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Herbs for Arthritis Relief

herbs5509by David Novak

More than 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis, but it remains an often misunderstood disease, according to the Arthritis Foundation of America. Arthritis is not a single disease, but it covers over 100 medical conditions that affects the musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints. One in every five American adults have been diagnosed with arthritis and it is not just a disease of old age.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two-thirds of adults with arthritis are under the age of 65, and this includes children as well. Because it covers more than 100 conditions, arthritis management and prevention differs depending on the specific condition. Some people choose to rely on conventional medicine and therapy, while others opt for safer alternative medicine, specifically with the use of herbs in their diet, which have been shown to provide various arthritic benefits. Here are several herbs that are found to be effective in relieving arthritis symptoms:

Ginger
Ginger is a widely-known herb used in traditional medicine in alleviating arthritis pain. It is native to southeastern Asia, where it is prized for its culinary and medicinal properties. Ginger contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol, which helps in reducing pain and improve the patient’s mobility. It inhibits arachidonic acid metabolism, which is responsible for inducing anti-inflammatory action. Ginger is one of the safest alternative treatment for arthritis because it has no adverse side effect, and it’s relatively safe. Suggested dosage for ginger is 500 mg, up to four times a day for inflammation.

Turmeric
Turmeric, derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, has a peppery, bitter flavor and a mild fragrance. It is known as one of the main spices used in making curry dishes, and has been widely used for its healing benefits and as a textile dye. Turmeric has potent but safe anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in relieving arthritis. It contains curcumin, which is comparable to potent drugs and over-the-counter anti inflammatory agents when it comes to effectiveness in reducing inflammation. Suggested dosage for turmeric is 1-3 grams per day in divided doses.

Green tea
Green tea comes from the evergreen tree, and is known to be the least processed among other teas, thus it provides more antioxidants that helps in fighting off free radicals. The antioxidant polyphenol is the active ingredient in green tea, which is effective in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also has an anti-inflammatory substance called EGCG that halts arthritis development. A cup of green tea contains 20-35 mg of EGCG, which is the highest antioxidant activity of all the green tea catechins.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera leaves produce a gel-like substance that contains sterols, which has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It helps by reducing joint pain and inflammation, making it an effective treatment for arthritis. Regular intake and application of aloe vera juice and gel are needed to maximize the benefits it provided.

Bromelain
Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant. It is an effective remedy in relieving arthritis pain and reducing inflammation, especially if combined with rutin and trypsin. It also helps in improving knee function for arthritic patients. Bromelain is considered safe if taken in appropriate amounts; however, moderate side-effects occur if taken with certain medications such as amoxicillin and antibiotics. It is best to consult your doctor before taking bromelain. The suggested dosage is 250-500 mg up to three times a day.

Boswellia
Boswellia is a herb that originates in India, but it can now be found in other parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has been widely-used in Ayurvedic medicine because of its numerous health benefits. Boswellic acids are the active ingredients found in boswellia, which aid in blocking chemical reactions responsible for inducing inflammation. Though research proving its effectivity is limited, many arthritic patients confirm that it brings significant pain relief and improved functionality. Boswellia can be taken in pill form and should not be taken for more than 8-12 weeks unless prescribed by a qualified health practitioner.

Willow bark
Willow bark comes from several varieties of the willow tree — like black willow, crack pillow and white willow. The medicinal use of willow bark has been recognized throughout history. It helps in relieving fever, common cold, muscle pain, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Willow bark contains salicin, which is converted by the body into a chemical substance called salicylic acid. This substance helps in reducing the production of certain prostaglandins, which helps in easing pain and discomfort brought on by joint inflammation. Willow bark should be used with caution since it can interact with medications that slow blood clotting, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David_NovakDavid Novak’s byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To view his other stories on Healthline, visit http://www.healthline.com/.  

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Bizarre Eats with Health Benefits

Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

Have you ever eaten seaweed snacks? What about freekeh? If you haven’t, maybe you should. These under-the-radar eats actually contain loads of health benefits, and are pretty tasty, too-just keep an open mind. These strange foods may just surprise you-and your tastebuds.

Seaweed Snacks: When I received some samples of these snacks in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised that they had a satisfying crunch and were full of great flavor. And can you believe they only have 25 calories and 2 g fat per serving? Plus, they are relatively low in sodium and pack 25% of the vitamin C you need each day. The best part about these babies? They come in all types of interesting flavors including wasabi, sesame, and if you’re craving something slightly sweet, brown sugar.

Freekeh: Freekeh is an ancient whole-grain that was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. To make use of the burned wheat, the villagers simply rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and ta-da: Freekeh was created. It’s great when used as a substitute for rice or other starchy foods to created delicious pilafs, salads and side dishes. The nutritional benefits are major, too: In each 1/4 cup serving, you get 8 g of filling protein and 4 g of heart-healthy fiber.

