Tag

natural anti-inflammatory

Browsing

ginger-benefits

After reading one of our many articles about the healing marvels of turmeric, you may have headed to your local health food store or coop to pick up some raw root. If so, you probably noticed that it’s very often displayed alongside ginger.

These botanically related roots are similar in many ways—they share the same strange gnarled appearance, and they both boast vibrant colors. Most importantly, though, they’re both veritable panaceas. Turmeric has really stolen the show in this arena, but researchers and natural health experts alike are finally recognizing that the medicinal potential of ginger is just as profound.

Like turmeric, ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Nevertheless, mainstream medicine is only just beginning to “prove” its effectiveness for aiding and treating a huge variety of ailments and conditions, as well as its efficacy as a general longevity tonic.

Ginger is one talented little root

Ginger is one spice that we recommend keeping on hand in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a wonderful addition to your cooking (especially paired with garlic) but it also has enough medicinal properties to fill several books.

If you find yourself nauseous or with an upset stomach, mince up a small amount (about the size of your fingernail) and swallow it. You’ll be amazed at the relief it provides. Yet this is only the beginning…

The most commonly used medicinal part of the plant is the rhizome, the root-like stem that grows underground. It’s a rich source of antioxidants including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones, and more.

Here’s a small sampling of ginger’s healing and life-enhancing applications, as revealed by both modern research and ancient practice.

It’s a “universal” microbial agent. Ginger is wildly effective at combatting all four major categories of microbial pathogens: bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic. It’s more effective than pharmaceutical antibiotics at treating staph infections and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and it can even wipe out parasitic worms with 90% effectiveness in less than a day.[1]

These are feats which no prescription drug can boast—and ginger accomplishes them all without harming your body’s cells, beneficial bacteria, or immune system (all of which are significantly compromised by conventional antimicrobial protocols).

It’s more effective than chemotherapy at treating cancer. As we discussed in more detail in a previous article, ginger is also an incredibly potent cancer treatment. Studies have revealed that it’s able to target both cancer cells and cancer stem cells (CSC’s), without harming healthy cells. And the efficacy with which it targets CSC’s has been demonstrated to be up to 10,000 times that of chemotherapy.[2]

It’s a powerful weight loss aid. Despite marketers’ attempts to brand any herb possible as a cutting-edge weight loss supplement, ginger somehow still managed to slip through the cracks. The irony is that ginger is a legitimate metabolism booster and appetite suppressant, and thus it’s a powerful and healthy ally for anyone struggling with weight management.

It’s a superior detox enhancer. Unlike conventional antibiotics, cancer treatments, and weight loss aids, ginger supports the body rather than taxing it. It does so by boosting immune function and supercharging your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms.

It’s even a natural source of melatonin, one of the most potent endogenous antioxidants and detox agents of all (it even has the added benefit of providing deeper, better sleep). Ginger is even able to detox radioactive materials from your body.

It’s a perfect natural anti-inflammatory. As we’ve written about in the past, inflammation is the root of nearly every disease. NSAID’s, steroids, and other conventional anti-inflammatories suppress the immune system and cause all sorts of nasty side effects, including severe gastrointestinal issues.

But ginger has been shown to be effective at relieving the aches and pains of acute inflammation and controlling the chronic inflammation that leads to degenerative diseases and conditions.[3]

And that’s just the beginning. The deeper researchers dig into ginger’s medical applications, the more they become convinced that there’s nothing it can’t treat. Studies demonstrate its ability to treat (and prevent) ulcers, diabetes (and its complications), gastrointestinal conditions, liver disease, menstrual pain, gout, nausea, heart disease, and more.[4]

If this powerful root isn’t already a part of your ongoing dietary or supplement regimen, you’d be wise to include it.

How to use ginger

Many of the studies being conducted on ginger employ isolated extracts of specific beneficial compounds. While the results of such applications have been impressive in their own right, the benefits of ginger are dramatically amplified when you consume either the raw root or a full-spectrum extract.

An increasing amount of evidence suggests that the full spectrum of a medicinal plant’s compounds nearly always works better than an isolated compound—in short, it suggests that Nature got it right the first time.

Nevertheless, it seems like conventional medicine will need to tinker with their “precise” and “scientific” chemical isolates for a while longer before they accept that the original, natural version of a plant’s composition is optimal just the way it is.

To that effect, try to include lots of raw ginger root in your diet if you want to take advantage of its many benefits. I even enjoy juicing ginger root or throwing a 1-2 inch piece of peeled root into my morning smoothie. If you want to try using ginger as a supplement, be sure to find a full-spectrum extract.

Here is an easy, basic recipe for ginger tea, a great way to get fresh ginger!

Easy Ginger Tea Recipe

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of grated or finely chopped ginger root
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • honey (optional)

How to Prepare It:

Place the ginger in a teapot. Add the boiling water and allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes.

Regardless of which route of you choose, this under appreciated super-healing root is bound to facilitate big changes for your overall health and vitality.

 


 

References

[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ginger-herb-everything

[2] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0137614

[3] http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125

[4] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/node/83545

Image source

aloe-vera

One of the greatest advantages that natural medicine has over allopathic medicine is that it offers remedies with a wide range of simultaneous benefits and applications.

Healing plants are a great example of natural remedies. They are able to heal many problems at once simply by bringing the entire body into balance. While medical science has certainly produced its fair share of marvels, it’s important to remember that our synthetic laboratory creations are still woefully simplistic when compared to the perfected creations that Nature has evolved over billions of years.

One such creation is aloe vera, a succulent in the lily family that’s making serious waves in the medical research community. It’s a healing powerhouse with the ability to treat over fifty different conditions at last count, and with no side effects to speak of.

An ancient remedy with countless applications

Aloe vera has been prized for thousands of years as a panacea, and modern medicine has only just begun to put it to use. It’s absolutely packed with nutrients (including vitamins A, B, C, E, folic acid, beta-carotene, and over sixty others), and is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, and more. Just take a look at this small sampling of aloe vera’s whole-body-healing capabilities…

Full-spectrum skin healing
Aloe vera made its original splash as an ingredient in a variety of skin care products, and for good reason. It’s incredibly moisturizing, and has also been shown to be incredibly beneficial for conditions like acne and psoriasis.

