Posts Tagged ‘Natural remedies’

By Katherine Foreman on November 11, 2015

With cold and flu season starting to rear its ugly head, it’s more important than ever to keep healthy and germ-free, beginning with the basics—your immune system. Since all sickness starts with a little (or a lot) immunity deficit, providing your body with the TLC it needs to remain in top shape is essential to keep from coughing and sneezing all over your holiday season. As with anything, it’s the little lifestyle adjustments that make the biggest difference, so we’ve rounded up seven simple, yet powerful, everyday immunity boosters to keep you happy, healthy and prepared to ward off those pesky winter germs.

immunity boosters

1. Don’t ignore your gut feelings

It may feel like your nose and throat are the immune system headquarters (headquarters, see what we did there?), but the majority of it (70 percent!) actually has its home in your gut, where probiotics flourish to help prevent infection. This “good bacteria” is important to keep strong and plentiful, and that can be accomplished through a well-balanced, clean diet, and even eating fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi to build resistance strength.

2. Add a little spice to your diet

Many herbs and spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric have been used for years as anti-inflammatory agents with boosting antioxidant properties and a healthy list of other added benefits. It doesn’t hurt that they make for the perfect dish garnishes, so start implementing more into your daily food intake to maximize the benefits.

immunity boosters

Thinkstock

3. Zinc is the answer

While it is ultimately very important to consume a lot of vitamin C when times are tough healthwise, zinc has also been proven to reduce the duration of colds by a few days. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, antibiotic agent can be digested in foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, nuts, beans and oysters. Doctors say adding 25 mg of zinc to your diet for a couple of days if you start feeling under the weather is a sure-fire way to ensure you aren’t down and out too long.

4. Antibiotics are not necessarily your friend

For as long as you can, taking the natural route and finding organic ways to fend off germs is actually the most effective way to remain well. Antibiotics often help do the trick, but have also been shown to suppress the normal immune functioning and attack the good bacteria your body needs to stay well. Drinking lots of water—particularly infused with the health-boosting properties of things like lemon, honey and ginger—is an easy and effective way to get the benefits you want without detracting from your body’s natural manufacturing process.

5. Get those endorphins flowing with plenty of exercise

Even exercising as little as a couple of times a week helps to keep stress at bay, improve the quality of your sleep, and strengthen your body. Making the time to get that workout in, especially if it’s outside and can expose you to all that good vitamin D, will be well worth it when you don’t bring the flu home with you.

immunity boosters

Getty Images

6. Sleep, sleep, sleep

We know—the thought of getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night seems like a big laugh in today’s hectic world, but doctors emphasize that budgeting for at least that amount of sleep each night is one of the most integral ways to support a thriving immune system. Along with a host of other benefits, it’s an excellent method of regulating stress levels, which, if too high, seriously impair the immune system’s ability to function properly. If you can’t swing spending that amount of time sleeping each night, try supplementing with 20-minute power naps during the day. You’ll definitely be glad you did.

immunity boosters

Getty Images

7. Lay off the processed foods

Avoiding a large sugar, gluten and processed food intake is essential in keeping healthy and strong throughout the year. Doctors and nutritionists advise making your diet as colorful as possible to boost immunity. Leafy greens, an abundance of berries, sweet potatoes and the like are key elements of the infallible health regimen.

Advertisements


Author, ‘How To Live 100 Years Without Growing Old’
Posted: 05/24/2012 10:15 am

No question, doctors and patients are now joining the vitamin D revolution in large numbers. More and more doctors are ordering tests to determine vitamin D blood levels and more patients are reading about the positive benefits of vitamin D in news reports. There have been more than 3,000 published studies and reports involving vitamin D listed at the National Library of Medicine in just the past 14 months.

Now, pediatricians at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore say all children need to be screened for vitamin D deficiency. This means vitamin D is going big time.

What’s the vitamin D revolution about and why should you join it? It’s about the rediscovery of a sun-made vitamin-hormone that was first recognized in 1922 to avert bone softening in children, what is called rickets.

Overlooked at that time was the fact that most vitamin D-deficient children with rickets had impaired immune systems. Only recently have researchers begun to investigate the role of vitamin D in maintaining an optimal immune response. In particular, vitamin D activates an army of white blood cells called neutrophils, which represent 50-70 percent of the total white blood cell volume and are the first responders to any infection in the body.

