Monday, January 13, 2020

Herbs for joint pain

Herbs designed to help you eliminate the misery of joint pain

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joint-pain(NaturalHealth365) Arthritis is more than a single disease and is an informal way to refer to joint diseases and pain. There are over 100 different types of arthritis and related medical problems.  In fact, over 50 million adults have arthritis and deal with symptoms like joint pain, reduced range of motion, stiffness, and swelling.
Although many medications are used to treat the different types of arthritis, for individuals looking for natural options, a variety of supplements and herbs exist. Many herbs have been proven effective at treating arthritis symptoms like joint pain, particularly when combined with exercise and a healthy (organic) diet.
And, while it’s always best to review your supplement routine with a trusted healthcare provider, many herbs can help to eliminate the misery that comes with joint pain and additional symptoms associated with arthritis.

It’s time to take turmeric and ginger seriously – when it comes to joint pain

Turmeric and ginger are perhaps two of the most widely studied herbs for reducing joint pain, and both are hailed for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is a root of a plant that’s related to ginger, and it’s the curcumin in it that offers the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Multiple studies have found that taking curcumin regularly works as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and without some of the side effects
Ginger, another anti-inflammatory that’s related to turmeric – has also been studied as a treatment for reducing inflammation and decreasing joint pain. Studies have investigated its use in people with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
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This wonderful herb has properties that work in a similar way to celecoxib and ibuprofen and works to turn off specific inflammatory genes – making it an excellent pain reliever.  For example, studies have found that taking 500 – 1,000 mg of ginger extract can help to reduce disability and pain individuals with knee and hip osteoarthritis, and it’s been found to offer excellent anti-inflammatory effects in people with rheumatoid arthritis, too.

Additional herbs and supplements for pain relief

While turmeric and ginger may be two of the most well-known herbal treatments for joint pain, a variety of additional herbs and supplements show promise as well, including:
  • Willow Bark: A systematic published in the journal of Phytotherapy Research found that willow bark was effective at reducing joint pain associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
  • Fish Oil: There’s significant evidence surrounding the use of fish oil for reducing inflammation and joint pain since omega-3s help block many of the sources of inflammation.
  • Capsaicin: Found in chili peppers, capsaicin, when applied topically, can effectively reduce joint pain in individuals with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
  • Rose Hips: From the seed pods of roses, rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and disease-modifying properties that make them effective at relieving joint pain.
  • Green-lipped Mussel: Green-lipped mussel, which is extracted from New Zealand mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, just like fish oil. They offer anti-inflammatory effects and have been found to reduce joint pain without the damage to the stomach that NSAIDs often cause.
  • Bromelain: Found in pineapple, this group of enzymes has been shown to help reduce pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also was found to active infection-fighting immune cells.
It’s important to note that not every natural treatment works for every person, but these herbs do show significant promise backed up by plenty of research. It may take some trial and error to find the supplements that work best for you, but there is hope that natural treatment can help reduce inflammation and eliminate that miserable pain.
Sources for this article include:

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Natural Remedies for Strep Throat (Better than Meds)

Natural Remedies For Strep Throat (Better than Meds!)

