PAIN & INFLAMMATION: What Can Nature Bring To The Table Of Relief?

One of the most purchased products are ones designed to relieve pain and inflammation.  We experience both for a variety of reasons, but our nation is stuck in the middle of a crisis of opiate abuse. Opiates cover a pretty big variety of drugs, that range from legal like fentanyl, codeine and morphine to the illegal ones like heroin and opium.  You may recognize these from the trade names of Oxycodone, Oxycotin and Percocet to name a few popular ones.

The reason these are dangerous is that opiates manage pain by depressing our central nervous system.  So when they are abused and someone has become addicted, proper signals sent through the central nervous system can cause the key body systems to function at a very laxed state causing death.

When we have folks intentionally causing their own bodies harm to convince their doctor to prescribe more pain killers, leaves no doubt of the depth of the addictive qualities these drugs bring to the table.

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ARE THERE HERBAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES THAT “WORK”?

I’m going to cover 10 common herbs that have long histories of use for managing conditions that involve inflammation, redness, pain, swelling, muscle/joint injuries.

My first stop for these ailments should always be treated with RICE:

R – rest

I – ice

C- compression

E- elevation (depending on the location of the injury of course)

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List of Herbal choices:

  1.  Arnica: The flowers of this mountain dwelling plant are used in cream and gel form to apply topically to ease joint aches, prevent swelling and bruising at an injury site.  It also is available in Homeopathic pellets.  BOIRON GEL (click here), and BOIRON PELLET PACKS (click here)
  2. Boswellia: Is taken from the frankincense tree of Three Wise Men fame, this ancient remedy has been found to shrink the inflamed joint tissue that marks arthritis. (Click here)
  3. Bromelain: This pineapple based enzyme helps reduce inflammatory reactions resulting from injuries and arthritis and serves as a digestive aid too.  To fight inflammation it works best when taken on an empty stomach. (click here)
  4. Grape Seed: Is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce swelling especially swollen ankles associated with circulatory difficulties and interferes with histamine, the inflammatory agent responsible for allergic reactions. (Click here)
  5. Devils Claw: The root of this vine is native to the Kalahari desert in southern Africa.  It most often is used for arthritis relief but has helped folks with lower back pain as well.  works best when taken 30 mins. before a meal. (click here)
  6. Calendula: Which widely grows as a garden flower, is from the marigold variety and is used in creams/lotions to prevent skin damage caused by sun and wind.  Also to soothe insect bites and inflammation caused from poison ivy, oak and sumac. This formula can be applied topically and taken internally as a Flower remedy (click here)
  7. Marshmallow root: Original source of the candy which no longer contains any actual marshmallow; it’s slippery nature allows it to coat and soothe irritated membranes in the mouth and throat. It works wonderfully to ease digestive inflammation and irritation too. (click here)
  8. Willow Bark:  Everyone is familiar with aspirin, which is a synthetic form of salicylic acid. Willow barks primary components, unlike aspirin, willow doesn’t cause stomach upset when used for headaches, toothaches or arthritic issues.  It’s pain relieving ability is powerful. (click here)
  9. Turmeric:  Has gained much popularity lately, it’s bold yellow orange color is familiar to anyone who has eaten curry as the primary anti-inflammatory herb in Ayurevedic medicine, turmeric is used to treat arthritis, bursitis and tenderness. It is another powerful antioxidant that supports healthier circulation and blood pressure issues too. (click here)
  10. Ginger root: Has long been considered and essential item for healers as well as cooks throughout Asia.  This well known spice has been employed as a remedy for arthritis and any inflammatory health ailments.  It is also great for settling nausea, indigestion, morning sickness, car sickness and great for settling stomachs when dealing with the flu. (click here)

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There are unique differences between incorporating the use of herbal remedies vs. prescription & over the counter remedies.  The herbal remedies assist the body with it’s built in healing processes whereas the prescription and over the counter remedies are designed to trick the body or mask the symptoms giving a false sense of relief and healing.