Conventional skin remedies are terrible at offering the full-spectrum healing that aloe vera provides. Acne solutions often just dry out the skin (a problem in its own right), which can trigger the skin inflammation that underlies psoriasis and related problems; psoriasis remedies often suppress the immune system in order to target inflammation, which inevitably creates more problems than it solves.

Aloe vera, on the other hand, is able to target many skin conditions simultaneously by cleansing toxins, minimizing inflammation, and moisturizing and rejunvenating the skin in the process. And contrary to the stigma about natural remedies, it really works: one team of researchers conducted a study in which it cured 83.3% of participants suffering from psoriasis in just four weeks.[1]

One study also demonstrated that aloe vera can reverse skin aging and reduce wrinkles by increasing collagen production (both high doses (3,600 mg per day) and lower doses (1,200 mg per day) were shown to have a beneficial effect).[2]

It even works epigenetically by “switching off” the gene that underlies collagen dysfunction in the skin.

Diseases of inflammation
Because aloe vera is so potently anti-inflammatory, its skin benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. As we’ve discussed before, inflammation is often called “the root of all disease,” so anything that minimizes systemic inflammation is bound to be a remarkably effective prevention and treatment for a huge variety of health problems.

The list of inflammatory conditions for which aloe vera could benefit is thus virtually endless, but researchers have honed in on a few in particular. They’ve found that it works wonders for osteoarthritis, both on its own and when used in conjunction with conventional painkillers.[3]

This same study mentions that aloe vera circumvents the stomach irritation often associated with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and other studies demonstrate that it can clear ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel conditions in as few as four weeks.[4]

Detoxification
As mentioned above, aloe vera is also a potent antioxidant. By scavenging damaging free radicals and thereby reducing oxidative stress, it significantly reduces the body’s toxin load and supercharges its detoxifying ability.

These are the properties that set apart truly healing plants from ineffective remedies: nutrient density, anti-inflammatory action, and antioxidant activity. When these factors combine to balance and detox the whole body, your natural “self-healing” systems are activated.

And if recent aloe vera research is any indication, the results of this process are nothing less than amazing. Researchers have found that aloe vera can prevent and reverse DNA damage,[5] fluoride toxicity,[6] radiation poisoning,[7] petroleum toxicity, and more.

And that’s just the toxic substances on which research has specifically focused—chances are that, by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation, aloe vera empowers the body to detoxify any toxin that stands in the way of radiant health.

Getting started with Aloe Vera

You kind of can’t go wrong when it comes to taking aloe vera—just know that the studies cited above all reported positive cumulative effects when the plant was taken every day. Aloe vera is easily purchased in topical or oral forms in most health food stores and pharmacies.

The plant is also very easy to grow (it’s a succulent, so it doesn’t even need to be watered very often), and it makes a beautiful addition to any home. If you grow your own aloe vera, you can harvest the “arms” of the plant yourself and squeeze out the fresh juice whenever you need it (they can also be juiced or added to smoothies).

Aloe-Herb-Cleanser-Hi-Res (1)Aloe Vera for Your Skin

If you are looking for the easiest way to use aloe vera on your face for younger looking skin you need to try this Aloe-Herb Cleanser from Annmarie Skin Care. The aloe vera in this cleanser not only soothes your skin, but also helps synergize the ingredients in the formula. The complete relationship between herbs, oils and aloe enhances the benefits of this cleanser, leaving your face clear and smooth.

>> Click Here to Learn More

 

 

 

 


References

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765459

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20548848

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20679979

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15043514

[5] http://www.idosi.org/wasj/wasj24(7)13/8.pdf

[6] http://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/effect-of-aloe-vera-whole-leaf-extract-on-fluoride-induced-pathomorphological-changes-in-soft-tissues-in-growing-rats-2157-7579-1000S13-003.php?aid=61638

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728063/

Image source

Your immune system is an invaluable line of defense against harmful foreign agents, so when it’s not functioning properly, the effects can be devastating. An increasing number of Americans suffer from autoimmune disorders—a condition in which the body essentially attacks itself.

To understand autoimmune disorders, let’s first take a brief look at how the immune system works. When a foreign agent (also known as an antigen) enters the body, the immune system marks it as a threat, and then releases antibodies and inflammatory chemicals.

Antibodies bind to antigens and neutralize the threat of systemic infection, and inflammatory chemicals keep the body on high alert until the job is done.

This is all well and good when there’s actually a foreign agent that needs to be eliminated; in this case, acute inflammation is a small price to pay for keeping the body healthy. But in the case of autoimmune disorders, the immune system misidentifies the body’s own cells as antigens, and produces antibodies against them.

Such conditions can be dangerous and debilitating, as the downward spiral of chronic inflammation and antibody production can cause escalating damage to many organs throughout the body.

Mainstream doctors claim that there are no cures for autoimmune disorders

Even more sadly, mainstream doctors claim that there are no cures for autoimmune disorders, and that the only available choice for patients is to superficially manage symptoms.

The most common treatment is the administration of immunosuppressants, which (just as the name suggests) suppress immune functioning. This route temporarily minimizes the damage that can be caused by the immune system attacking the body’s organs, but it’s a woefully inadequate long-term solution.

Suppressing the immune system is tantamount to shutting down the body’s defense systems, and therefore patients end up fighting a two-front war: one against their own immune system as well as foreign agents, to which a suppressed immune system is dramatically more vulnerable.

And besides, immunosuppressants do nothing to correct the underlying immune dysfunction—instead, patients are left in a fragile limbo of symptoms management, with little to no hope of full recovery.

But there’s a better way

What’s needed instead is immunomodulation, a holistic balancing of the immune system’s overall function, rather than the short-sided suppression commonly embraced by doctors.

While there are many natural remedies that can accomplish this task, one of the most powerful of all is turmeric. This may not come as a big surprise, given turmeric’s remarkable resume of healing properties, but mainstream medicine is only beginning to discover just how helpful this ancient, golden root can be for autoimmune patients.

Here’s how turmeric restores the immune system to balance.

You may already be aware that turmeric is one of the most remarkable natural anti-inflammatories on the planet. So, since controlling inflammation response is one of the keys to balancing the immune system, turmeric is a perfect match for autoimmune issues.

