Is This Popular Spice An Effective Alternative To Ibuprofen? What Doctors Say – Health Digest

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Dr. Jyotsna Nagda, a pain specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, shared (via TIME) that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties are what help with pain relief. And it’s not just its main active ingredient, curcumin (which gives this popular spice its characteristic yellow hue), that works in the pain relief department. Per registered dietitian nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky (via Mayo Clinic), noncurcumin compounds found in this spice — turmerin, turmerone, elemene, furanodiene, curdione, bisacurone, cyclocurcumin, calebin A, and germacrone — are also thought to possess anti-inflammatory benefits.

Some experts also think turmeric can help with pain because of how it affects your gut microbiota and how it regulates microglia activation. According to European board-certified anesthesiology and intensive care specialist and pain medicine specialist Dr. Tural Bayramov, “Microglia are immune cells in the brain that play a role in neuroinflammation and chronic pain. Curcumin has been shown to regulate microglia activation, which may help reduce chronic pain associated with neurodegenerative diseases” (per Algoloji Uzmanı).

For someone dealing with chronic pain, this spice can start to feel like a godsend when you look at the research. Does this mean they should drop ibuprofen and turn to this spice that’s been a popular medicinal ingredient in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for years?

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