Tag Archives: anti-inflammatory

5 Natural Remedies for Your Medicine Cabinet

powdered-ginger

If you consider yourself health conscious, you’re probably fed-up of using pharmaceutical medicines to ease every little ache, pain, or skin issue. In addition to all the chemical ingredients that make up conventional medicines (good luck trying to pronounce the names, let alone spell them), using lab created remedies leave you open to a plethora of unpleasant side effects. The most common, and dare I say “most pleasant” include nausea and vomiting, allergic reactions, drowsiness, and insomnia. It doesn’t end there, some of the strangest drug side effects include (brace yourself) inability to hold bowel movements, amnesia, vision changes, compulsive behavior, and birth defects. Seriously, that’s just not right.

Besides the possible side effects, most chemical-based medications only treat one symptom, so you’re stuck buying a ton of medicines and hoping they react OK together. Then they sit in your medicine cabinet for who knows how long and the next time you think about taking one they’ve already expired (has anyone else frantically researched drug shelf-lives at 2am?). All this adds up to a lot of wasted money, overflowing medicine cabinets full of chemicals, and the increased risk of side effects when you mix medicines together.

The great news (that we often forget about) is that Mother Nature has always had our back when it comes to combating many common health issues. While you might not be able to replace all your pharmaceutical meds right away, there are many easy, affordable, and all natural (really natural, not natural flavoring natural) remedies that can help you clean up your medicine cabinet. And the best part is that most natural remedies treat more than one ailment – so you’re not buying one remedy for every symptom (plus natural remedies often smell good, taste good, and are less expensive than the factory made medicines).

Lucky for us, there are many natural remedies available, but the following are my top 5 picks you need to know about:

1. Ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy powerhouse. This root plant boosts immunity, relieves nausea and motion sickness, has anti-inflammatory properties, increases metabolism which assists weight loss, aids in digestion, improves circulation, increases insulin sensitivity, and opens up the sinus passages. Ginger is available fresh, in powder, and pill form (such as Wakaya Perfection’s Ginger-Eze.) You can make a simple ginger paste to apply directly to your skin, take a daily pill (a homeopathic doctor prescribed this to me years ago to improve my circulation), or try some delicious ginger recipes (ginger tea and cookies perhaps?).

2. Bee Propolis

Propolis is a sticky resin used by bees to keep their hive together and protect it from outside dangers. Because of its function, bee propolis has strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in flavonoids. Typically honey has trace amounts of bee propolis, but you can buy pure propolis as a liquid to ingest orally or directly put on your skin to treat minor cuts or sores. If you choose to take it orally (that’s how I always use it), it does have a strong taste so you might want to mix it with quality honey. I don’t travel without bee propolis and I always take it at the first sign of a cold.

3. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is one of my favorite refreshing scents. Of course, it made the list because it’s a powerful sinus and chest decongestant, encourages breathing by opening up airways, and relieves achy and sore muscles. It’s easy to use and available fresh or as an essential oil. You can simply smell the oil, make a homemade vapor rub (minus the petroleum), massage the essential oil into your legs or sore areas, or add it to a hot bath. One of my favorite ways to enjoy eucalyptus is a drinking a fresh eucalyptus martini (I told you natural remedies could taste good too)!

4. Dilo Cream

If you haven’t heard of dilo cream, you’re not alone. Dilo cream is made from the oil of the dilo tree – called the tree of a thousand virtues – which only grows close to ocean water in the Pacific and tropical regions of Africa. Dilo cream is becoming a popular natural skin remedy because its magical ingredient, calophyllic acid, is only found in dilo oil. Calophyllic acid enhances your skin’s own repair system – this means better hydration, firmness, elasticity and less appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also soothes sunburns, rashes, insect bites, and various skin irritations.