Natural Remedies For Strep Throat (Better than Meds!)
If you’ve ever wondered why some people get strep throat over and over and over again, sometimes even just days after a strep infection was supposedly eradicated with antibiotics, here’s the likely answer as explained by old-time MDs who practiced medicine before the modern love affair with prescription drugs got its start.
Most people are far too quick to run and get a prescription for antibiotics and never give their immune system a chance to build any resistance whatsoever. Most never consider the use of home remedies for strep throateither.
Conventional doctors today do a great job of scaring people out of their minds about the possibility of rheumatic fever/heart damage from allowing the body to deal with a strep throat infection unmedicated. However, the truth is, the risk of complications from strep throat is very small for healthy people who have no issues with their immune system. Even WebMD used to state (before pharmaceutical industry pressure forced a change in language to only mention antibiotics) that strep throat will go away on its own with or without treatment in 3-7 days.
I’ve written before about the one and only case of strep throat I ever had.  It occurred when I was 15 and I am ever so grateful my MD father loved me enough to let me fight through it and win without antibiotics. The result? I’ve never ever gotten strep throat again despite repeated exposures. One exposure was in very close quarters – a college roommate had strep throat and I still didn’t contract it! What’s even more interesting is that none of my children have ever had strep either despite multiple exposures from friends and classmates.
I obviously built up a strong resistance to strep throat at a young age and have been blessed with never having to suffer with it again by allowing my body to fight through it naturally. It’s also quite possible I passed on my immunity to my children via breastfeeding, although that is obviously just an educated guess on my part.
The article I wrote on my personal strep throat story has invited both ridicule and applause over the past couple of years.  Some folks have angrily emailed me saying I am crazy and putting people’s lives in danger by suggesting that forgoing meds for strep is the best way to go if one is in good health.
For others, the article triggered an “aha moment” with more than just a few deciding once and for all to stare down the strep throat demon and win!
One such inspiring story crossed my inbox recently and the strep throat victim was none other than professional singer Martin DeBourge!
Here’s what Martin had to say:
As a singer, getting strep throat every single year is not only frustrating, but vocally debilitating! So when it hit again this year, and I felt it coming on, I decided a new course of action was in order.
I spent a day researching. The one article that really rang true for me was on your website about whether antibiotics for strep are really necessary. You talked about how you “muscled through it” when you had strep throat as a teenager, and how your body may have even built an immunity against it.
That sounded great to me! But, I am well aware of the massive pain strep throat can cause. Just swallowing fluid is excruciating, let alone solid foods. So I needed a sort of “healthy second opinion”.
I called fellow friend and vocalist David Katz in New York. I knew he was an herbalist, but most importantly, he would understand my plight as a singer needing to do what’s best for my pipes. He runs a website and has an herbal product line JUST for singers, so I knew he was the right guy.
He ALSO encouraged me to steer clear of the antibiotics and gave me a few suggestions to “get through it”.
I braced myself for at least 10 days of bed ridden fever, throat swelling and sickness. Like I said, I’ve been through this numerous times before, so I knew what I was in for. I didn’t clear my singing schedule though, hoping for the best.
To my amazement, the strep “spots” started clearing within a couple days. I had my voice back in 36 hours! I was floored… and convinced.
Martin kept a daily log of his strep throat home remedies adventure outlined below. Hopefully, it will inspire more than just a few others to take the leap themselves.

Effective Strep Throat Home Remedies

Martin’s holistic strep throat treatment consisted of the following ingredients which he consumed at a rate of ½ teaspoon every 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Use a mortar & pestle to mash up 3 cloves of fresh garlic (sources). If the raw garlic is too hot for you or you’re concerned about the odor potential, use homemade pickled garlic instead. Do not use commercial pickled garlic as it has no therapeutic value.
  • Mix in half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (sources).
  • Mix in raw honey (manuka honey is the most potent. Be wary what brand you buy as most manuka honey is fake. Get UMF certified 15+) to taste which has healing properties of its own (sources).
Martin also gargled with raw apple cider vinegar diluted with some water 3x per day (sources). Although Martin didn’t use it, adding small cups of bone broth to the regimen would have helped speed healing as well.
Note that some people like to gargle with colloidal silver, which also works well. However, note that this remedy will kill the good bacteria in your throat area as well as the bad, potentially contributing to more problems down the road from unbalanced mouth, throat, and sinuses flora.
Below is Martin’s daily journal logging his progress to a cure.