Vitamin D for colds and flu

Dr. John Cannell, founder of The Vitamin D Council, has noted that seasonal bouts of the flu and winter colds are not spread from person to person as commonly believed. Colds and the flu do not progress from town to town, and an individual in a family may come down with a viral infection while others remain healthy. Nor are colds “caught” by being out in chilly weather. In fact, medical literature points to the wintertime cold and flu season as simply a downturn in human immunity as vitamin D levels drop due to the diminished intensity of the sun combined with more time spent indoors as the outdoor temperature becomes chilly.

A relatively recent study found just 800-2,000 international units (IU) of supplemental vitamin D, by weight just 20-400 micrograms, reduced wintertime cold symptoms from 30 in 104 subjects given an inactive placebo tablet to just nine in 104 subjects given vitamin D. That is quite a striking difference.

Modern medicine is agonizingly slow in providing conclusive evidence as to whether vitamin D is the big antidote to the common cold and wintertime viral infections. But your family doesn’t have to wait; vitamin D is relatively inexpensive, and concerns about overdosing are poorly-founded.

The biggest concern among doctors is that mega-dose vitamin D will cause a condition called hyper-calcification. But it takes about a million units of vitamin D for this to occur in healthy adults. Intake of 40 1,000-unit vitamin D pills a day would be required to produce toxicity in an adult.

Our family isn’t waiting for more science. My wife and I began taking 5,000-8,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, and we have found at the first sign of a runny-nose cold we take 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 and our cold symptoms usually subside within minutes. That much vitamin D may seem to be problematic, but physicians inject 300,000 IU among postmenopausal females for wintertime bone protection without side effect.

Putting vitamin D into practice

Recently, our 7-year-old son began to develop symptoms of a cold and an earache. We started with 5,000 IU of chewable vitamin D and then gave another 5,000 IU a few minutes later. Our son was also given some elderberry syrup, reported to be helpful for the flu, along with some vitamin C. We soaked Q-tips in hydrogen peroxide and placed them in his ear canals to kill off germs and then instilled an herbal ear drop that provided garlic oil. Within a short time the earache and other symptoms were gone.

This regimen continued for about three days as symptoms began to reappear upon awakening in the morning — that is, until our son was given his vitamin D. He didn’t miss a day of school and no doctor’s office visits for antibiotics were required. Special note: If earache symptoms persist, don’t be so stubbornly committed to self-doctoring that you allow your child to suffer permanent hearing loss.

When our son was about 2.5 years of age he awoke in the middle of the night crying with a fever of 101.8 degrees Fahrenheit. We broke up vitamin D tablets, mixed them with water and instilled about 5,000 IU in a bulb syringe orally. Within minutes he began to shake with the chills, a sign his fever was breaking. Within 15 minutes he was sound asleep in his bed.

The vitamin D revolution is underway, and it has promise for addressing many maladies, including childhood food and peanut allergies, for pregnant women to reduce the risk of lower respiratory tract infections, wheezing and asthma in their offspring, and for tonsillitis, just to mention a few of its many applications. Learn to use vitamin D for your whole family and they will really call you Doctor Mom. To learn more, I’ve written a free family guide to vitamin D, available here.

For more by Bill Sardi, click here.

For more on natural health, click here.


Author, ‘War of the Worldviews’; Founder, The Chopra Foundation
Posted: 02/ 1/2012 8:29 am

Wellness seems to have reached a plateau in America and other wealthy industrialized countries. The information about how to prevent many kinds of lifestyle disorders, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, has been widely distributed. Longevity steadily increases. Advanced research on incurable diseases moves forward, if only by small increments.

You might think that the picture of health is clear. All we need are two things to achieve wellness for almost everyone: more compliance and a major leap in genetics.

The first is certainly true. America’s obesity epidemic isn’t improving because the information about how to reverse it didn’t lead to motivation. The same is true for the other standard points of prevention, such as a reduced fat diet, less red meat, more vegetables, lower salt and sugar, and more fiber. The government can jiggle the food pyramid, but that won’t matter as long as Americans haven’t stepped on to the pyramid in the first place. The same goes for exercise, since only a small minority of adults get even the minimum amount to promote good health.