Algae: It may sound strange, but studies show that adding a little brown or blue-green algae to your smoothie or soup can help ward off cancer, reduce blood pressure or even lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Algae’s antioxidant content and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids make it a great unusual food to add to your diet. Check out your local healthy foods mart to find the freshest stuff.

Gai Lan: So, you’ve probably already eaten this veggie at your favorite Asian restaurant, but had no idea. Also known as Chinese broccoli, gai lan is leafier and has a sharper flavor than its counterpart. Since it cooks quickly, it’s great to whip up in a stir-fry or served steamed as a side dish. And it gets nutrition points for its fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. Find it at your local specialty foods store.

 

 

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Thanks to Dr Akilah My Ovarian Cysts and Fibroid are GONE!

Watch this personal testimony from Marcy Dickson and learn how she eliminated all of her ovarian cysts and fibroid naturally within THREE MONTHS!!!!! Before starting Dr Akilah’s fibroids/cysts shrinking program Marcy would experience heavy to moderate bleeding for three weeks. After following the program religiously for two weeks her next period last for only seven days with no pain or bloating. Watch this video to hear more mind blowing testimony from this determined young lady.

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8 New Ways to Detox

by Healthy Living

Acupuncture

Devotees swear that this 5,000-year-old practice cures everything from bad skin to indigestion. New York acupuncturist and skin/digestive specialist Selma Rondon recently cured a patient’s explosive hives in a day, after antihistamines didn’t work; patients with constipation or bloating quickly feel re-energized, too. Rondon, who learned Mandarin to read authentic Chinese texts, tackles toxicity by examining patients’ tongues — the color clues her in to how internal organs are doing — then inserts slim needles into the energy lines that run through the body.
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Charcoal

For centuries, the Japanese have used white charcoal to soak up substances, from poison to bad breath; its pores absorb a range of gases and toxins. The technique is landing stateside thanks to Sort of Coal, a line that incorporates the porous charcoal, produced from sustainably harvested forests in Japan and Korea.Best for: Removing daily environmental impurities from air and water
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Coffee Wraps

Doctors credit caffeine with reducing swelling and upping our fat-burning mechanisms when applied topically, which explains its omnipresence in cellulite creams. At Hawaiian SpaHalekulani, the “Day of Detox” package incorporates essential oil from a potent South American coffee plant in its Espresso Limon body wrap. Wild cinnamon and lemon oils are added to boost circulation, while massage and body-brushing soothe limbs and open pores further.Best for: Cellulite, lymphatic drainage
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Salt

Salt fights bacteria and inflammation and creates a negative-ion environment — the reason a dip in the sea feels great. At the new Halo/Air Salt Rooms in New York City, you can re-create that effect in “caves” full of Ukrainian salt, which is pumped into the rooms in controlled amounts; temperature and humidity are regulated, too. In the lungs, sodium chloride dispels bacteria and mucus. Sessions improve allergies and respiratory ills.Best for: Respiratory problems, asthma, flu, colds
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Ayurveda

Dr. Pratima Raichur, a longtime ayurvedic practitioner in Manhattan, works wonders for your complexion “with her holistic approach to health and life. Raichur nourishes and cleans skin with essential-oil-based treatments; detoxifying facials combine natural and antibacterial ingredients like sandalwood, aloe vera, red clay, and rosemary with a blast of steam to cleanse and exfoliate skin, and pressure-point massage around the nose and eyes clears sinuses and the puffiness that allergies can cause.
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Infrared Heat

The very technology used on preemies in the hospital, infrared heat penetrates skin almost two inches to warm the body directly, rather than heating the air around you. The infrared sauna at The Arcona Studio in Santa Monica, California (frequented by Diane Lane), is made of sweet-smelling Canadian cedar and confers all the benefits of a traditional sauna: Your pores open, shedding dead cells and toxins like zinc, lead, and cadmium; your heartbeat increases and blood vessels dilate as sweat evaporates; and after just a few minutes, your face develops a fetching rosy glow.
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Detox Bath

Aside from being relaxing, hot water increases blood flow and sweating and dilates the capillaries near the skin’s surface; your body expels the bad stuff and drinks in any herbal oils and salts. Detox Bathing enhances these effects with ingredients like grapefruit oil (a purifier and astringent) and rosemary oil (for circulation). It also makes our cut because of what it leaves out: parabens, sulfates, preservatives, and synthetic fragrances and colors.Best for: Fluid retention, bloating
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Vegetable Fast