Using Home Remedies for Strep Throat: A Daily Journal

10/6 – Sunday afternoon – felt “something” in throat. Still sang well at rehearsal.
10/7 – Monday morning – “something” became more prominent and I began the research into what I felt was inevitably the strep bacteria attacking my throat.
10/7 – Monday early afternoon – visit to doctor for regular checkup and asking about an unrelated pulled muscle. He checked my throat (routinely) and said nothing. It didn’t matter if he had, I would have just went through the motions of accepting an antibiotic prescription, but not taking it – I had already made up my mind to do something “different”.
10/7 – Monday afternoon – found information on The Healthy Home Economist about beating strep with no meds. Followed up with a phone call to David Aaron Katz. Became convinced that I will muscle through it with home remedies. As per David’s suggestion, I started by sucking/chewing on cloves of garlic – 5 of them before the day was out!
10/7 – Monday evening – attempted to sing. Did not go well, highs were very strained.
10/8 – Tuesday morning – throat uncomfortableness, but quick mirror check didn’t seem to reveal anything overly red. Driving son to school is when I looked in rear view mirror and noticed two white spots. Strep confirmed.
10/8 – Tuesday later morning – started a cycle of garlic chewing with a mixture of raw honey & cayenne pepper every half hour (concoction detailed below). First two administers I experienced upset stomach, but became very tired and slept most afternoon.
10/8 – Tuesday afternoon – continued garlic/honey/cayenne mixture every half hour during awake times.
10/8 – Tuesday early evening. Headaches persisted, but still had an appetite. Gargled with ACV – that was a bit painful.
10/8 – Tuesday evening. Continued with mixture until I went to sleep. Noticed a third spot very far back and lower behind the tongue. May have always been there, but this is the first I noticed.
10/9 – Wednesday early morning – Awoke with a sore throat, a bit difficult to swallow. Gargled and drank 16 fl oz water with 2 tbs of ACV & Raw Honey. Checked throat under light, saw the same three spots.
10/9 – Wednesday afternoon – no stomach issues, and the sore throat lessened considerably throughout the day. Still uncomfortable, but I can definitely eat.
10/9 – Wednesday early evening – third spot undetected, second one lessening. First one still prominent, but definitely all good signs. Also, I noticed I am not all that drained and exhausted – which I attributed to the garlic intake.
10/10 – Thursday early morning – woke up with slightly less of a sore throat. Gargled and drank 16oz water with ACV & Honey. Throat under light still shows the one stubborn spot, hard to tell, but it could be a tiny bit less in size.
10/11 – Thursday afternoon – Was told by my wife that she can’t bear with my garlic breath another day… no worries, that third spot is definitely reduced in size. I decided that come morning, I will just do Apple Cider Vinegar. Besides, I had a karaoke gig this night and needed to not smell like garlic for the customers.
10/12 – Friday Morning – Spot free. Wow. Not a single spot, throat back to normal. I decided to slowly warm up the voice as I had a singing engagement to prepare for on Saturday.
10/13 – Saturday evening – voice 100%. Throat clean as a whistle. In all my years (year after year) getting strep throat, I have NEVER bounced back this quick – not to mention getting through it without antibiotics.
10/15 – UPDATE: I made a facebook post about this a few days ago, simply saying that I kicked strep to the curb without the use of antibiotics. I have over 1400 followers on my profile, so I certainly expected varying comments. One particular comment jumped out at me… “make sure you really got rid of it, it typically comes back within a couple days if you didn’t eradicate it”.
Well……… it’s not back!
Congratulations Martin on the amazing success of your strep throat remedy!  Please keep us updated on your progress, but my bet is that you won’t ever be taking antibiotics for strep throat again, and you may very well never even have it again!
Have you always wondered how to get rid of strep throat without meds? Have you ever muscled through it under your own power using one or morestrep throat home remedies? If so, what remedies did you use and have you experienced immunity to strep throat since?  Please chime in with the strep throat cures which worked for you below.
Want to connect with Martin?  These links below will point you in the right direction:

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Friday, January 3, 2020

Protect yourself from liver damage with phos[hatidylcholine

Protect yourself from liver damage with phosphatidylcholine

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liver-damage(NaturalHealth365) Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – defined as excess fat in the liver in the absence of chronic alcohol abuse – is fast becoming a pandemic in the United States. According to recent research, the national prevalence of NAFLD has soared from 18 percent of the population (in 1991) to an astounding 31 percent in 2012 – and death rates from chronic liver disease are on the rise as well.
Fortunately, a natural nutrient known as phosphatidylcholine is showing the potential to slow and even reverse fatty liver damage, while protecting against damage from a variety of toxins.
In spite of decades of clinical trials demonstrating phosphatidylcholine’s protective effects, this lecithin-like nutrient still seems to be relatively little-known – and underappreciated – by most people.

Essential NEWS: Phosphatidylcholine makes up 65 percent of all cell membranes

In addition to functioning as the body’s major detoxifying organ, the liver also stores vitamins, assists in the absorption of nutrients, secretes hormones and metabolizes body waste and toxins into water-soluble compounds to be eliminated.
Researchers have learned that most of the life-sustaining activities performed by the liver actually occur on the membranes of the parenchymal cells (known as the “workhorses of the liver”).
Phosphatidylcholine – which is produced by the liver – is absolutely essential for the structure and function of these cells.  Although the parenchymal cells are normally protected by antioxidants such as glutathione and cysteine, exposure to environmental toxins, viruses and bacteria can deplete these protective enzymes and jeopardize levels of phosphatidylcholine (PC).
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And that’s where the trouble really begins.  Protective cell membranes lose their integrity and develop holes, leading to leakage of vital enzymes and, eventually, cell death – which in turn causes inflammatory and necrotic damage to liver tissue.
In order to avoid this scenario, and to continue to carry out its life-sustaining duties, the liver must create new cell membranes – for which PC is a key ingredient.
In a groundbreaking German study conducted in 1973, researchers began to evaluate PC’s therapeutic effects on liver disease in humans – and evidence of PC’s benefits has continued to accumulate ever since.