A mountain of studies has demonstrated that turmeric halts the production of inflammatory chemicals, and even that it modulates the signaling pathways implicated in inflammation.[1]

When looking at these mechanisms in the context of autoimmune dysfunction, researchers also found that turmeric even inhibits the activation or migration of immune cells and antibodies, thus effectively protecting the body against damage.[2]

For example, one study showed that curcumin (one of the active constituents in turmeric) inhibits the proliferation of effector memory T cells, an important immune cell responsible for the production of antibodies.

Best of all, turmeric works without suppressing overall immune function (i.e. it appears to stop antibodies from binding to cells within the body, while preserving its ability to fight pathogens in its normal fashion).

dfResearchers have already tested turmeric against a wide variety of autoimmune disorders, and the results are extremely promising. It’s been proven effective in the treatment of lupus,[3] multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders of the nervous system,[4] myocarditis (inflammation of the heart),[5] psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders of the skin,[6] rheumatoid arthritis,[7] ulcerative colitis,[8] and more.

Just make sure to use the right kind of turmeric…

Whether you’re suffering from an autoimmune disorder, or just want to keep your immune system in tip-top shape, turmeric is an excellent ally.

It has one drawback, though: its healing components are very hard for your body to absorb (this is known as low bioavailability). Using fresh turmeric root or powder is certainly healthful, but you need to use a specially formulated version of turmeric in order to enjoy the full depth of its benefits.

Even the popular practice of mixing turmeric with some kind of milk to make “golden milk” will only take you so far. Golden milk approximates a more advanced and effective formulation method called micelle liposomal which makes turmeric up to 185 times more absorbable by encapsulating turmeric inside a type of fat called phospholipids.

If you’re serious about combatting autoimmune disorders and other inflammatory conditions through natural means, be sure to add liposomal turmeric to your daily regimen.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569223

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20146265

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20828641

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21720000

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26066761

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12009331

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22833299

Image source


Summer is cherry season!

These delicious little fruits have long been associated with hot and sunny days, not only because of their cool, refreshing tartness, but also because they have an incredibly short growing season.

While they can be grown for a few months out of the year in sub-tropical regions, they’re really only “in season” for a few weeks in most parts of the United Stated. You may be inclined to think of cherries more as a summer treat than a superfood, but increasing evidence demonstrates that cherries offer serious health benefits—so stock up while you can!

Just one caveat, though: there’s a big difference between tart cherries and sweet cherries. Most of the fresh varieties you’ll see in stores, such as Bing, are sweet (sometimes they’re even labeled as “sweet cherries.”) These are okay in moderation, but do contain much more sugar than their tart cousins.

For real benefits (we’ll get to them in just a bit), choose tart cherries. Luckily, tart varieties are more often found in dried, frozen, or juice form, so they’re available more or less all year round. If you manage to find fresh tart cherries, you can also store them for year-round enjoyment. In this case, wash your cherries right before eating them (not prior to storage), as washing will decrease their shelf life.

Here’s some evidence that tart cherries offer more than just summer nostalgia.

Tart Cherries: superfood AND functional food

People have lots of opinions about what comprises a “superfood,” but there’s a few points about which everyone can agree. Superfoods must be nutrient-dense—that is, they must provide an above average level of critical nutrients per serving, compared to common foods. Ideally, superfoods should also be functional foods, meaning that they should have the capacity to address acute health concerns.

Tart cherries pass this unofficial superfood test with flying colors. In case you need some more proof, take a look at what research has revealed about them.

Exceptional nutrient density. Tart cherries are packed with a cornucopia of beneficial nutrients. Here’s a sampling: vitamin C (a powerful and underestimated antioxidant that boosts the immune system and scavenges free radicals), beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A that is immensely important for vision), quercetin and other anthocyanins (antioxidants that provide immune support and lowered cancer risk, among many other benefits), potassium, manganese, and copper (critical minerals in which many people are deficient), vitamin K (an important factor in calcium maintenance), cyanidin (another antioxidant with unique, cancer-preventing properties),[1] and ellagic acid (which, according to researchers, “prevents the binding of carcinogens to DNA and strengthens connective tissue.”)[2]

And you can get a significant percentage of your RDI (recommended daily intake) of all these nutrients from a single eight-ounce glass of tart cherry juice.

Tart cherries work remarkably well at preventing and soothing arthritis and gout

Potent anti-inflammatory action. Tart cherries also work wonders for inflammatory conditions, thanks to their rich anthocyanin and bioflavonoid content. These compounds inhibit enzymes called cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which are largely responsible for triggering the inflammatory response associated with pain and stiffness.

COX inhibition is one of the mechanisms by which NSAIDs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen cool inflammation too, but their use comes with many potential side effects. Tart cherries work remarkably well at preventing and soothing arthritis[3] and gout,[4] all without the ulcers, gastrointestinal stress, and other side effects of OTC painkillers.

Melatonin and Sleep support. Cherries contain high levels of melatonin, an endogenous antioxidant that powerfully supports the brain, regulates circadian rhythms, and lets the body know when it’s bedtime.

Melatonin deficiency is rampant, because its production can be disrupted by the blue light emitted by most electronic devices, as well as by environmental toxin overload. Luckily, researchers have found that drinking a serving of tart cherry juice in the evening increases exogenous levels of melatonin, and thus improves sleep duration and quality.[5]  

Natural endurance. An increasing number of sports medicine experts are touting tart cherry juice as a powerful elixir for endurance and enhanced recovery. One study found that Montmorency tart cherry concentrate improved athletic performance, and decreased post-exercise inflammation and soreness.[6] Subsequent studies have found that long-distance runners who drink tart cherry juice before marathons experience less muscle damage, and therefore experience less pain and faster recovery.[7]

Reduced disease risk. The list above is only a sampling of the potential benefits tart cherries have to offer. While disease etiology can be difficult to trace when viewed on an individual basis, the fact remains that inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiency are primary risk factors for nearly all diseases.

By targeting these key factors and supporting the body holistically, tart cherries reduce the risk of developing a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, dementia and general cognitive decline, and even cancer.

Get some tart cherry juice today!


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10075763

[2] https://www.cancertutor.com/ellagicacid/

[3] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246114.php

[4] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.34677/abstract

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27455316

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20459662

Image source

It’s becoming increasingly obvious just how healing food can be.

