Issue: 76 2016-06-05T19:36:13-04:00

Curcumin Is Effective For Pain Control Without The Side Effects

Spices and herbsResearchers from Nirmala Medical Centre in Kerala, India, reported in the journal Phytotherapy Research, that curcumin is a potent pain blocking substance. Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. The bright yellow color of turmeric comes mainly from fat-soluble, polyphenolic pigments known as curcuminoids. Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in turmeric, is generally considered its most active constituent.

In addition to its use as a spice, turmeric has been used in India for medicinal purposes for centuries.

Researchers from the Nirmala Centre found that it works better than the prescription drug, diclofenac sodium, also known as Voltaren, at relieving pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a FDA “block box” warning on their label which state:

NSAIDs may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may increase with duration of use. Patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk.

You might have heard of how drug company Merck pulled its NSAID Vioxx off the market years ago. They were responding to the results of a long-term (18-month) clinical trial that revealed that some patients developed serious heart problems while taking the drug. The data that ultimately persuaded the company to withdraw the drug indicated 15 cases of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots per thousand people each year over three years, compared with 7.5 such events per thousand patients taking a placebo.

One of the FDA’s own scientists, Dr. David Graham, estimated that Vioxx has been associated with more than 27,000 heart attacks or deaths linked to cardiac problems. There is disagreement within the FDA over these findings, but they are still staggering to consider.

Fortunately, not only is curcumin as effective as prescription NSAIDS, but, unlike diclofenac sodium or other NSAIDS, curcumin does not cause any harmful side effects.

WebMD reports “Curcumin may help to reduce inflammation. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Other compounds in turmeric might also be medicinal.

In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments. But more research is needed.”

Other preliminary lab studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of skin diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on lab studies, turmeric and curcumin might also help treat upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.

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IMG_3391Arthritis Help

Curcumin helps relieve achy joint pains by inhibiting or reducing the level of an enzyme known as COX-2. It can also reduce the inflammation by stimulating the adrenal glands so that they can release cortisone, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone.

Research continues to show that curcumin is an effective and safe pain killer compared to pharmaceutical NSAIDs. It can be used to aid in other types of inflammations such as tendinitis, bunions, carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, inflammation of the tongue, gout and many other type of bone conditions.

Multiple studies over the years have confirmed the anti-inflammatory efficacy of curcumin, and more recent inquiry has identified RA and its associated symptoms as a major target for curcumin therapy. A 2008 review published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, for instance, found that curcumin is capable of reducing all the inflammation-promoting targets in the body, while prescription drugs are generally single-targeted.

Cardiovascular Benefits

It maintains a healthy heart due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The build-up of plaque in the arteries that lead to atherosclerosis was found to be drastically reduced with the use of curcumin in some clinical trials. It also aids in preventing blood clots by thinning blood thus reducing the chances of having a heart attack, stroke, thrombosis or any other cardiovascular diseases.

Curcumin For Cancer

Curcumin extract could be beneficial in many kinds of cancer such as breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer as well as prostate cancer. It reduces the risk of developing these cancers in people who frequently uses this extract. The antioxidants found in this extract have the potential to counteract and neutralize free radicals found in the body.

Curcumin extract stops cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body such breast cancer cells spreading to the lungs by ensuring the dangerous cells do not grow. Curcumin is also said to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumours. This process is known as angiogenesis. Angiogensis is a very critical step in the growth of cancer. More research is needed but it what does exist appears to be promising.

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“Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease, or fighting it.”

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Green Tea Health Benefits

Cup of tea with tea bag, isolate on whiteAccording to 12 new studies published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming tea on a daily basis can boost weight loss, bone health, concentration, problem-solving skills, even your mood.

The research found that sipping two to three cups over a 90-minute period improves alertness, attention span, and focus, helping people produce more accurate work. “One possible reason is that the combination of an amino acid called L-theanine and caffeine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, giving drinkers a shot of energy, without that jittery feeling,” says Julie Upton MS, RD, CSSD, a registerd dietitian.

L-theanine helps produce the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin. L-theanine is very calming to the mind and body. It stimulates alpha brain waves, the same as meditating.

Did you know that green tea drinkers have lower body mass indexes (BMI’s), waist-to-hip ratios, and body fat than those who abstain? It is true. Compounds called a polyphenols increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and antioxidants called catechins spike a person’s basal metabolic resting rate (the rate at which one burns calories while, say, watching a movie or typing on the computer) over a 24-hour period. “Green tea isn’t a miracle weight-loss method; however, the average person will burn 100 more calories doing what they would normally do throughout the day, just by drinking it,” says Upton. In fact, studies on green tea catechin supplements have found that subjects lost about three pounds in 12 weeks without changes to their diet or exercise routines. Interesting huh? I thought so. I’m a long time green tea drinker, but had never seen this research until now.

I recommend 3-5 cups a day, but not to late in the day as it may interfere with sleep for some finicky sleepers. For others in may actually help with sleep.

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ltheanineL-Theanine For Sleep And Anxiety

If you struggle with sleep, find it hard to turn your mind off before going to bed, try taking 50-100mg of the green tea supplement, L-theanine. This all natural amino acid helps calm nerves, relax your mind, yet doesn’t make you feel drugged, sleepy, or fuzzy headed. In fact when used during the day my patients find t calms them down, reduces anxiety, without affecting their ability to concentrate or do mental tasks.

I often recommend L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. It has a calming effect on the brain. For anxiety related disorders the usual dose is 50-100mg taken on an empty stomach, two to three times daily. Research with human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates its relaxing effect in approximately 30 to 40 minutes after ingestion.

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Clay Balls

Author Unknown

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay jewels inside rocksballs. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man so he took the bag out of the cave with him. 

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone.

Excited the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure.

He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he just threw it away.

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person by God.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.