More nutritious than sugary juice fasts,  an organic-vegetable juice diet, is a hush-hush favorite among lean beauties like Adriana Lima and Natasha Henstridge. These nutrient-packed liquids like kidney-cleansing almond milk, fibrous green vegetables (kale and celery) are also great for cleaning the liver and boosting immune function. Juicing for more than three days? Add light exercise, such as brisk walking, to counteract a slowing metabolism.Best for: Dropping the last 5 pounds
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The Cause, Prevention and Detoxing of Candida Yeast

By Tammy Handsheik

The incidence of people with bowel troubles is on the rise in the western world. Though the afflictions bear several names, it is my belief that all of them are fungus based. Various species of candida, most notably candida albicans, are at the root of these problems. How do they enter into your system? Well, for the most part they’re already there. Like all natural fungi they serve a useful purpose and candida are therefore a natural part of your intestinal flora. Problems arise when these yeast fungi lead to overgrowth as a result of three different triggers: sugary foods, drugs and stress. Compare that to the western lifestyle and you can see why so many people have bowel problems today. It’s a wonder some people don’t have yeast overgrowth!

Yeast bacteria can also enter your system by eating molded bread or being exposed to molds at home or elsewhere. As soon as the environment is favorable to these bacteria they will immediately increase their numbers and colonize their living environment, starting with the intestines and then moving on to other parts of the body by developing spores and traveling through the bloodstream. Antibiotics and other ‘medicines’ are the worst culprits. ‘Antibiotic’ means ‘anti-life’. Antibiotics are designed to kill any bacteria in their path and that includes friendly probiotic gut bacteria who, contrary to candida, are not resistant. Other promoters of yeast overgrowth include cortisone based hormonal drugs (including skin applications) and painkillers. Stress and sugary foods are also detrimental to probiotic gut bacteria.

This clears the path for yeast colonization. They seem to favor mucus membranes particularly and will damage them wherever they decide to settle. They can damage the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract by making it porous. As a result, food particles can enter the bloodstream undigested and cause toxic and allergic reactions. This is known as a “leaky gut”. Candida fungi can also slip through these pores and enter the bloodstream. By dwelling in various other parts of the body they can then cause allergic symptoms in the weirdest places. Hence fungal toenails, thrush, sinusitis, etc. They are very clever and adaptable and the more they spread and grow in number, the more they will inhibit the immune system; causing anything from chronic nose-colds, flus and hay fever to psoriasis, hypoglycemia, arthritis, diabetes and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, even depression. Candida thrive on sugary foods and by eating and drinking them people will actually feed the candida. People developing various allergic symptoms will rarely trace back these symptoms to their foods and lifestyle, however.

Fatal and Vital Foods For Dealing With Candida

Sugars

Bad foods can either cause a fungal problem or help exacerbate it, or both. Good foods, on the other hand, can help cure fungal overgrowth. So what’s good and what’s bad? Candida love a sweet environment. Thus all sugars are bad. Dietitians will often say only fast sugars are bad and slow sugars are good. Thus they will advise against white sugar and white flour and will advocate the use of raw cane sugar and whole-grain products. Sorry if you’re a sweet tooth and “carboholic”, but all sugars are out if you really want to starve candida.

This means you will have to wean yourself off:

    • sugar, refined or unrefined;
    • natural sweeteners, other than stevia
    • grains, refined or unrefined;
    • starchy foods;
    • sweet fruits;
    • pasteurized milk products;
    • alcohol;
    • coffee.

You will be amazed at how many products contain sugar and/or grains. In fact, you will find that many so-called “health products” are also loaded with sugars and grains. Life will become a little bit more difficult when shopping for food items and you will have to learn to read the list of ingredients instead of the nutritional information. Forget calories and, whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of buying anything that is labeled “diet” or “light”, particularly if these products contain artificial sweeteners such as the very dangerous neurotoxin and carcinogen aspartame and other related additives such as sucralose (Splenda), which are all made in a lab instead of a kitchen. These include flavor enhancers such as MSG (mono sodium glutamate) and other neurotoxins. The supermarket is not the best place to get food items, so this is a good reason to buy organic and to do it from local farms, if you care about avoiding food additives, pesticides and growth hormones.

Although honey and maple and agave syrup can and have been proven very beneficial to people’s health they are a definite no-no if you have candida. The same is true for pineapple, bananas, papaya and other sweet fruits – even caffeine and alcohol in small amounts. The point is not to feed the candida any sugars, period. The only exception is stevia, which is a plant that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, yet it is perfectly healthy for you. You can buy it as a tincture with alcohol (not recommended), diluted in water, or in its pure form as a powder. I recommend getting the latter but be very careful when using it as it is extremely sweet. You can get stevia on the web, just Google for it.

Starchy foods are not necessarily bad for you either. Jacket potatoes are better than peeled ones. That is because you are refining the potato by removing the fiber (peel), leaving only the sugar (starch). Sweet potatoes and yams are very good foods indeed, but not if you have candida. Once again, the idea is to starve candida by not giving them sugars.