Nutrition still plays a woefully tiny role in mainstream medicine, but doctors can no longer ignore its primary importance. All the evidence points to one simple conclusion: poor diet and lifestyle choices lead to sickness, and the solution is to make better choices, not to carry on as usual and suppress the symptoms of disease with risky drugs and interventions.

Practitioners of ancient and traditional systems of medicine have known for millennia that food is medicine—now modern medical research is finally catching up with folk wisdom. The result is a veritable renaissance of comprehensive research on “functional foods,” namely foods that can be used therapeutically to treat an acute disease or condition.

Such work is revealing that many simple spices and everyday foods are actually tremendously powerful medicines, especially when used in conjunction with a clean, balanced, nutrient-dense diet.

One such food is horseradish, a root vegetable in the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables. This plant family is well-known for its profound health benefits—it contains popular health foods like broccoli and kale, as well as cabbage and mustard.

Horseradish hasn’t been as much of a hit in the superfood community, though—possibly because of its intensely spicy flavor, which makes it a much less versatile cooking ingredient.

But make no mistake: this little root may be even more beneficial than its popular cousins. For example, it contains ten times more glucosinolates than broccoli (these compounds are potent antioxidants). For this reason, researchers believe that horseradish holds great promise as an anti-cancer functional food.[1]

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s some of the health benefits that horseradish has to offer.

Immune support. Horseradish contains a wealth of beneficial phytonutrients, including isothiocyanates and sinigrin (powerful antioxidants that keep your system clear of toxins, scavenge free radicals, and even fight cancer),[2] as well as vitamin C (a well-known immune booster).

These antioxidants have even been shown to protect against mutagens, which can permanently damage the body and lead to many degenerative conditions.[3] Lastly, horseradish enhances the disease-fighting capacity of phagocytes, which are one of your immune system’s major lines of defense.[4]

Antibiotic activity. Allyl isothiocyanate, the oil largely responsible for horseradish’s intense flavor, is also a potent antimicrobial agent. It’s been shown to restrict the growth of bacteria when added to meat,[5] and it’s an effective treatment for urinary tract infections,[6] bronchitis, sinusitis, and other respiratory infections, and the common cold.[7] It’s even been proven effective against virulent microbes like Listeria, E. Coli, and Staphylococcus.

Horseradish is so potent that just smelling it can help clear the sinuses and bronchial passages of mucus, which helps prevent infection.

Digestion support. Horseradish is also packed with beneficial enzymes that keep digestion and elimination working optimally. These enzymes regulate bowel movements and stimulate digestion by facilitating the creation of bile in the gallbladder (and by stimulating various other salivary, gastric, and intestinal glands).[8]

Further, the naturally antibiotic compounds mentioned above offer microbiome support by keeping harmful bacteria in check and allowing beneficial bacteria to flourish.

Pain relief. The glucosinolates in horseradish are powerfully anti-inflammatory (predominantly because of their antioxidant activity, which cools inflammation by neutralizing free radicals).[9] For this reason, it’s been used for thousands of years to address aches and pains, and can be used to treat arthritis and chronic pain.

Researchers also believe that the hormetic stress response induced by the “heat” of horseradish may also explain why it’s able to quell inflammation (topical application of capsaicin works by a similar mechanism).

Cancer prevention. As mentioned above, horseradish is making big waves in the oncology research world. Studies have shown that many of the beneficial components in horseradish (especially its glucosinolates) help make the body more resistant to the development of cancer,[10] induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells,[11] and mitigate the negative effects of chemotherapy.

How to use horseradish safely and effectively

Horseradish is commonly consumed as a raw food or condiment (the fresher the better). It’s definitely an acquired taste, but just think of all the benefits you’ll enjoy! Most wasabi in the United States is actually made with horseradish (as opposed to real wasabi plant, Wasabia Japonica, which is difficult to find outside of Japan)—so if you enjoy wasabi on your sushi, you’re probably already acquainted with the taste of horseradish.

As always, find the ways of integrating it into your diet that work best for you. Grate it into smoothies and soups, add it to fresh juices, use it as a garnish or sauce ingredient, or blend it with beet juice to make an exceptionally energizing and detoxifying elixir.

Horseradish is generally very safe, but it’s best avoided if you’re pregnant, have kidney problems, or have hypothyroidism.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25684599

[2] Ibid.

[3] http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=rjmp.2011.116.126&org=10

[4] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1021136331466#page-1

[5] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1999.tb15075.x/abstract

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16618018

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17515295

[8] https://books.google.com/books?id=1f-lAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT1009&lpg=PT1009&dq=cholagogue+horseradish&source=bl&ots=gmH9qQsmTY&sig=tqOxMsQ4ZgMNdXDxlwJrDFfD074&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFt8a8wq_LAhXJqh4KHaWBDckQ6AEIKDAC#v=onepage&q=cholagogue%20horseradish&f=false

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26411988

[10] http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/little-dab-horseradish-could-help-resist-cancer

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25257586

Image source

frankincence

You probably recall the story of the Three Wise Men, who came bearing the world’s finest gifts for the baby Jesus.

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this story provides insight into what the ancient world valued most highly. Apparently, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were the cream of the crop.

Today, we still haven’t lost our fascination for gold, but frankincense and myrrh have fallen by the wayside. In the time of Christ’s birth, frankincense and myrrh (which is botanically related to frankincense) were more expensive than gold.

Frankincense is still sometimes referred to as the King of Oils—one of the last vestiges of its soaring ancient value.

So why was frankincense more valuable than gold?

Frankincense is harvested from the Boswellia carterii and Boswellia sacara trees. These plants grow very slowly, require meticulous cultivation to thrive, and can only be harvested two to three times per year.

In order to respect the plant’s fragile nature, farmers must only harvest frankincense by making tiny cuts along the bark, from which a milky sap drips drop by precious drop. The sap is then dried into beautiful, teardrop-shaped resin stones, which can be burned or refined further into oil.

This time-consuming process made frankincense a very rare (and thus valuable) commodity. But it was more than just scarcity that led the ancients to regard it as one of their most sacred and valued goods.

The ancients knew something about frankincense that modern medicine seems to have forgotten—namely that it makes one of the most powerfully healing essential oils in the world.

Medicine fit for a king

As evidenced by the story of the Three Wise Men, frankincense has been highly regarded for thousands of years.

It was traditionally used as an incense (the word actually is derived from the French franc ensens, which literally means “quality incense”), not only for its earthy, fragrant aroma, but also because of the belief that its scent heightens intuition and spiritual connection (hence its usage in Church Masses and earlier religious ceremonies).

Ayurvedic medicine, which refers to frankincense as dhoop, has used it for millennia to treat arthritis, heal wounds, and balance the hormones, among many other therapeutic applications. By the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties of this fragrant sap were already well-known. Even Hippocrates—often referred to as the father of modern medicine—highly recommended frankincense for numerous medicinal applications.

According to the Roman historian and botanist Pliny the Elder, the sale of frankincense and similar resins (like myrrh) to these flourishing ancient nations made the Southern Arabians the richest people in the world.

Now modern medical researchers have (re)discovered a plethora of benefits associated with frankincense and frankincense essential oil.

Antiseptic and immune-boosting. Frankincense works wonders against harmful bacteria and other microbes, including viruses. And unlike antibiotics and other conventional defenses against colds and flus, it does so without harming beneficial bacteria (in fact, it balances microbiome activity and strengthens the immune system).[1]

Next time you feel a cold or flu coming on, try putting a couple drops of high-quality frankincense essential oil in a cloth and inhaling the vapor deeply.

House cleaning. These same antiseptic and astringent properties make frankincense an excellent natural replacement for chemical cleaning products. It even works as a deodorizer at the same time. Just add a few drops of frankincense essential oil to water (or vinegar, for heavy duty cleaning jobs).

Stress and anxiety relief. Inhaling the aroma of frankincense essential oil has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, calm anxiety, and even ameliorate depression. Add a couple drops of the oil to a hot bath next time you need to shed your anxiety and balance your emotions.

Hormone balance. Studies have shown that frankincense also is profoundly balancing for the endocrine and reproductive systems.[2] It can be especially helpful for women seeking hormonal balance—it calms the symptoms of menstruation and menopause by regulating estrogen production, and can even relieve cramps, nausea, constipation, headaches, and other unpleasant symptoms of endocrine imbalance.

Heals inflammatory conditions. Frankincense inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, and thus helps heal a wide variety of conditions associated with chronic inflammation, like arthritis, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune dysfunctions, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.[3]

And this only scratches the surface of this remarkable substance’s benefits.

When trying out these applications of frankincense, just remember that a little goes a long way. It’s immensely powerful medicine and should be treated as such. Don’t take more than a few drops at a time internally, and stick with inhaling or infusing it unless absolutely necessary. Always seek out 100% pure essential oil, and vet your soures.

Taking this advice to heart, you can safely enjoy the many of benefits of frankincense, and experience why this resin has captivated civilization for thousands of years.  

 


References 

 [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25006348

[2] http://ci.nii.ac.jp/els/110006366913.pdf?id=ART0008362636&type=pdf&lang=en&host=cinii&order_no=&ppv_type=0&lang_sw=&no=1479961659&cp=

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924999/

Image source

 

turmeric-for-asthma

Disease is often regarded as something complicated—it seems we secretly believe this is why everyone is so sick, and getting sicker.

It certainly is true that the full sophistication of the body and its afflictions are far beyond the reach of our current understanding (despite the arrogance of some scientists). This doesn’t mean that the underlying causes of disease can’t be thought of simply, though. By dissecting and deconstructing everything, modern medicine convolutes each part, and loses the simplicity of the whole.

One prominent example of a simple medical principle that is too often ignored is the role inflammation plays in disease.

Inflammation is often referred to as “the root of all disease.” This may seem like hyperbole, but it’s surprisingly close to the truth—experts now acknowledge that nearly every disease ever studied can be correlated with chronic inflammation in some way (as opposed to acute inflammation, which is a natural and necessary defense mechanism).

Because chronic inflammation is the body’s own immune response gone haywire, it provides an elegant illustration of how disease is simply a sign of imbalance in the body. Healing is therefore less about tweaking and “fixing” individual pieces, and more about bringing the body back into overall alignment.

This is not to say that targeting specific health problems isn’t worthwhile, but only that we need to return to natural medicines and practices that serve particular therapeutic functions while balancing the body as a whole system. On the contrary, pharmaceuticals and invasive medical procedures target one problem, only to create others in the form of side effects and complications.

One natural medicine that strikes this balance with almost miraculous efficacy is turmeric, a culinary spice turned panacea that happens to be one of the most remarkable anti-inflammatory agents on the planet.

If you’ve been following the buzz within the natural health community for long, you may already be aware of turmeric’s many talents. Thousands of studies attest to turmeric’s healing mechanisms, which have been proven useful for the treatment and prevention of depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Candida, obesity, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and many other diseases and conditions.

While there are individual effects and mechanisms that explain how turmeric works its magic for each of these diseases, its anti-inflammatory power is the fundamental reason why it’s able to combat so many different health issues.

And now researchers have discovered yet another inflammation-linked condition that turmeric heals: asthma and other bronchial issues.

Breathe easy with turmeric

Scientists have long understood that asthma is brought on by chronically inflamed airways—figuring out a way to deal with this underlying inflammation has been more confounding.

Traditional treatment of asthma usually takes the form of inhaled corticosteroids, which lower bronchial inflammation only for short periods of time. Inhalers are the equivalent of continually taking painkillers rather than healing the underlying inflammation causing the pain. Furthermore, corticosteroid use comes with a long list of side effects, including mouth infection, suppressed immune function, increased risk of cataracts and osteoporosis, and severe allergic reactions.

These side effects are simply accepted as a matter of course (even though inhalers don’t even heal asthma in the long-term), because asthma is considered a lifelong disease with no cure.[1]

Turmeric is beginning to prove this fatalistic belief wrong. The wide-ranging successes showcased in other turmeric studies have made the mainstream medical community much more willing to test it as a treatment for other inflammatory diseases. Many scientists now even admit that healing chronic inflammation with functional foods and lifestyle modification is a powerful approach to treating illness.[2]

One prominent study implemented curcumin (the primary anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric) as an “add-on” therapy for bronchial asthma. Participants who took 500 mg of curcumin twice daily (in addition to their conventional asthma medication) experienced a greater improvement of airway obstruction, and the add-on produced no side effects.[3]

While studies on asthma and turmeric have been going on since the 1990’s (when researchers discovered that turmeric clears phlegm buildup, alleviates coughing, and prevents asthmatic reactions),[4] studies have only recently returned to the concept that turmeric could be a replacement for (not just an add-on to) conventional asthma medications. The first study cited above did not report that curcumin had “clinical efficacy,” because it was framing curcumin as a sort of amplifier for the main treatment (corticosteroids) rather than a primary treatment itself.