But this post isn’t a scolding about compliance. It’s the second part of wellness — waiting for genetics to deliver amazing cures and new wonder drugs — that is not a promise likely to be kept. If we want to rise above the plateau where we find ourselves, we actually have to reverse the promise of genetics. Instead of waiting for science, each of us must learn to influence our genes in a new way.

Ten years ago, with the map of the human genome in hand, researchers ran eagerly after magic bullets — that is, simple treatments for fixing damaged genes or “bad” genes that were causing everything from cancer and Type 1 diabetes to obesity and smoking, not to mention mental disorders like depression and free-floating anxiety, both of which are reaching epidemic proportions.

No one is talking about magic bullets anymore, for the genetic map, combined with imaging techniques like the MRI and CT scans, revealed the opposite of what everyone wanted to find. Instead of simple genetic connections, there are dozens and sometimes hundreds of genes involved in various disorders. Even to find fixed sets of these genes has proved elusive. Each individual seems to possess unique patterns of genetic influence. Now medicine realizes that breast cancer, for example, isn’t one disease but dozens. Faced with such unforeseen complications, the hope for genetic cures, while still alive, has become 10 times more complex.

Yet in a different way the human genome has opened the door for the higher health. We now realize that our genes are far more flexible, changeable and easily influenced by lifestyle choices. This post is too short for me to detail how such a revolutionary change occurred in genetic thinking, so I will only point to the findings of Dr. Dean Ornish, the country’s most respected advocate for heart prevention, which indicate that improving your diet, exercise and stress levels leads to improved genetic output from 400 to 500 genes.

This indicates that standard prevention has a real physiological basis, which is good news. Compliance is more than ever the wisest choice. But the new view of genetic flexibility points much further. You are in a constant conversation with every cell in your body, meaning that at the molecular level, every thoughts and action has consequences. It has become clear that genes are eavesdropping on every detail of life, including not just diet and exercise but your moods, beliefs and every experience that registers in the mind.

In other words, you can be the controller of your body’s trillions of cells, and the control switch lies in consciousness. Higher health depends on taking advantage of this breakthrough idea. Far beyond the placebo effect and psychosomatic illness, beyond faith healing and spontaneous remissions, the mind has unlimited potential for achieving a higher vision of wellness, as we’ll discuss in the next post.

(To be cont.)

October 4 2011

Colloidal silver benefits include reducing exposure to disease-causing agents and can be used as an internal remedy for immune system support. Silver Shield, a colloidal silver product, has been proven to effectively combat health issues caused by anthrax, yeast, food poisoning, fungal infections of the skin, bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory infections, pink eye and more.

Proven by in vitro testing, the colloidal silver in Silver Shield helps rid the body of invasive microorganisms. This is done when the colloidal silver ingredients disable the enzymes that are metabolizing oxygen for harmful bacteria and viruses.

Many turn to antibiotics to combat invasive microorganisms attacking the immune system. Antibiotics often solve the problem, but can prove harmful in other areas. Most antibiotics attack all bacteria, both good and bad, minimizing the good bacteria found in the colon required for healthy digestion and adequate immune support.

The colloidal silver in Silver Shield benefits the immune system in similar ways antibiotics do. However, because Silver Shield is processed in the kidneys it is likely that it does not affect the population of beneficial bacteria in the colon—keeping the immune and digestive system strong and healthy.

Silver Shield has been tested for safety and effectiveness. It is non-toxic and does not contain any heavy metal contamination that many other colloidal silver supplements do. Nature’s Sunshine observes a strict quality control process to verify the atomic absorption of Silver Shield. As a result, the product delivers fine, particle-sized silver colloids with 99% bioavailability. Many other popular colloidal silver products were tested and deliver only 15-65% colloids with bioavailability.

Boost your immune system with colloidal silver. The quality of Nature’s Sunshine’s Silver Shield product surpasses the market standard for colloidal silver supplements. Give your body the strength it needs to combat the harmful bacteria and viruses we face every day.

Cover of "DHA: A Good Fat: Essential for ...

Cover of DHA: A Good Fat: Essential for LifeSusan B. Dopart, M.S., R.D.

Susan B. Dopart, M.S., R.D.
Santa Monica Nutritionist and Author of A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian
Posted: 05/11/11 08:48 AM ET

Confused about which vitamins to take? You’re not alone. With more choices, research and money at stake, we live in a time with a lot of controversy about the necessity of supplements.