Phosphatidylcholine can reverse alcoholic liver damage, study says

To conduct the five-year study, the team gave PC daily to 650 subjects with varying degrees of liver damage, then regularly assessed them through biopsies, blood analysis and clinical tests.
Participants’ liver disease ranged from mild to severe – and included fatty degeneration, aggressive inflammation and advanced fibrotic damage.
The subjects were first given PC both orally and intravenously – then were switched to oral supplementation at 450 to 700 mg a day.  The results were striking!
Over 50 percent of participants with mild liver damage showed “excellent” improvement – and even experienced reversal of fatty deposits.
In participants with persistent inflammation, PC returned enzyme parameters to normal after 30 days.  And, of those with the most severe and aggressive chronic inflammation, more than one-third experienced a benefit.
PC supplementation even benefited 17 percent of those with advanced liver scarring – an impressive finding in light of the fact that some of the participants had failed to benefit in the past from other treatments, including steroid drugs and milk thistle extract.
The impressed researchers concluded that PC was the “best single means” for managing liver damage – quite an endorsement!

Warning: Alcohol strips much-needed PC from cell membranes and triggers the development of a fatty liver

PC seems custom-designed to help protect the body from the harmful effects of ethyl alcohol (the type found in beer, wine and liquor).  These damaging effects include damage to mitochondria – the “power centers” of the cells – oxidative stress, antioxidant depletion and inhibition of the liver’s detoxification system.
In addition, alcohol molecules are metabolized to become acetaldehyde (the harmful toxin that is responsible for hangover misery).
Perhaps most alarmingly, alcohol dissolves phosphatidylcholine from the parenchymal cell membranes – jeopardizing their ability to metabolize triglycerides (fat) and setting the stage for inflammation and deposits of fat in the liver.
In fact, so effective is PC at metabolizing lipids that it is used in cosmetic injections to dissolve fat.  Clearly, supplementation with PC is a valuable tool in addressing liver dysfunction.
In an article published in Alternative Medicine Review, the author notes that extensive animal studies have shown that PC slows the progression of fatty liver disease and helps reduce liver fibrosis, or scarring.  And, the German study is one of many showing that PC’s fat-burning and liver-restoring effects translate into therapeutic benefits for human patients with fatty livers.
Additional studies have shown that 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day of phosphatidylcholine can protect the liver by reducing the leakage of enzymes, decreasing the harmful oxidation of fats, slowing membrane damage and preserving membrane integrity.

A liver “MVP,” phosphatidylcholine also protects against damage from medications, pollutants and viruses

Of course, alcohol is far from the only threat to liver health.
Over-the-counter and prescribed medications – including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics and benzodiazepines – also take a toll on the liver, as does exposure to herbicides, pesticides and electromagnetic radiation from smart phones and laptops.
Animal and clinical studies have shown that PC defends the liver against these, as well.  In one study, PC was even found to be effective against Amanita phalloides, the notorious “deathcap” mushroom.
In other research, PC helped to resolve liver damage from hepatitis A and B, while improving general well-being.  Note: In 20 percent of the PC-treated patients, the virus was found to be “inactive” – a truly encouraging result!

Support liver health with phosphatidylcholine supplementation

Phosphatidylcholine is produced in the liver, and is also found in some foods – including cage-free eggs, organic soybeans, mustard and sunflower seeds.
Clearly, supplementation could be a wise move for those dealing with fatty liver disease.
Natural healers may recommend dosages in the area of 500 mg to 3,000 mg of phosphatidylcholine a day. Of course, check first with your integrative doctor before supplementing with PC.
As a “bonus tip:” PC is not only highly bioavailable – with about 90 percent absorption over 24 hours – but it also enhances the bioavailability of other nutrients, such as flavonoids, that are taken along with it.
No doubt, researchers are hailing PC as an “effective and safe nutrient for liver damage of all levels of severity.”  And, with fatty liver disease becoming rampant in the United States, PC’s ability to reduce and prevent fatty deposits and fibrosis is certainly good news.
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Sources for this article include: