Turmeric And its Propertes
Anti-inflammatory substances are particularly useful in medicine because they help to moderate the excesses of the body’s inflammatory response of the immune system to invasive pathogens and irritation to tissues. A major function of the inflammatory system is to increase the blood supply to the affected area and the blood vessels are dilated to provide room for the large macrophages to pass unhindered. There is leakage through the cell wall, allowing inflammatory cells such as T cells and natural killer NK cells to reach the area.
Turmeric and Its COX-2 Properties
This is associated with swelling and redness, and the temperature around the area increases, rendering it hostile to pathogens. Proteins are also drawn to the inflamed area and the expansion of the tissues pressing on nerve cells can cause a great deal of pain. This continues until the infective organism or cause of the damage has been dealt with. The inflammatory response is initiated by prostaglandins and can be stimulated by leukotrienes. Turmeric is a COX-2 inhibitor and contains curcuminoids that prevent prostaglandins and leukotrienes from being synthesized.
Without these important biochemicals, the inflammatory cascade dies down, swelling reduces and the pain is eased. Tests have shown that turmeric works similarly to aspirin, but without the side effects of aspirin including vascular thrombosis or blood clot formation. It is as strong as steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and many prefer it to any other treatment for hay fever and other inflammatory conditions. It also accelerates wound healing, helps ease chronic respiratory disorders and helps to ease the pain of arthritis and enable patients to overcome morning stiffness. It can also be used to treat a number of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.