Even prominent researchers have contradictory viewpoints. At the February 2011 American Society for Nutrition Advanced and Nutrition Controversies Conference, researchers were at odds over what’s really essential.

Since nutrition is a young science and research is constantly evolving, there’s more to come. But, here’s what you need to know right now about which supplements are critical.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” and its deficiency can lead to rickets or soft bones in children. In adults, the risk of deficiency is softening of the bone (osteomalacia) or bone loss (osteoporosis). Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and promotes bone mineralization.

Many health care professionals also see it as a protection against many forms of disease. According to V. Tangpricha, M.D., Ph.D. of Emory University of Medicine, more than 900 genes use vitamin D, and its deficiency can be associated with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity.

In November 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) , which is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, gave out recommendations for vitamin D. These recommendations rocked the science world as they seemed low compared to what most health care professionals were advising.

What some may have missed is that these levels were lower as they were recommendations for healthy populations. Previous guidelines recommending higher doses took into account those at-risk for health concerns like insulin resistance, diabetes and cancer.

If you don’t take any other supplement, Vitamin D is the one not to ignore.

Levels of vitamin D are declining by 50 percent even in healthy populations due to low levels in our diet and avoidance of the sun. And, as obesity increases, so do stores of vitamin D since belly fat holds onto vitamin D and causes less of it to be available to the body.

The correct dosage to take each day depends on your blood values. A basic amount to start with is 1,000 IU per day. Although the IOM recommends 600-800 IU per day, this level may not be adequate to reach optimal levels for many individuals. The Endocrine Society has new guidelines coming out June 6, 2011, and it is predicted that they will recommend between 1,000-2,000 IU per day.

Fish Oil
Omega-3 fats are hot in the literature. Since the dry weight of our brains is 60 percent fat, omega 3-fats are critical for brain function. They also have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in the body versus omega-6 fats, which are thought to be pro-inflammatory, thus working against the benefits of omega-3’s.

A century ago, many of the omega-6 fats we know today — like cottonseed and soybean oils — did not exist. These seed oils require industrial processes for extraction, and are not a product of evolutionary diets. Today, they are common in processed or prepackaged foods.

The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats 100 years ago was approximately 2-to-1. Recent estimates show our food supply has changed the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio to 20-to-1, which demonstrates how unbalanced our food intake has become.

In addition, how animals are fed depends on the types of fats we receive in our diets. When animals are fed grass, we receive higher levels of omega-3 fats. When they eat corn or grain we receive higher levels of omega-6 fats. Even organic meats and poultry are fed corn, making it difficult to consume enough omega 3-fats unless you eat wild fish several times a week.

The three types of omega 3-fats are ALA, DHA, and EPA. Just one tablespoon per day of ground flax seed provides your needs for ALA. Optimal amounts of DHA and EPA vary according to your age, level of health and medical issues. Since Western diets barely contain 100 mg. of either DHA or EPA, taking a supplement containing at least 500 mg. each of DHA and EPA is recommended.

Multivitamins
Research on the need for multi-vitamins has been disappointing at best. Unless you are eating below 1,500 calories per day or have a medical issue needing a certain supplement, you may not need a multivitamin. Since vitamin companies can be several years behind the research, here are some tips if you want to take a multivitamin:

1. Unless you are a woman of child-bearing age or are pregnant, iron is not necessary and may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Men of any age and women over 40 should make sure their multivitamin is iron-free.

2. Since most multi-vitamins contain at least 400 mcg. of folic acid, take them only 3 times per week, unless you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant. There is so much supplementation of folic acid in foods that many individuals are receiving excessive amount of folic acid on a regular basis.

Although folic acid has been shown to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine (where elevated levels are believed to cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries), research has not shown it to be helpful in preventing cardiovascular events. And, overdosing of folic acid can increase the risk of colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

Over 60
If you are over 60, you may need a calcium supplement of 1,000-1,200 mg. per day, especially if your diet does not contain dietary sources of calcium. However, in August 2010 The British Medical Journal published a review of different studies looking at the outcome of women taking calcium supplements for risk of fractures and bone density. Surprisingly, they discovered women taking calcium supplements had an increased risk of heart disease, or more specifically heart attacks. In addition, they did not find any benefit from the supplements. Again, the recommendation for calcium is very individual.