Unpasteurized, raw milk products can be very beneficial to your guts and liver. It naturally contains all the probiotic bacteria present in yogurt. Why raw milk is banned and yogurt isn’t is beyond me. Think about it, dairy farmers are obliged to use pasteurized milk as a basis for yoghurt and then reintroduce the same bacteria they killed when they heated the milk to make the yogurt! Although commercially available yoghurt, including organic yoghurt, is all made from pasteurized milk it is still a product I highly recommend. The reintroduction of probiotic bacteria largely undoes the damage caused by pasteurization.

As you can see, the truth is sometimes somewhere in the middle. Simple sugars are bad, complex sugars are not. Milk lactose is one such complex sugar. The sugars in, for example, cabbage and green leafy vegetables are all complex sugars, or polysaccharides. They are complex because chemically they consist of a longer chain than simple sugars. Basically, the shorter the chain the faster the sugar and the worse they are for your health. Some natural foods contain very long-chain sugars. These foods, interestingly enough, taste bitter! A good example of this is mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake, all of which are non-destructive and healing fungi. Which brings me to the next subject.

Fungi

Just like there are good sugars, there are also good fungi. Eating ordinary mushrooms is not a good idea if you have candida because you’re feeding it its own kind. There are, however, medicinal mushrooms which are actually a great idea to consume, either raw or as a tea or stock or even as a supplement. Asian cuisine, most notably Japanese cuisine, has a long history of eating and preparing medicinal mushrooms. Examples of these are shiitake, maitake and reishi. Bear in mind that the longer you cook these mushrooms the more you are converting the complex sugars into simple sugars (carbohydrates), just the way pasteurization changes the chemical structure of milk and other foods.

Eating blue cheeses is also not a good idea if you have candida. These fungi are introduced into the cheese and, though they are tasty, are harmful to your health if you have a fungal problem. In the same vein, Brie and Camembert are also out.

Yeast

Another aspect of the anti-candida diet is avoiding products containing yeast and yeast extract. This means you will once again have to learn to read the labels. Once more, you will be amazed to see how many products contain yeast extract. In fact, yeast extract is very often a hidden source of MSG!

Not all fermented products are bad for you. Naturally fermented products are in fact good for you because they contain wild yeast which makes its way into the product from the air and consists of natural probiotic bacteria which are also present in your guts. For that reason, even whole-grain yeast bread is bad for you because it contains baker’s yeast, but sourdough bread is good for you because it is naturally fermented bread and the yeast bacteria use the sugar from the starch as food. For the same reason, bio live yoghurt is good. In fact, any naturally fermented product, as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol, is permitted because these are natural probiotics. Sauerkraut is fine, for example.

Detoxing

Try the above no-sugar-no-grains-no-yeast-no-fungi diet for four weeks. You will find yourself going through a detoxification period which can last the whole four weeks or end after one or two weeks, depending on how much detoxing you have to do. The first week is the worst. You will feel absolutely miserable, have cravings for sweets and junk foods, experience moodiness, near-depression, everything is possible. This is because the candida are demanding their nutrition. You must be strong at this stage and not give in. You will also experience windiness of a very smelly kind, a sign of detoxification of the intestines. You may have a ‘brick-in-your-stomach’ feeling for some time, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness – even vomiting is possible. Do not despair, as there will be a turning point where you will increasingly start to feel better.

After the first four weeks, you can then slowly reintroduce healthy foods which were forbidden before such as honey, maple syrup, dark, unfiltered agave syrup (the lighter variety will still give you a sugar hit), corn, (sweet) potatoes, yams, and various sweet fruits back into your diet. Because of the detoxing you have done you will now get a pure, unbiased and more or less immediate reaction from your body. If the food feels good, continue eating it but don’t overdo it. If it feels bad, stop eating it straight away. It’s that simple.

These food choices are very easy on the liver and guts, which means they not only help battle candida, but they are also powerful immune boosters. They will help you lose weight as well as help maintain your natural weight, ward off diabetes, arthritis, viruses, parasitic and bacterial infections, and promote overall good health of skin, bones, tissue, cartilage, etc.

The great news is you don’t have to sacrifice a thing taste-wise. In fact, by freeing yourself from the sweet and salty carb-rich foods our toxic food environment provides us with you are making use of all four tastes nature has provided you with. Once you discover that whole, living foods give you more energy and need not cost more both money-wise and health-wise, you won’t be able to go back to potato chips, burgers, cookies and other empty junk foods. You will find that your appetite will go down and you will need less food to keep you going for a longer time. And even if you do end up spending more money on good-quality foods, my question to you is: which would your rather pay with, your wallet or your health?

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