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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What’s The Real Scoop On Inflammation?

Most of our health issues have a direct “root” in “inflammation”. Inflammation is a normal response to any sort of tissue damage or even injury, sprain an ankle whats the 1st thing that happens, the body sends fluid to the area injured and it swells…
Inflammation also happens when there is a chemical/microbial issue . (toxin & infection). So bottom line it doesn’t really matter how the body gets injured, inflammation is going to be how the body responds to the damage.
It is the Latin term for inflammation, which usually brings with it heat, swelling, redness, and sometimes pain at the site of injury.. Take a look at some of the descriptions of illness like Appendic-ITIS , it means inflammation of the appendix. bronch-ITIS, inflammation of the bronchials, tonsil-ITIS, inflammation of the tonsils. Now go onto arthritis, tendonitis, bursisis, colitis, dermatitis, gingivitis, conjunctivitis, diverticulitis, sinusitis, etc. is anyone seeing a pattern yet?
Inflammation typically resolves itself and the injury is able to heal. when healing isn’t completed, tissues can become chronically inflamed. a slow process of deterioration begins which takes things to the chronic and degenerative place, like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity and even mental issues that seem to be beyond common place for folks today.
What happens when the tissues are damaged, the body releases something called histamine, which is followed by a release of bradykinin, serotonin and some other chemical mediators. What happens is these dilate capillary pores and initiate inflammation by allowing fluid & proteins to enter the tissue spaces that are damaged creating swelling. this is usually the 1st phase of inflammation.
The body then releases chemical messengers to open blood vessels so the white blood cells can reach the damaged zone. which causes further swelling. So at this point lets say if the issue happens to be in ones respiratory tract, histamine & leukotrienes will cause bronchial constriction & increased mucus to flush the toxins from the mucus membranes, usually pain receptors are brought to life at this point. We FEEL it.
White blood cells use free radicals to destroy microbes & cell debris. Healthy cells need adequate levels of antioxidants (which is why we should have a daily intake especially thru foods) to protect themselves from the free radicals. so when antioxidant levels are too low, healthy tissues are able to get damaged which then can allow inflammation to spread.
After the white blood cells have completed their cleanup job, is when the body initiates the healing phase. Cortisol from the adrenals is then secreted to shut down the production of the chemical messengers that mediate the inflammation process. Macrophages clean up the rest of the garbage left and a regenerative cycle begins as chemical messengers are released which stimulate tissue repair. (our body is beyond amazing, what a CREATOR we have).
When there is chronic inflammation, the body is not quite able to complete the healing phase of the inflammation process. It sort of gets stuck in the earlier phases. So the free radical activity in phase 3 causes more and more cells to end up getting damaged, causing the inflammatory fires to spread. Like a forest fire, it’s meant to burn up the dead material, but if it gets hot enough it will begin to take with it healthy areas in the process.
So bottom line what I’m saying: in order for inflammation to heal as it is supposed to do by design, there has to be nutrients available for the healing & repair to happen, if we are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and a horrible nutrient lost diet, and adrenal fatigue from chronic stress which shuts down cortisol production, then the healing initiation can be prevented from completion. We also need adequate lymphatic drainage to assist with excess fluid removal from the damaged tissues.

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STARTING POINT BEGINS HERE: 
Detox gotta take the trash out folks, change up what your cleaning with, washing with, change out the chemicals for something healthier, like Natures Enzymes,  ( click on highlighted item for more information) for me this stuff is like LOVE in a bottle, its an awesome cleaner, actually blends as a wonderful carrier for essential oils, can be sprayed directly on the body for pain (kicked tail on my headaches when mixed with some peppermint and Ravintsara Oil)  and the full line of NSP essential oils. ( click on highlighted item for more information)
2nd: Healthy fats… realizing the chemical messages that help to mediate the inflammation process are made from Omega 6 and Omega 3 EFA. We need more Omega 3’s to promote the healing process. I believe we are seeing more and more inflammatory ailments because more and more folks are being misled to reduce the FAT in their diets. problem is they need to of course reduce the hydrogenated fats, and increase the Essential fatty acids, that we have to get from outside sources. Flax oil, ( this comes in liquid or a capsule) Borage oil, Evening primrose, fish oils. Grab more of those.
3rd:  Get rid of the simple refined carbs. We have a bona-fide sugar addiction issue in this country. Take a moment go ONE day, and eat how you normally eat and yet remove ALL the bread, potato, pasta and anything with refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup. so for that to happen you have to read some labels, like read your condiment labels, salad dressing labels, coffee creamers, Most clients when I have them do this for ONE day, they call me and say “whelp, I actually fasted that day, cause now I’m lost, almost everything I eat has some form of simple sugar attached to it. Refined sugars and grains cause your insulin production to SPIKE, high levels of insulin stop the conversion of Essential fatty acids to anti- inflammation chemical messengers. which encourages inflammatory over reaction in YOUR bodies. So refined SUGARS and simple carbohydrates are not healthy. (note there is a difference between simple and complex carbs, take a moment and do some google searches to educate yourself on the difference your health will thank you for it)
4th: I cannot state how many of my peeps show signs of lymphatic congestion, pooling of lymphatic fluid in the spaces around the cells is one of the major effects of inflammation. Understand how your lymph system works, it has no pumps it is gravity fed, meaning it works better when the body is active with movement.. walking, bouncing (rebounder) massage therapy, even acupressure, I like to reach for Lymphomax and lymph drainage to support my body anytime I’ve had some type of an injury.
5th: Get the antioxidants going in the body, eat foods/fruits/veggies that are known to be high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Thai-go (IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE) ( You really want to order 2 of these at one time, especially if more than one person is going to be taking) this goes down easy, it tastes good so it was always easy to get it in my kids without a battle, mix it in a fruit smoothie if you like.
6th:  Since the adrenals produce the cortisol that is supposed to help keep inflammation under control. it makes sense you want to support those two almond-shaped wonders that set on top of both kidneys. Think about something, how many folks do you know that are currently taking “corticosteroid prescriptions”,,, it mimics this hormone our body produces.  Since Chronic stress, caffeine and sugar exhaust our adrenals and slow or reduce their ability to control inflammation, might there be a connection as to why so many are physically struggling with out of control inflammation related issues?  I am partial to Adapta Max and Adrenal Support, to support my adrenals, we all should consider supporting our adrenals as we all deal with on-slaught of stressors on a daily basis.
7th: Does NSP have some herbal remedies that can nutritionally help as natural anti-inflamatories.  If you haven’t be able to guess yet, as a Practitioner, I only use NSP herbs & supplements in my practice.  They have been in business for over 45 years, their quality can be trusted and they have stood the test of time.