Many are concerned about not having enough B12. With aging, a B12 supplement may be necessary since less B12 is absorbed with age due to inadequate amounts of stomach acids required for absorption of B12.

Where does all this information leave us?
The important point to remember is that vitamins over certain levels are shown to act like drugs. Many individuals take vitamins not knowing what amounts they are receiving or why they are taking them, putting them at risk for other issues.

The research is controversial, but solid evidence lies in taking at least Vitamin D and omega-3 supplements. Whether you need a multi-vitamin or other separate supplements depends on your age, health or medical situation, and your dosages should be tailored accordingly.

It is worth your while to have your medical or health status evaluated to know exactly what to take for your individual needs. Taking the same vitamins for years, or taking supplements without appropriate knowledge, can be problematic, so be responsible with respect to your needs.

Finally, when you think of supplements, think of the definition: things you take to supplement an already healthy diet full of nutrient dense foods, and not something you take as a substitute for an unhealthy diet.

Susan is the author of “A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian.” For more information, visit susandopart.com

Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy.

Image via Wikipedia

Leo Galland, M.D.
Practicing physician, author and leader in integrated medicine.
Posted: 04/26/11 08:30 AM ET

Could a traditional food have pain- and inflammation-reducing effects similar to over the counter pain medicine like ibuprofen?

Scientists from Italy, Spain, the U.S. and Australia have discovered that extra virgin olive oil can provide significant health benefits, including the ability to help reduce pain and inflammation.

This robust, flavorful oil is an example of the food as medicine concept, that foods can have a powerful impact on health.

A Mythical, Sacred Oil

From ancient Greece to the Holy Land, olive oil has been treasured. Celebrated as sacred in Greek mythology, the olive branch symbolized peace in Hellenic culture. Evidence of this ancient oil was discovered in 1901 at the “Room of the Olive Press” at Knossos on the island of Crete in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. From there olives were pressed into oil over 4,500 years ago and the olive oil was exported to North Africa and mainland Greece.

Cultivation of olive trees spread around the Mediterranean where olive oil flourished along with many early civilizations. The bible speaks of olive oil, and it has been used by Christianity and Judaism as a holy anointing oil.

Today, the major producers of olive oil are Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco and Syria.

But the growing popularity of olive oil can be seen in the spread of cultivation around the world to countries such as the U.S., Chile, and South Africa. Australia has become an energetic olive oil producer and exporter, and has just announced a record crop.

During travels with my family from the south of France to Tuscany to Greece I have witnessed the special beauty of the olive tree and tasted its fruit. Able to withstand heat, sun and survive on only a little moisture, the hardy olive tree became an icon of the Mediterranean region. Freezing temperatures, however, can harm the trees and the crop.

Eating Healthy With Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil can contribute nutritional support in the fight against such health problems as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and in pain management.

A research study from Spain has shown that higher olive oil consumption is associated with leaner body weight, an important factor in prevention of chronic conditions.

Another study from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain looked at how diets including olive oil might offer protection against depression: Bad Fats Linked to Depression

Natural Painkiller Discovered in Olive Oil

Recent research has identified the antioxidant called oleocanthal, which is only found in extra-virgin olive oil. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, found that oleocanthal in olive oil has a potency strikingly similar to that of the drug ibuprofen in inhibiting the cyclooxygenase (Cox) enzyme that causes pain and inflammation. Their findings were published in the science magazine Nature.

Given the side effects of common pain relieving drugs, finding a nutritional way to reduce pain and inflammation could be a solution for people suffering from pain.

In another study Italian researchers explain that the characteristic pungent and bitter taste of virgin olive oil have been attributed to phenols in the oil that have potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and anti-cancer benefits.

Research on Health Benefits of Olive Oil

At the meeting of the “International conference on the healthy effect of virgin olive oil” that took place in Spain in 2005, numerous benefits of virgin olive oil from the research were outlined. They looked at the consumption of olive oil from the perspective of issues such as cardiovascular health, cancer and longevity. With respect to anti-aging they noted: “The more recent studies consistently support that the Mediterranean diet, based in virgin olive oil, is compatible with a healthier aging and increased longevity.”

Consumption of olive oil has been associated with:

* Reduction of total cholesterol and an increase in the high-density cholesterol (HDL-C), which has a protective effect on blood vessels.

* Improved sensitivity of cells to insulin, which helps to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome. Preventing Metabolic Syndrome is important, because the syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

* Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.