But other recent studies have demonstrated the directly asthma-healing effects of turmeric, including its ability to decrease acute airway inflammation,[5] accumulation of inflammatory cells, smooth muscle thickening, epithelial lining abnormalities, mucus secretion, and other markers of chronic asthma.[6]

Trying turmeric for yourself

If you suffer from asthma, recurring bronchitis, or other respiratory issues, turmeric could be a great ally for you.

Just make sure that you seek out a turmeric product that overcomes curcumin’s low absorbability, such as Purathrive’s Liposomal Turmeric with Fulvic Acid. The folks at Purathrive have pulled out all the stops and created a product of unparalleled potency and effectiveness, thanks to its liposomal delivery, full-spectrum formulation, and fulvic acid content (which helps immensely with nutrient absorption).

Always remember that asthmatic reactions can be severe and life-threatening events. Don’t stop taking your conventional medication without talking to your doctor first. Pay attention to what your body needs; making the switch to natural medicines is a special and empowering process, but it must be done with common sense and great care.

 


References

[1] http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma/treatment

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16320856

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4190737/

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11599365

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24706026

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24746751

Image source

melatonin-migraine

The mainstream aversion to natural medicine runs deep. The successes of modern medical science are certainly not to be underestimated, but there are many shortcomings and failures as well…

Our medical system is overrun with corruption, and profits are prioritized more highly than real innovation. For this reason (among many others), countless individuals bear the burden of drugs and interventions that often create more problems than they solve—all so that the status quo can be preserved for those who profit richly from it.

And there’s a deeper problem with conventional medicine too: it creates more problems than is solves. Antibiotics, the poster child of allopathic medicine, are breeding antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria, chemotherapy kills more healthy cells than cancer cells, antidepressants completely miss the point of what actually causes depression…and so on.

All of this amounts to a simple and unfortunate truth: many pharmaceuticals just aren’t particularly effective, and even when they are, their usage causes a dizzying array of side effects.

Natural substances are simply more sophisticated healing tools, and they carry out their healing without damaging side effects.

Recent research on migraine prevention highlights this concept perfectly.

Melatonin vs. migraine drugs

Despite the desperate and debilitating nature of migraine (its ranked as the eighth most disabling illness in the world), conventional medicine has yet to develop an effective solution for this neurological condition, which is the third most prevalent illness in the world.[1]

The leading migraine pharmaceutical, amitriptyline, is far from perfect—it’s notoriously inconsistent in its ability to prevent the onset of migraine headaches, and it carries a huge list of side effects.

These side effects—some of which can be as debilitating as migraines—include confusion and disorientation, hallucinations, dizziness and lightheadedness, erratic thoughts and behaviors, seizures, racing heartbeat, nausea, chest pain radiating down the arms and into the head, painful urination, severe constipation, sudden weakness or feelings of illness (complete with fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, swollen gums, and even trouble swallowing), blackened mouth and tongue, itchiness and rashes, changes in weight or appetite, breast swelling in both genders, decreased libido or impotence, and even more worrying symptoms.[2]

Doesn’t this sound much more like the effects of a poison than those of a medicine?

Luckily, researchers have discovered that melatonin, a natural chemical produced within the brain, is more effective than amitriptyline for preventing migraines—and it does so with zero side effects.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (the gold standard of rigorous medical research), researchers pitted 25 mg of amitriptyline against 3 mg of melatonin. Despite the drastically smaller dosage of melatonin, it outperformed amitriptyline, particularly “in the percentage of patients with a greater than 50% reduction in migraine frequency.”[3]

The researchers also reported that melatonin was “more tolerable” than amitriptyline—a diplomatic way of noting that patients given melatonin weren’t made to endure the litany of side effects brought on by Big Pharma’s solution to migraines.

Why you need more melatonin in your life

This study is a huge win for natural medicine.

Advocates of conventional medicine would like us to continue believing that “natural remedies just don’t work—the side effects that sometimes accompany the usage of pharmaceuticals are a small price to pay for their effectiveness.” But data like this demonstrates that all the doubting and demeaning of natural medicine just isn’t based in fact.

Sure, the natural health world is full of snake oil salesmen and products that don’t deliver what they claim—but the fact remains that Nature has provided us with an abundance of natural medicines that perform on par with pharmaceuticals without any deleterious side effects.

And melatonin in particular is good for more than just migraines (though, if you suffer from migraines, this single benefit is surely enough to make it feel like a godsend). As we discussed in another article, melatonin also balances circadian rhythms and helps you to go to sleep and stay asleep, calms chronic inflammation, boosts the immune system, and is one of the most powerful brain antioxidants known to man.

How to Optimize Your Melatonin Levels

  1. Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. These devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Normally your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 and 10 pm, and these devices emit light that may stifle that process.
  2. Make sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. If you are in darkness all day long, it can’t appreciate he difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
  3. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the slightest bit of light in your bedroom can disrupt your biological clock and your pineal gland’s melatonin production. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep, so cover your radio up at night or get rid of it altogether. Move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. You may want to cover your windows with drapes or blackout shades.
  4. Install a low-wattage yellow, orange or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light inthese bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose.
  5. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms).
  6. Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready to sleep.
  7. Get some sun in the morning, if possible. Your circadian system needs bright light to reset itself. Ten to 15 minutes of morning sunlight will send a strong message to your internal clock that day has arrived, making it less likely to be confused by weaker light signals during the night. More sunlight exposure is required as you age.
  8. Be mindful of electromagnetic fields in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well.

Should You Supplement with Melatonin?

Supplementation may be beneficial but it is BETTER to optimize your body’s own melatonin production!  This way you will get the “perfect” melatonin dosage for you, because your body will produce just the right dose!