So the herbal remedies in some instances may take longer with use for the person to “feel” relief.  The best part is none of them carry addictive qualities or side effects from taking them.

If you’d be interested in a more unique personalized nutritional approach incorporating the use of herbs and orthomolecular application.  You can check out my services at http://www.jodibarnett758.com.

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

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ALPHA LIPOIC ACID: Versatile Antioxidant

alpha lipoic acidUNIVERSAL VERSATILE ANTIOXIDANT

 

This is one of those antioxidants that is so versatile and beneficial for so many different body responses everyone should incorporate it into their daily supplement routine.
What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?   A potent antioxidant that serves multiple roles in our health.  It is essential for the production of energy, can be beneficial at helping with type 2 diabetes and nerves disease.  It has also been used to treat liver disease such as hepatitis.
It is also known as lipic acid and thioctic acid, it has equal portions of 2 molecules known to our biochemists as R and S isomers.  Most of ALA functions and benefits appear to come from the R form.
It functions as a cofactor in glycosis and the Krebs cycle, cellular processes that break down food molecules to produce energy, (which is why we are designed to get hungry to eat, the body needs energy at a cellular level) and it functions as an antioxidant and helps the body to recycle vitamins C and E and glutathione.
According to Lester Packer, PhD, of the University of Southern California, Alpha Lipoic Acid is the “universal antioxidant” because of its myriad activities.  The body converts some ALA to dihydrolipoic acid and even more potent antioxidant.   It also serves as a precursor to glutathione, which is the most powerful antioxidant made by the body.
Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with alpha lipoic acid can improve insulin function and may also lower blood sugar levels.  Considerable research has shown that it improves nerve pain and numbness related to diabetes.  Recent researchers have studied the benefits of alpha lipoic acid for other nerve disorders such as sciatic pain.
Other Helpful Benefits:
Liver: alpha lipoic acid restores the liver’s glutathione levels and promotes recovery.
Burning mouth syndrome:  Some 1.3 million Americans suffer from burning mouth syndrome.   ALA supplements can reduce symptoms of this painful condition,  In one study, 42 women were followed and 18 men with the burning mouth syndrome.  They were given either 200 mg of ALA or placebos 3 times daily for 2 months.  Nearly all of the patients on ALA showed improvement compared to placebo and 75% benefited substantially with some experiencing complete recovery.
Weight loss:  ALA has potential benefits in appetite control & weight loss.
Mental sharpness: a combination of alpha lipoic acid and acetyl L carnitine can lead to greater physical energy for some and mental sharpness according to studies.  Both nutrients are involved in how cells break down food to make up energy.

 

  • Overall Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid:
    Encourages energy production.
    Supports blood sugar levels already within the normal range.
    Protects the liver.
    Supports the cardiovascular system.
    Supports nerve cell health
    Supports the nervous and glandular systems.
    Enhances the efforts of other antioxidants.
    How It Works:
    Most antioxidants are either water- or fat-soluble. Alpha lipoic acid is both, making its protective powers available to all cells in the body. Subsequently, ALA is often called the universal antioxidant, and it can protect the integrity of the cell membrane as well as offset cell stress. ALA protects the cell membrane and promotes mitochondrial activity to keep your body and its tissues young. It also helps support the body’s natural removal of toxins. ALA directs calories away from fat production and toward energy production. Each capsule provides 250 mg alpha lipoic acid.
    Ingredients:
    Alpha lipoic acid and turmeric root.
    Recommended Use:
    Take 1 capsule with a meal twice daily.

If you’d like a more personal approach and help with your health, here’s what I do, I help strengthen the nutritional elements within your body, so your body has what it needs to fight illness and heal itself.

You can go to: http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc for a list of my services.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.facebook.com/harvestedhealth

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (high quality herbs/supplements and Essential Oils)