorphins; that ‘runer’s high’ feeling), or it could just be that practicing Yoga for such a long time and then adding in more intense bursts of exercise is a little bit of a shock to the system.
One thing is for sure however; I’ve discovered a lot about how we can heal ourselves through nutrition and movement, as well as managing our thoughts and emotions which has a huge impact on pain and the healing process. I have been stupid – to put it nicely – in some situations; pushing past pain barriers and not noticing how much damage was occurring in the moment, but it has lead to a lot of interesting discoveries, a lot more of a caring and compassionate yoga teacher. Oh yeah; and a lot more resting and self-care….
Research into the best supplements to speed up the healing process of various injuries including damage to knee ligaments, shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tears and strained hamstring attachments guided me towards krill oil as a useful supplement which helps aid in the recovery of muscle and tendon tissue, and gives the body more omega 3s to work with, thus reducing the likelihood of re-injury. That first purchase of krill oil made a huge difference not just to the speedy recovery of several scary injuries, but also to my overall wellbeing (stronger hair, brighter eyes and clearer skin), it also introduced me to Love Life Supplements, who I’ve since worked with to test out and review some of their newest products. (Click here for a powerful tonic for injuries and inflammation that you can make at home; it includes spices like turmeric and ginger).
Read HERE to find out about their energy-boosting panax ginseng supplement that took the place of coffee and meant no more high-sugar afternoon snacks!
How I Used Curcumin
As advised, I took the curcumin supplements twice daily with meals. As someone who previously treated a knee injury by covering it in egg yolk, powdered turmeric and cling film, everyone in my house was probably just relived there would be no more yellow staining in the kitchen. (FYI, you can remove turmeric with bleach – this is about the only thing that will remove it from white kitchen counter-tops and clothes….)
After taking the supplements for a few days, I noticed that after any demanding exercise, I felt less achy, and if an injury occurred, it didn’t stay for very long. Hamstrings, shoulders and knees have all been greatly helped by curcumin – I haven’t had to resort to lots of chemicals or painkillers, and I believe the curcumin supplements have been a huge part of that. The fact that it is blended with ginger, tomato and vitamin D3 shows that Love Life Supplements actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to nutrition and healing, as these are all foods and vitamins recommended to heal tissue and promote quick recovery too. I’d probably choose these supplement over others also because it contains BioPerine, making the nutrients more readily absorbed by the body.; it’s not just about what you take, it’s how much your body is able to process and absorb it too!
If you’re nursing an injury or you want to prevent one from occurring in the first place, I would recommend taking these supplements daily, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. They’ll help to keep inflammation at bay, and by boosting circulation, you’re also likely to have a lot more energy throughout the day. If you combine this with actually realising that you have to live with the body you have for the rest of this life time and that rest and recovery are absolutely essential to maintaining good health, you’re more likely to be healthy and happy over all, and able to function well physically into old age….
Other healing foods include beetroot (boosts circulation and recovery time), berries and currants – especially black currents (surprisingly, these berries have a lot more antioxidants than the good old blueberry, and can really help when it comes to helping the body through anything that requires endurance), powdered ginger (a fantastic anti-inflammatory, and also effective for reducing feelings of naurea), and cherries (again, these will really help to boost circulation and are another anti-inflammatory; they’re also well known for helping muscles to recover quickly and are widely used to treat issues such as gout and arthritis). There’s so much to learn about the healing qualities of foods that are readily found around us. By choosing wisely, we can heal from the inside out, and prevent illness and injury without the use of man-made chemicals.
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