 

So that being said;  IF Relief, Nerve Control and IF-C are all great choices, IF-C seems to help bunches if inflammation is acute (sudden onset symptoms) Chronic (means long standing been there awhile) Nerve Control can be of some help nutritionally if there seems to be pain coupled with inflammation and I have found it be super helpful, I used that with SAMe, when I had sciatic issues last year.
Bottom line is just about everything that goes out of whack with us physically has a ROOT in inflammation to one degree or another. so we want to nutritionally support the body systems that are by design meant to keep it in check and work with the body vs. just masking the symptom. But you have to be willing to do your part and change what part of your lifestyle is contributing to the issue. Definition of insanity is WHAT?
Ok folks, that’s my input for the day.. sorry it was so long,

Healthfully yours,

Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.

 

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.jodibarnett758.com

 

Resources:

 The comprehensive guide to NSP products

Prescription for Nutritional Healing 

Diet & Nutrition


What Are The Body’s “Energy” Generators?

mitochondria

Mitochondria are cellular energy generators that supply virtually all the power you body requires for a healthy life span.  There is an abundance of published studies that underscores the critical importance of the mitochondria to our overall health, especially as we begin to age. Energy-intensive organs like the heart and brain are dense with mitochondria.

Until recently, the only natural ways for aging folks to increase the number of mitochondria in their bodies were long-term calorie restriction or exhaustive physical activity which are hard and impractical for most people to pull off.

 

The enormous amount of energy generated within the mitochondria exposes them to constant free radical attack.  Which results in mitochondrial decay which is  really the a hall-mark of aging.

So how do we combat this mitochondrial decay? CoQ10, coupled with Resveratrol they are  highly potent antioxidants.  The molecular stability of these enable them to facilitate thousands of biochemical reactions in the mitochondria, without breaking down, for maximum antioxidant and bioenergetics support.

When we supplement with CoQ10 and Resveratrol, we are helping to activate genes that promote formation of new mitochondria and beneficially interacts with genes directly involved in our mitochondrial health.  These same genes also support a healthy body weight, normal fat and sugar metabolism and youthful cellular proliferation.

 

Mitochondria possess their own DNA, distinct from the DNA that is contained in the nucleus.  Unfortunately, compared to nuclear  DNA, mitochondrial DNA is relatively unprotected.  CoQ10 and Resveratrol because of  their  antioxidant potency, offers favorable gene expression to support mitochondrial defense.

VITAL PROTECTION FOR THE AGING HEART & BRAIN

heart brain

CoQ10 alone is an essential nutrient, meaning your body needs it to protect and support proper heart and brain function.  A growing body of research indicates that CoQ10’s unique nutritional profile supports heart health and cognitive function.

CoQ10 supports heart cell function in the presence of free radicals and promotes blood flow in the heart muscle.

LOWERS INFLAMMATION COUPLED WITH A Mediterranean Diet.

inflammation

A study described in the Journals of Gerontology Series A revealed that the addition of CoQ10 to a Mediterranean diet lowers a number of indicators of inflammation in older men and women.  Spanish researchers enrolled 10 men and 10 ladies who were not being treated for inflammation or elevated lipids.  The regimens consisted of a Mediterranean diet, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 200 mg. per day of CoQ10 , and a Western diet containing high amounts of saturated fat.

