Understanding Inflammation: Is inflammation bad?
Believe it or not, inflammation is a necessary part of healing! We commonly think of it in a negative light, due to its occurrence from injury. Inflammation is an essential and supportive function of the body. The problem occurs when the body’s reaction to a physical issue becomes excessive.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process. It is our immune system’s protective function against physical damage and irritants, such as bacteria, toxins, and heat. Inflammation helps circulate the blood and bring nutrients and immune cells to heal and repair damaged tissue. As well, inflammation helps to defend the body against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
Similar to having osteoarthritis, in which damage occurs to joints, inflammation assists to protect the area from further damage and encourage healing.
While the immune system relies on inflammatory processes to do its work for the body, uncontrolled or excessive inflammation restricts healing and can be quite destructive. An aggravated immune system may potentially lead to autoimmunity, where the system responds unnecessarily against perfectly healthy cells and tissues.
Ideal inflammation allows healing to proceed but not excessive so as to contribute to the destruction of more tissue cells.
The Power in Turmeric Root: How can it help?
Turmeric is a popular spice commonly used in curries. The active compound in turmeric root, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties and gives the root its bright yellow colour.
Curcumin is known to regulate the prostaglandins, the compounds that are manufactured by our body to promote inflammation. They also lessen the pain associated with inflammation.
Because curcumin activates at a cellular level, it is commonly administered for the treatment of health conditions such as joint pain, bowel diseases and prevention of bladder gallstones. There’s also been some new research which links curcumin use and reduced dementia incidents and treatment of chemotherapy side effects.
How to take curcumin
You can acquire the benefits of curcumin by consuming Turmeric root. Turmeric is a popular ingredient in Asia and has long been used for its flavour, colour, and medicinal properties. The easiest and more available way take it is in powder form. The powder contains approximately 3-5% active curcumin. It’s a great wellness supplement you can take on a daily basis. It can easily be added to your smoothies or as a spice for your dishes.
For a more therapeutic effect, tablets and capsules supplements are also available. However, it’s not recommended to begin on a higher dosage as a means of fast-tracking improvements in your health. This should be avoided as curcumin can be poorly absorbed by our digestive tract. You should be checking your formula has the most appropriate dosage to be absorbed properly. In fact, if you want to get a stronger dose, up to 95% purity, it has to be prescribed by a health professional.
According to Luke Summers, a qualified naturopath from the Swanston Street Great Earth store, it’s always best to have a conversation with an expert.
“The best thing is to come in and let the staff know exactly what’s going on with your health, so we can direct you towards the most appropriate choice for what you’re trying to achieve. But at the same time, think about other things that may be contributing to that disease – what you might be doing that you haven’t acknowledged or don’t realize might be contributing to the problem. Looking at some simple things that can be changed in your diet or lifestyle that may also need to be supported alongside something like curcumin.”
If you would like to find out more whether turmeric root is right for your health condition, feel free to come in-store and speak to one of our qualified health professionals.