Potent Antioxidant Power of Olive Oil

Phenolic compounds are potent antioxidants found in virgin and extra-virgin olive oil. These compounds give unrefined olive oils their distinctive flavors and high degree of stability.

Studies indicate these compounds may be able to:

* Turn off the activity of genes that produce the kind of inflammation that causes coronary heart disease.

* Decrease production of inflammatory chemicals called thromboxanes and leukotrienes.

* Decrease the production of the most damaging form of cholesterol, oxidized LDL cholesterol.

* University of South Australia researchers note that compounds from the olive were found to be antimicrobial against various bacteria.

And olive oil is just the beginning of anti-inflammatory foods. Learn more about fighting pain and inflammation in my article: Natural Anti- Inflammatory Foods and Supplements That Help Arthritis

Enjoying Olive Oil

The research studies focus on the benefits of extra-virgin olive oil, so this is what I always buy. I look for organic oil that has been grown without pesticides. Freshness counts, so I like shop where they sell a lot of oil, such as a big health food store. Store it in a cool place.

The amount of olive oil associated with protection against inflammation is only two teaspoons a day, which is easy to achieve. A sprinkle of olive oil makes a simple salad dressing, and a little oil can be used for dipping bread, instead of butter. Olive oil can also be used in baking.

Here is a popular tangy and sweet recipe from my book The Fat Resistance Diet, an anti-inflammatory dietary program.

Pomegranate Lime Dressing

Pomegranate juice is an outstanding source of flavonoids which help to reduce inflammation.

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon unsweetened pomegranate juice

In a jar, shake together the extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, and pomegranate juice. Serves 1.

Get more free recipes at fatresistancediet.com

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you use olive oil?

What is your favorite type of olive oil, and from which country?

Where do you shop for it?

Have you noticed any benefits from olive oil?

Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Best Health,

Leo Galland, MD

Important: Celebrate Healthy Eating with your friends and family by forwarding this article to them, and sharing on Facebook.

Leo Galland, MD is a board-certified internist, author and internationally recognized leader in integrated medicine. Dr. Galland is the founder of Pill Advised, a web application for learning about medications, supplements and food. Sign up for FREE to discover how your medications and vitamins interact. Watch his videos on YouTube and join the Pill Advised Facebook page.

References and Further Reading:

The Annual of the British School at Athens, Coverage: 1894-2007 (Vols. 1-102)

Olive Oil: From Tree to Table, Peggy Knickerbocker and Laurie Smith, Chronicle Books; 2nd edition (October 1997)

Nature. 2005 Sep 1;437(7055):45-6. “Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil.”Beauchamp GK, Keast RS, Morel D, Lin J, Pika J, Han Q, Lee CH, Smith AB, Breslin PA.
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Inflammopharmacology. 2009 Apr;17(2):76-84. “Phenolic compounds in olive oil: antioxidant, health and organoleptic activities according to their chemical structure.” Servili M, Esposto S, Fabiani R, Urbani S, Taticchi A, Mariucci F, Selvaggini R, Montedoro GF.
Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-estimative e degli Alimenti, Sezione di Tecnologie e Biotecnologie degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Via S. Costanzo, 06126 Perugia, Italy.

Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 Jul;35(7):421-4.”International conference on the healthy effect of virgin olive oil.”Perez-Jimenez F, Alvarez de Cienfuegos G, Badimon L, Barja G, Battino M, Blanco A, Bonanome A, Colomer R, Corella-Piquer D, Covas I, Chamorro-Quiros J, Escrich E, Gaforio JJ, Garcia Luna PP, Hidalgo L, Kafatos A, Kris-Etherton PM, Lairon D, Lamuela-Raventos R, Lopez-Miranda J, Lopez-Segura F, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Mata P, Mataix J, Ordovas J, Osada J, Pacheco-Reyes R, Perucho M, Pineda-Priego M, Quiles JL, Ramirez-Tortosa MC, Ruiz-Gutierrez V, Sanchez-Rovira P, Solfrizzi V, Soriguer-Escofet F, de la Torre-Fornell R, Trichopoulos A, Villalba-Montoro JM, Villar-Ortiz JR, Visioli F.
Lipid and Atherosclerosis Unit, Reina Sofia University Hospital, Cordoba, Spain.

