Before we get to using turmeric for lymphedema, let’s get to understand the condition. Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when there is an abnormal fluid retention in the lymph nodes. Ideally, any excess fluids in the body tissues are sent to the lymphatic system where the lymph nodes get rid of the bacteria before draining the fluid in the bloodstream. By getting rid of the bacteria and harmful substances, the lymph nodes help the body to fight infections.
Individuals who suffer from lymphedema experience a lot of swelling in the arms and legs. Swelling may also occur in the chest, fingers and hands. The wrists and ankles may begin to feel stiff. Individuals usually experience heaviness in their legs and arms. In severe cases, it can cause shortness of breath, facial puffiness and muscle pain. Abnormal fluid retention can be caused by blood clots in the veins or serious infections like cancers.
How turmeric helps
Turmeric has been used for a long time as Asian medicine to treat a wide range of health issues. While turmeric cannot replace any prescribed medication, it is safe to say that the herb can boost the immune system by getting rid of toxic substances in the body. Curcumin, which is a primary ingredient in turmeric is considered to have a similar effect to anti-inflammatory drugs like hydrocortisone. But unlike these drugs, curcumin doesn’t result in any adverse side effects.
Turmeric contains a very strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that work really well for those with Lymphedema. Turmeric can work by eliminating free radicals in your system and enhancing the immune system. Because the condition is caused by excess fluid, turmeric can work by drying out the excess fluid and minimising any swelling and pain.
How turmeric should be consumed
Turmeric can be taken together with milk. Every morning and at night before you go to bed, take a glass of milk and a teaspoon of turmeric. The herb can also be taken internally in supplement form. Some people use turmeric as an ointment to treat swelling. Topical gel applications of turmeric powder are available in local stores.
When taken as a spice, turmeric is absolutely safe for all. However, if it is taken in form of a supplement exceeding the required dosage can cause gallbladder problems. Be careful not to exceed the required dosage. Also get your doctor’s go-ahead before you start using any form of turmeric on a regular basis.
Maggie Martin is Ph.D. in Cell Biology graduate. She is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing about Food and Healthy Lifestyles. When she is not busy, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink
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