Consumption of the Mediterranean diet was found to be associated with a reduction in the expression of a number of genes involved in the inflammatory process.

*Authors Jose Lopez-Miranda and colleagues write that, “In healthy humans, plasma oxidative damage may be partially prevented by CoQ10 supplementation, which has been replicated in other populations, like psoriasis and coronary heart disease patients.”

Also, to note that folks who are taking any cholesterol medications, should be supplementing with CoQ10 because these medications will lower the amounts of CoQ10 in their body, which increases oxidative damage especially to the heart muscles.

Keeping our energy levels at healthy production is key as we age, so why not incorporate CoQ10 and Resveratrol into your daily routine?

One of the company’s as a Practitioner that I endorse is Natures Sunshine’s brand of CoQ10,  and Resveratrol; if you are interested, you can go to http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com and begin to improve your mitochondria energy support and function as well as supporting your body’s reduction in inflammation.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

QFA Clinician, Orthomolecular Nutritionist

Harvested Health LLC

*References:

  1. Mitochondrion, 2007 Jun:7Suppl:S103-11.
  2. Mech Ageing Dev. 1978 Mar;7(3):189-97
  3. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Jun;295(2):230-4
  4. Lipids, 1989 Jul:24(7):579-84
  5. Biogerontology. 2002:3(1-2):37-40
  6. Exp Gerontol. 2004 Feb;39(2):189-94
  7. J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan1:285:142-52
  8. Biochimie, 1999 Dec;81(12):1131-2
  9. Lancet. 1989 Mar 25:1(8639):642-5
  10. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2010 Jul7
  11. Age (Dordr). 2010 Mar20
  12. Ageing Res Rev. 2010 Jun 25
  13. Cell Mol Life Sci, 2010 Jun25
  14. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi (Talpei) 2001 May; 64(5):259-70
  15. J Nutr. 2000 Apr;130(4):719-27
  16. Extrez Gene: PARGC1A Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma, coactivator 1 alpha (Homo sapiens) GenID: 10891
  17. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1004 Nov;18(6)421-31
  18. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jun: 11(2): 119-28
  19. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Nov 16:363(2): 257-62
  20. FOOD Style. 2009;21:13(7)50-3. (Tokyo)
  21. J Gerontol A Bio Sci Med Sci 2012 Jan;67(1):3-10

 

 


Soothe Aching Joints…

DEVIL’S CLAW: devils-clawDevil’s Claw, translated from the German “Teufelskralle,” is aptly names.  This plant is indigenous to South Africa, this plant has fruits covered with hooks or barbs that are super painful for any animal that happens to be caught up in them.  But it’s not the barbs that are of interest to the herbalist.  The secondary roots of Devil’s Claw contain active ingredients that have been shown to reduce the inflammation of arthritis and rheumatism.

Besides inflammatory joint issues, Devil’s Claw has historically also been used to treat a variety of conditions:

  • Kidney/Bladder
  • allergies
  • gastrointestinal
  • menstrual

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY:

Peeps suffering from joint inflammation should certainly include Devil’s Claw in their arsenal of remedies.  Although it is not effective for everyone, lets face it nothing works for each person as we are all unique in our own physical way, but those who have found benefit find almost miraculous relief, less inflammation, less pain and increased mobility.  Since it is considered almost completely NONTOXIC, it’s well worth a try!

Physicians in Europe are injecting devil’s claw extract directly into arthritic joints, where it acts much like cortisone in terms of reducing inflammation.

SERUM CHOLESTEROL and URIC ACID LEVELS:

Other benefits that have been revealed from the use of Devil’s Claw is reduced serum cholesterol levels and reduced uric acid levels, which may be helpful for folks suffering with GOUT.  It qualifies as a digestive bitter which assists the body in dissolving painful collection of Uric Acid which contributes to pain and inflammation in the joints.

 

If you are already using other natural remedies for inflammation related issues like:

  • glucosamine/chondroitin
  • N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG)
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6
  • flaxseed oil
  • Salmon oil
  • Evening Primrose oil

I’d highly recommend incorporating some Devil’s Claw into your nutritional routine.

Remember, herbs, essential fatty acids and other nutrients should be part of a holistic health program that also includes nutritional changes, exercise and relaxation techniques to combat stressors which also contribute to increased inflammatory stimulation in the body.

Healthfully yours,

Jodi Barnett N.D.

Harvested Health LLC

http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc

http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com (high quality herbs & supplements)

References and Suggested Reading:

  1. Murray, Michael and Joseph Pizzomo. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 1991, Prima Publishing.
  2. Mowrey, Daniel B. Herbal Tonic Therapies, 1993. Keats Publishing.
  3. Weiss, Rudolf Fritz.  Herbal Medicne.  1994. AB Arcanum. Gothernburg, Sweden. Beaconsfield Publishers, Beaconsfield. England.
  4. Tyler, Varro E. The Honest Herbal: a Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 1993. 3rd Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press.
  5. Wren, R.C. Potter’s New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Grugs and Preparations, 1988. C.W. Daniel.