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Archive for natural pain relief

Simples: Ginger

Remember our moms reaching for the Ginger Ale when we were not feeling our best or feeling particularly nauseated?  While the sugar in the commercial drink was not the best option, Mom knew best when it came to the ginger part.

Most of us are familiar with Ginger and the culinary possibilities this herb spice offers–its pungent flavor adding flair to our recipes; But the flavor is not the only benefit of this flowering plant.  There are many medicinal properties in Ginger as well. 

Originating from Asia, this plant was brought to American in the 15th and 16th centuries through the Spanish.  It is now cultivated in tropical regions of the United States.  It is a flowering plant, but only the rhizome, or underground part of the stem, is used for medicinal purposes.  Being in the same family as turmeric, it carries similar health benefits:

Anti-inflammatory

One of the main bioactive compounds in ginger is gingerol and is responsible for the smell, flavor, and health benefits in the plant.  Like its sister plant, turmeric, ginger is especially useful in cases of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and colitis.  A study in 2011 found that a combination of ginger, cinnamon, and sesame oil applied topically helped reduce pain and stiffness in people with Osteoarthritis.  Ingesting ginger as a tea or in capsules enhances this effect by lowering systemic inflammation.

Antioxidant

Antioxidants are molecules in the body that fight free radicals.  Free radicals are compounds that are constantly being formed in the body.  They serve a positive function that is important to health such as helping immune cells fight infection. 

However, if levels of free radicals become too high, they can lead to a state of oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress has been connected to health issues such as heart disease and cancer.  Oxidative stress also increases the aging process and, along with inflammation, is one of the key causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Gingerol in ginger has been found to have antioxidant properties—those important properties that help keep oxidative stress in check.

Antibacterial

Ginger can also help lower the risk of bacterial infections, with a special affinity against oral bacteria linked to gum diseases.  Small intestinal bowel overgrowth or SIBO is another condition that ginger can be used as an alternative.

Antinausea

Ginger is highly effective for taming nausea.  Studies have shown ginger to be effective against nausea connected to motion sickness without the drowsiness that can occur when using over the counter medications; making it a safer option when needed for traveling.  Studies have also been shown that ginger may help with morning sickness.   While ginger is safe, as with any supplement use during pregnancy, always check with a qualified practitioner before use. 

Antacid

As of November 2019, 60 million Americans were believed to suffer from indigestion, causing recurrent pain and discomfort.  Many pharmaceuticals prescribed for chronic indigestion have now been found to cause certain cancers. 

Certainly not a desirable side effect when trying to alleviate discomfort.  Ginger is a natural alternative in relieving indigestion.  It is believed that one key trait of indigestion is a slower emptying of the stomach.  Ginger enhances digestion, by increasing digestive secretion.  By enhancing digestion, it is possible that the stomach empties sooner, reducing indigestion. 

Anti-Aggregation

Platelet aggregation is the clumping together of blood platelets that can create blood clots or thrombosis.  Blood clots can be life-threatening.  Gingerol in ginger has been known to help prevent platelet aggregation and increase blood circulation.  It has also been known to help support the heart and pumping action.

With so many medicinal properties and delicious flavor, it is easy to see why so many natural health practitioners consider ginger to be one of the best spices to have on hand.  Here at The HealthPatch, we carry ginger teas, capsules, and bulk ginger in crystals and powder.  We are happy to help you find the best for you.

How about a healthy Ginger Ale?  Here is a recipe from  Katrin Nurnberger of Sugar-Free Londoner using a sugar alternative, making it a healthier option.

Sugar Free Homemade Ginger Ale (makes 2 cups)

Ingredients 6 cm of ginger root peeled and grated Juice of ½ of a lemon 1 TBSP of powdered sweetener like Lakanto Monk fruit 2 cups of carbonated water

Instructions Peel and grate the ginger.  Place it in a muslin or cheesecloth and squeeze until you have around 1 tablespoon of liquid ginger juice. In a jug, mix ginger juice, lemon juice and carbonated water. Stir in sweetener to taste. 

Enjoy the taste and health benefits!

Health And Blessings,

Kim Anderson, ND

Herbal Help for Chronic Pain

We have many friends and customers who suffer constantly from chronic pain and yet question the side effects of many over-the-counter and other common medications. To address these concerns and recent news stories, we recommend a variety of alternative herbal supplements.  Many are for general pain and some focus on specific body systems.

A few of the general pain relieving herbs are turmeric, boswellia, devil’s claw and white willow bark – a natural alternative to aspirin.  Curcumin is one component of turmeric and we have one company who has processed a curcumin extract that is 500 times as strong as basic turmeric and that they guarantee will “stop pain now!”

Feverfew is an herb that works on the neural transmitters of the brain to help alleviate migraine headaches. Herbs like red raspberry leaf, cramp bark, black cohosh and blessed thistle help alleviate menstrual cramping. And other herbs like mangosteen, andrographis, oregano, wild rosemary, and even simple ginger help to alleviate the pain associated with inflammation.

Additionally, many dietary enzymes, including bromelain, pancreatin and papain, have been shown to relieve many pain symptoms, and numerous essential oils have pain relieving qualities. Notable among them are peppermint for headaches, tea tree for burns, and blends you can make for yourself containing black pepper, rosemary, lavender, and ginger for back pain.

These are only samples of the diversity of herbal aids for helping you cope with chronic pain. Take your questions to any of our local herbal supplement stores for further, focused counsel!  Enjoy good health and God’s richest blessings.  Gen.1:29.

–  For more information, contact Naturopathic Doctor Randy Lee, owner of The Health Patch at 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, Midwest City, at 405-736-1030 or e-mail pawpaw@TheHealthPatch.com or visit TheHeathPatch.com.