Public Health Nutr. 2009 Sep;12(9A):1607-17. “Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome: the evidence.”Babio N, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, IISPV, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain.

J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Nov;13(11):636-644.”Major phenolic compounds in olive oil: metabolism and health effects.” Tuck KL, Hayball PJ.
Centre for Pharmaceutical Research, School of Pharmaceutical, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of South Australia, 5000, Adelaide, Australia

BMC Genomics. 2010 Apr 20;11:253. “Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells in patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil.” Camargo A, Ruano J, Fernandez JM, Parnell LD, Jimenez A, Santos-Gonzalez M, Marin C, Perez-Martinez P, Uceda M, Lopez-Miranda J, Perez-Jimenez F.
IMIBIC (Instituto Maimonides de Investigacion Biomedica de Cordoba), Reina Sofia University Hospital, University of Cordoba, Spain.

J Nutr. 2008 Jun;138(6):1074-8. “An extra-virgin olive oil rich in polyphenolic compounds has antioxidant effects in OF1 mice.”Oliveras-López MJ, Berná G, Carneiro EM, López-García de la Serrana H, Martín F, López MC.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Engineering, Andalusian Center of Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, CIBERDEM, University of Pablo de Olavide of Seville, 41092 Seville, Spain.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Feb;15(1):13-23. “Effect of unsaturated fat intake from Mediterranean diet on rat liver mRNA expression profile: selective modulation of genes involved in lipid metabolism.” Eletto D, Leone A, Bifulco M, Tecce MF.
Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università di Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, I-84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy.

Atherosclerosis. 2007 Jan;190(1):181-6. Epub 2006 Feb 20. “Postprandial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of extra virgin olive oil.” Bogani P, Galli C, Villa M, Visioli F.
Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.

J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Apr;27(2):314-20. “Changes in LDL fatty acid composition as a response to olive oil treatment are inversely related to lipid oxidative damage: The EUROLIVE study.” Cicero AF, Nascetti S, López-Sabater MC, Elosua R, Salonen JT, Nyyssönen K, Poulsen HE, Zunft HJ, Kiesewetter H, de la Torre K, Covas MI, Kaikkonen J, Mursu J, Koenbick C, Bäumler H, Gaddi AV; EUROLIVE Study Group.
GC Descovich Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Disease Research Unit, Internal Medicine, Aging and Kidney Diseases Dept., University of Bologna, Via Massarenti, 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.

J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5):434-44. “A MUFA-rich diet improves posprandial glucose, lipid and GLP-1 responses in insulin-resistant subjects.” Paniagua JA, de la Sacristana AG, Sánchez E, Romero I, Vidal-Puig A, Berral FJ, Escribano A, Moyano MJ, Peréz-Martinez P, López-Miranda J, Pérez-Jiménez F.
Lipids and Atherosclerosis Research Unit, University Hospital Reina Sofía, Córdoba, Spain.

Full Text: “Diet and Inflammation” Leo Galland, MD, Nutr Clin Pract December 7, 2010 vol. 25 no. 6 634-640

Power Healing: Use the New Integrated Medicine to Cure Yourself. Leo Galland, 384 pages, Random House, (June 1, 1998)

Recipe by Jonathan Galland from The Fat Resistance Diet © 2005 Leo Galland, M.D., Reprinted by permission of the author.

This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, (iii) or the creation of a physician–patient relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.

Ginger tea

Image via Wikipedia

Leo Galland, M.D.
Practicing physician, author and leader in integrated medicine.
Posted: 04/18/11 07:45 AM ET

Fragrant herbs and spices such as ginger are some of the most powerful weapons we have to help combat inflammation from a nutritional perspective.

Inflammation causes or contributes to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer, as I wrote in a recent review that appeared in Nutrition in Clinical Practice.

Aromatic ginger is a superstar of traditional medicine in Asia, where it has been treasured for thousands of years for its amazing flavors and impressive health benefits.

Ginger Used as Painkiller for Arthritis

Ginger contains dozens of the most potent inflammation fighting substances known, phytonutrients called gingerols.

Japanese researchers writing in the Journal of Medicinal Food explain that red ginger (Zingiber officinale var. Rubra) is used in Indonesian traditional medicine as a painkiller for arthritis.