If you do need to supplement,  keep in mind that only a very small dose is required — typically 0.25mg or 0.5mg to start with, and you can adjust it up from there. Taking higher doses, such as 3 mg, can sometimes make you more wakeful instead of sleepier, so adjust your dose carefully.

Do THIS 1-hr before bed to get PERFECT sleep & balance your hormones (Cuts your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc)


References

[1] https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/

[2] http://www.drugs.com/amitriptyline.html

[3] http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2016/05/10/jnnp-2016-313458.long

Image source

olive-oil-fake

The wide-ranging health benefits of olive oil hardly even need to be mentioned. It still remains one of the healthiest oils in the world, even as coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and other “superfood oils” continue to increase in popularity.

Olive oil is packed with beneficial nutrients, including monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which serve as the perfect fuel for regulating appetite and metabolism, provide you with longer-burning, more sustainable energy, and help with weight loss.

Remember: fats are incredibly healthy for you, as long as you choose the right ones.

Here’s a list of olive oil’s other incredible benefits…

Natural anti-inflammatory. Olive oil battles inflammation on every level. Its bevy of nutrients soothe chronic inflammation, and oleocanthal modulates and balances the immune system (and thus controls the inflammation associated with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis).

Frequent consumption of olive oil therefore reduces your risk of a vast array of inflammatory diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and even cancer (more on that below).

Antioxidant. Olive oil contains more than thirty free-radical scavenging powerhouses called phenols (these beneficial compounds also contribute to its anti-inflammatory effect). Polyunsaturated fats, on the other hand, actually cause oxidative stress because of how easily they rancidify and break down into free radicals. What you eat should support your body, not force it to work harder just to maintain its equilibrium.

Immune boosting. Quelling systemic inflammation of minimizing oxidative stress is the perfect one-two punch that’s needed in order to optimize immune function. Thus, by bringing these two aspects of bodily function into balance, olive oil empowers the body to resist disease and aging.

Anti-cancer. Olive oil not only wards off cancer by balancing overall health in the ways mentioned above, but also fights cancer cells directly—and with astonishing efficacy. Researchers at three different prestigious institutions observed that oleocanthal, when applied to various types of cancer cells, begin to break them down within a half hour, and render them completely non-viable within twenty-four hours.[1] 

Cardio-protective. Due to their ability to lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), oxidative stress, and all sorts of other markers of heart disease, the polyphenols in olive oil have been conclusively shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Even the FDA admits that “eating about 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”[2] 

Best of all, olive oil is available almost everywhere, often at far lower prices than coconut oil or other healthy alternatives to “vegetable” oil, canola oil, and other polyunsaturated fats (which should be avoided at all costs).

So what’s not to love about olive oil? Just one thing…

Most olive oil is fake

That’s right: the majority of imported olive oil is either cut with cheaper, lower-quality oils, or doesn’t even contain olive oil at all.

When researchers at the University of California, Davis tested 124 samples from eight major olive oil brands, a whopping 70% of them failed.[3]

They reported what the samples really contained: pure olive oil cut with extremely low-quality olive oil (this was the best case scenario in the samples that failed), olive oil adulterated with canola or colza oils, and even sunflower and soybean oils with added chlorophyll (to give it the slightly green tint of premium olive oil).[4]

So why would olive oil producers stoop so low?

The answer is simple: doing so is highly lucrative. Making truly pure olive oil is difficult, expensive, and labor-intensive; it’s much better for business to master the art of cooking up its fake counterpart. And these manufacturers certainly are masters of their nefarious craft—most experts and connoisseurs can’t even taste the difference between real and fake olive oil (so don’t feel bad for being fooled all this time).

It’s a well-known fact that the Mafia is behind many of these operations, and that they’ve been taking their unfair share of the $1.5 billion olive oil market for quite some time.

The sinister force behind the counterfeit olive oil flooding US stores turns out to be the Mafia. Wielding an international reach, the Mob has infiltrated the olive oil industry from top to bottom.

Their scam is so massive and widespread—and thus so hard to stop—because the counterfeiting of olive oil yields the mobsters even higher profit margins than cocaine smuggling, with few of the risks.

Thanks to the health benefits and soaring popularity of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil sales are booming, and the Mob has moved in.

They package their fake olive oils in fancy bottles and cans that look perfectly authentic. And getting these fakes onto supermarket shelves across America is surprisingly easy.

It’s still very important to take precautions when it comes to buying olive oil, for the sake of your health (and for the sake of not supporting mobsters).   

How to ensure you’re getting the benefits of real olive oil

If you’re curious about whether your current favorite brand of olive oil is fake, be sure to check out the UC Davis study cited in the references section. If your brand wasn’t one that they analyzed, there’s a couple ways in which you can check its purity. Just know that these methods are not fail-proof, and that it’s far preferable simply to source guaranteed-pure olive to begin with (more on that in a bit).

Put your olive oil in the fridge. If it’s pure, it should become very thick and cloudy after while (some high-wax oils will even begin to solidify). If your olive oil has been cut with polyunsaturated fats or other substances, this thickening won’t occur. This test will only reveal if there’s no olive oil in the product, though—adulterated products may still become cloudy even if they only contain a small amount of low-quality olive oil.

Light a lamp with it. Pure olive oil is actually flammable, and should be able to keep the wick of an oil lamp burning. Give it a try, but again, remember that even an adulterated product could pass this test if it contains enough olive oil.

The Easiest Way We Know to Avoid Mafia-Tainted Olive Oils

As the experts in the 60 Minutes exposé recommend, you can avoid Mafia-tainted olive oils by doing your homework online. Located around the world are quite a few good and honorable farmers who bypass the Mafia’s counterfeiting factories and instead sell their olive oils directly to consumers.  Know that real olive oil will be more expensive…but it’s worth it.

But if you’d just as soon save yourself the time and hassle of researching hundreds of online olive oil producers, most of whom claim to be “the best,” allow us to make a suggestion.

Check out this link. It’s a small company called the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club. They specialize in bringing direct to your door the best artisanal olive oils from award-winning family farms all around the world. And they do it right at harvest time, when the olive oils are at their peak of flavor and nutritional value.