5. Garlic

Garlic makes the list because it’s easily available worldwide, full of natural healing properties, and it’s really had my back the last couple of years. Garlic strengthens the immune system, fights colds and infections, treats hypothyroid conditions, combats bad cholesterol, provides a good dosage of B6 to create new cells and ward off mood swings, regulates blood sugar, and keeps mosquitoes away. Garlic is available in pills, powders, and fresh. It’s great to cook with and you can use it directly on your skin.

Have you tried these natural remedies before? What other ones do you swear by? I’d love to have a conversation in the comments below.

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mailing_dilo1To experience the benefits of this amazing plant, stock up on Wakaya Perfection’s 100% organic dilo cream to use in your skin care regime! Visit WakayaPerfection.com to order your dilo cream and explore the pure Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger, too, with accompanying recipes like the Ginger Lime Creme Brulee or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Chops!

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5 Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips That Will Leave Your Body Feeling Brand New

Strawberry #2

As herbalist Kathy Abascal pointed out in a recent article with Spirituality & Health magazine, most weight-loss diets out there tend to focus on one thing (be it gluten, dairy, glycemic rating, etc) and are therefore ineffective. Weight does not exist in a vacuum, which is why isolating certain aspects of the diet for the purpose of losing weight simply doesn’t work. Achieving overall health through lifestyle changes is the only way to see the kind of results you want. And, according to Abascal, there is one extremely effective way of doing that.

It’s called the TQI Diet, which stands for “To Quiet Inflammation.” From her expertise in biochemistry and herbalism, Abascal discovered that inflammation was one of the most common symptoms associated with poor health and extra weight. Having struggled with her own weight issues and eager to make a change, she developed an anti-inflammatory diet plan that is responsible for remarkable results among its followers.

Here are 5 of the 10 tips Abascal shares with Spirituality & Health on how to reduce inflammation and start losing weight:

  1. Eliminate inflammatory foods, like those high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, as well as alcohol.
  2. Eat healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and seeds.
  3. Eat breakfast soon after rising.
  4. Eat consistent meals without grazing throughout the day.
  5. Eliminate bedtime snacking.

For the rest of Abascal’s tips, as well as her description of how she developed the diet and why it’s so effective, check out the interview in the July/August issue of Spirituality & Health magazine.

Have you struggled with inflammation in the past? What have you done to reduce it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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SH_JulyAug_CVR_lrgSpirituality & Health is a magazine for people who want to explore the spiritual journey and wake up to our capacity for self-healing, vitality, and resiliency. Read the entire conversation with Christine Northrup in the July-August edition of Spirituality & Health, on newsstands now! Get your first issue FREE here.

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This month, Intent is giving away 5 year-long subscriptions to Spirituality & Health magazine. To enter, simply comment below with your favorite empowering quote. Be sure to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win.

 

7 Reasons to Eat More Beets

People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets.  I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETS camp.  I still remember the first time I ate them as a child.  I wanted them every day after that.  Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.

1. Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.

2. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.

3. Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer.  The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.

4. Beets help fight cancer.  The phytonutrients–proanthocyanidins–that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.

5. Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.

6. Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.

7. They are versatile.  They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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photo by: redfox

Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips

 This week a study came out showing the likely benefit of aspirin in prevention of breast cancer recurrence.

 

While the study says the findings don’t mean every woman should run out and start taking regular aspirin, the study does inadvertently support dietary recommendations to help prevent breast cancer and recurrence by showing the mechanism for aspirin’s action: inflammation.

Inflammation is natural and beneficial in the body; however, inappropriate or chronic inflammation is unnatural and dangerous to the body. A great resource on the anti-inflammatory diet is Dr Andrew Weil and his book HEALTHY AGING.

The following provides some ideas for healthy dietary exchanges that can reduce inappropriate inflammation in the body.

1) Exchange your fats:

  • Eat nuts (especially walnuts are rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids) versus cheese – whether as a snack or on top of your salad or make my omega 3 pesto (Recipes for IBS) – so you trade a healthier anti-inflammatory fat versus the animal fat in cheese
  • Make delicious ORGANIC fruits and veggies part of every eating occasion – from tomato sauce to sweet potatoes to peas to kale and spinach and berries – create colorful eating occasions and when you choose ORGANIC you get a) more antioxidants and b) fewer toxins – the former which helps address the byproduct of inflammation (oxidation) and the latter which can trigger the negative effects of inflammation (i.e. chronic disease)

2) Cut the sugar, still enjoy dessert:

  • Added sugar creates glycation (a stickiness which occurs when sugar meets proteins) and this glycation deforms proteins – deformed proteins can trigger disease
  • Use fruit versus sugar – I make “iced tea” using white tea and frozen organic blueberries – an anti-inflammatory cocktail if you will; or make “apple pie” – baked organic apples with cinnamon, and crumbled walnuts – yum! or your own Omega 3 Chocolate truffles with Nuttzo (or another nut butter), cocoa (100%), cinnamon or other spices, and raw honey

3) Skip the “flavorings”, Use your spices:

  • Mother Nature gave us every flavor we need – whether its uber-anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric or spices like cinnamon, basil, and cardamom which help regulate digestion and metabolism
  • Modern food processing has given us artificial flavorings which the body doesn’t recognize, irritates our systems, and increase risk of inflammation

 

 

Easy Recipe for Tofu Scramble with Turmeric

Here’s another easy and healtful recipe that incorporates turmeric. You can brush up on the health benefits of the golden spice here.

TOFU SCRAMBLE

Prep Tim: 5 minutes
Cooking TIme: 20 minuts
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions

  • Press tofu to remove excess water and crumble into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan.
  • Add tofu, tamari and turmeric.
  • Sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add onion, red pepper, paprika, umeboshi vinegar and black pepper.
  • Cook for 5 more minutes or until mixture thoroughly heated.

Notes
Garnish with alfalfa sprouts or fresh parsley.

As always, let me know what you think and feel free to share any other tasty turmeric recipes…

Recipe provided by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Antioxidant Gold Rice Recipe

Now that you know some of the medicinal benefits of turmeric, I wanted to share some easy recipes to incorporate the healthful spice into your cooking.

GOLDEN RICE

Prep Tim: 5 minutes
Cooking TIme: 50 minuts

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  •    Wash and drain rice.
  •    Add rice, water, and spices to a pot and mix gently before putting over heat.
  •    Bring to all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
  •    Simmer for 35 minutes.
  •    When finished, remove from heat and tenderly fold rice.

Notes
In this dish, spices tend to dry out rice, so add 1 teaspoon ghee or 1 tablespoon olive oil as needed.

Recipe provided by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Why Turmeric Should be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Turmeric, also known by its botanical name Curcuma longa, is a common Indian spice used to make those oh-so-delicious curries. But did you know that turmeric also has a long history of use in Ayurvedic tradition for digestion and pain? Turmeric is actually related to ginger. The rhizome (underground stem) is the part often utilized for its medicinal qualities. The active constituents are a group of compounds called curcuminoids (most supplements are standardized to 95% curcuminoids). One of these, curcumin, is what gives turmeric its golden yellow color and is probably responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects. Turmeric is believed to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme; this is similar to the action of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

A comprehensive review of several hundred turmeric studies by James A. PhD was published in 2007 in Alternative & Complementary Therapies. He concluded that turmeric seemed to do better than many conventional drugs for such diseases as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and cancer. Not to mention, it did so without the side effect profile of the pharmaceuticals. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is funding studies to investigate the active compounds in turmeric, in an effort to better understand turmeric’s health effects in humans. Whether you want to add some warm spice to your food, soothe indigestion, or balance inflammation, consider adding more turmeric into your diet. Here are two simple recipes from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to get you started:

(1) Tofu scramble
(2) Anitoxidant Golden rice

As always, let me know what you think and feel free to share any other tasty turmeric recipes…

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