Most important, every olive oil they import is independently lab certified to be 100% pure extra virgin. These are nothing less than the purest, freshest, highest-rated award-winning olive oils available in America and are out-of-this-world delicious.

Once we tried these olive oils, we fell madly in love with them, as did our entire team. They are now the only extra virgin olive oils that we trust to put in our bodies and serve our friends, relatives, and guests. We recommend them to everyone.

If you’ve been duped into consuming fake olive oil for any length of time, you’ll feel the difference almost immediately when you switch to the real stuff. When you feel the immune boost, sustainable energy, and all-around support that it provides, you’ll understand what all the hype is about.

 


References

[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/olive-oil-compound-kills-cancer-cells-30-minutes

[2] http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/9/sf_olives/Page-01

[3] http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/research/files/report041211finalreduced.pdf

[4] http://www.foodrenegade.com/your-extravirgin-olive-oil-fake/

Image source

turmeric-depression

In case you haven’t already noticed, turmeric offers an astounding array of health benefits that’s just short of miraculous. We’ve outlined in past articles how turmeric is revolutionizing the way we treat cancer, how it’s outcompeting hordes of pharmaceuticals, and how its restoring industry-wide trust in “natural remedies,” which were viewed with derision and skepticism throughout most of modern medicine’s history.

Science is now beginning to demonstrate that turmeric is also an incredible remedy for depression, a neurological imbalance that affects up to 20% of the world’s population at any given time[1] (and that’s a low number based only on the cases that are actually diagnosed).

If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know just how debilitating the condition can be. Disrupted lifestyle schedules and relationships, lethargy, extreme fatigue, lack of motivation, and deep sadness are all common attributes of the disease. Studies have even shown that depression causes physical brain damage, wreaks havoc on many of the body’s vital systems, and increases the likelihood of other diseases and conditions.

And here’s the worst part: conventional treatments for depression just aren’t working. In fact, Big Pharma’s own studies reveal that drug-assisted depression recovery rates are almost never higher than with a placebo.[2] When antidepressants do convey some measurable benefit, they do so incidentally, and not because of the mechanism for which the drug was designed (we’ll talk more about this phenomenon later in the article).

Turmeric, on the other hand, actually works. One notable study pitted turmeric against Prozac and found that turmeric exceeded the success rate of Prozac without causing any side effects.[3] This is the kind of finding that changes everything.

In case you need some more evidence, though, let’s take a look at the main reasons why turmeric just might be the ultimate depression treatment tool.

Just like antidepressants, but better

We’ll start with an apples-to-apples comparison. Pharmaceutical antidepressants are designed to alter levels of brain neurotransmitters (usually serotonin and dopamine, and sometimes norepinephrine). The correlation between neurotransmitter imbalance and depression is not a misguided notion. However, the assumption that balance can be restored just by messing with isolated chemicals in the brain is woefully simplistic.

The brain is a vastly complex, little-understood system—and healing it requires equally dynamic approaches and tools.

Here’s where turmeric comes in. This incredible little root also works by balancing neurotransmitter levels—but it does so in a much more sophisticated way. Rather than simply tweaking brain chemicals in one way (i.e. increasing or decreasing their levels), turmeric modulates the levels of all neurotransmitters relative to one another—increasing and decreasing as is necessary in each case—until perfect balance is achieved.

This mechanism is the Holy Grail of antidepressant drug development…which perhaps is why several companies have already attempted to patent turmeric! And this is only the first of many mechanisms through which turmeric heals the brain and combats depression.

What antidepressants wish they could be

As more and more evidence continues to reveal that the antidepressant industry is one big moneymaking charade, medical researchers are finally starting to dig deeper.

What they’re finding is that the conventionally held model for how to treat depression may be completely wrong. What puzzled researchers for some time was this: prescription antidepressants do seem to work for a certain percentage of people, but only after a somewhat long period of time. If they were working only by increasing or decreasing neurotransmitter levels, they should work right away. And why do they only work for some people?

It turns out that the real underlying factor at work is the increase of neurotrophic factors in the brain, especially brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that controls the growth of neurons. Antidepressants, when taken over time, can slowly help increase BDNF levels, but only in individuals with a specific genetic profile.

But using antidepressants to increase BDNF levels is a dramatically inefficient and unwise choice. Based on the limited research available, the increase they provide is marginal in the even the best case scenarios—and their use can cause a staggering number of side effects, including depression itself.

On the contrary, turmeric increases BDNF levels in the hippocampus (the center of emotion, mood, memory, and the autonomic nervous system) more effectively than antidepressants—and it does so with zero side effects. This mechanism has now been conclusively demonstrated by peer-reviewed studies.[4]

And that still doesn’t even scratch the surface of the multi-faceted support that turmeric offers for mental and emotional health.

Turmeric tackles depression in ways Big Pharma isn’t even attempting

The final mechanism that we’ll cover is perhaps the most important of all, because it has the furthest reaching implications and because it isn’t even on Big Pharma’s radar.

It’s the multi-pronged mechanism for which turmeric is already famous: its unparalleled anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.

Many studies have demonstrated that brain inflammation (caused by chronic inflammation in the body) and oxidative stress (caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS)) cause brain and DNA damage, both of which can lead to depression.[5]

Turmeric thus address one of the root causes of depression by working on every level to eliminate brain inflammation[6] and protect against oxidative damage. It even supercharges the brain’s own ability to support itself by increasing the endogenous protection of glutathione and other powerful antioxidants.[7]  

Pharmaceutical companies understand the connection between inflammation and depression, but none of their medications put this knowledge into practice.

Ready to be supported by turmeric?

Whether you’re suffering from depression or just searching to optimize your health in some other way, turmeric is always a wise choice. After all, research has shown it be an effective treatment for over 100 different conditions.

Cooking with whole turmeric root (or consuming it raw in smoothies) is a good way to start, but you’ll need to work with a liposomal, full-spectrum extract if you really want to glean its full benefit.

We sincerely believe that this one is the most powerful and unique on the market.

You don’t have to labor under the burden of depression or other debilitating condition. Give turmeric a try today, and you’ll see why this ancient root is captivating the hearts and minds of the medical community.

 


References

[1] http://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-benefits/can-turmeric-help-in-depression

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/depression-medication-why_b_550098.html

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23832433

[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432812006997

[5] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584610001776

[6] http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15501961

Image source