Learn more about fighting pain and inflammation in my article: Natural Anti- Inflammatory Foods and Supplements That Help Arthritis

Ginger Fights Inflammation Like Common NSAID‘s

In research done over the past 30 years, science has found support for the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, according to a review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The authors note that one early study compared the medicinal potential of ginger to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s). Common examples of NSAID’s include Advil, Motrin, Aleve and aspirin. It found that ginger, like the NSAID’s, inhibits the enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. (Cox 1 and 2).

Further discoveries revealed that an extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale) inhibits several genes that contribute to inflammation.

More Health Benefits of Ginger

As I explain in my book “Power Healing,” ginger contains over four hundred chemically active ingredients and has been used traditionally for digestive complaints. It may protect the stomach from ulcers and has a wide range of parasite-fighting abilities.

Studies indicate that ginger may be helpful for nausea, and migraine headaches.

Get more info on ginger, including traditional uses, resources and more: Ginger — Know What Herbs Do What

What is Ginger and How is it Used?

Ginger is a rhizome, and is akin to a carrot with multiple stems. It is remarkably simple to use. It is available as a powder which can add instant flavor to favorite dishes such as soups and chili. In addition, fresh ginger is available here to be used sliced or grated and cooked.

Healthy Eating Tips: How to Add Ginger to Your Day

Ginger is adding international style and flair to dishes in fashionable restaurants, so why not bring some of that great flavor home to your kitchen? After these tips, please see below for a recipe featuring ginger.

Ginger is used often in Chinese cuisine, where it gives dishes a touch of spiciness. In the U.S., ginger is widely available as a powdered spice, and this makes a handy pantry item. Fresh ginger provides even more flavor and aroma and can be found right in your supermarket. Look for fresh ginger that is firm to the touch and not wilted, dried out or moldy. Choose fresh ginger that is organically grown in the U.S.

To use fresh ginger, remove the dark peel and cut a section of the light colored root. Finely chop the ginger and it is ready to use in recipes for cooked dishes.

Making Fresh Ginger Tea

Fresh ginger tea can be made by adding finely chopped ginger to boiled water, letting it steep for 2-3 minutes, and then straining out the ginger.

Learn about many more herbs here: Herb Guide

And don’t forget about including anti-inflammatory foods like ginger in your routine. Here is a recipe featuring ginger from my book, The Fat Resistance Diet, an anti-inflammatory program.

Vegetarian Curry

Here is a family style recipe that uses several powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients, and features cruciferous veggies and antioxidant-rich beans.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons ginger, minced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cooked kidney or garbanzo beans
1 cup peas
1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes on medium. Add crushed tomatoes, water, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, salt and black pepper, stirring to mix.

2. Add the cauliflower, beans and peas, stirring to coat with sauce. Cover pot and simmer for 7-8 minutes, until cauliflower is fork tender. Add parsley, stirring to combine, and then serve over rice, quinoa, or millet. Serves 4.

I hope you enjoy the healthy pleasure of ginger this springtime.

Get free recipes and more information at fatresistancediet.com.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you suffer from pain or inflammation?

What symptoms do you experience?

Have you found anything that helps?

Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Best Health,

Leo Galland, MD

Important: Celebrate Healthy Eating with your friends and family by forwarding this article to them, and sharing on Facebook.

Leo Galland, MD is a board-certified internist, author and internationally recognized leader in integrated medicine. Dr. Galland is the founder of Pill Advised, a web application for learning about medications, supplements and food. Sign up for FREE to discover how your medications and vitamins interact. Watch his videos on YouTube and join the Pill Advised Facebook page.

References and Further Reading

Full Text: “Diet and Inflammation” Leo Galland, MD, Nutr Clin Pract December 7, 2010 vol. 25 no. 6 634-640

Power Healing: Use the New Integrated Medicine to Cure Yourself. Leo Galland, 384 pages, Random House, (June 1, 1998)

Recipe by Jonathan Galland from The Fat Resistance Diet © 2005 Leo Galland, M.D., Reprinted by permission of the author.

J Med Food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32. “Ginger-an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG.

Int J Cardiol. 2009 Jan 24;131(3):408-9. Epub 2007 Nov 26. “Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe): a hot remedy for cardiovascular disease?” Nicoll R, Henein MY.

J Med Food. 2010 Feb;13(1):156-62. “Anti-inflammatory properties of red ginger (Zingiber officinale var. Rubra) extract and suppression of nitric oxide production by its constituents.” Shimoda H, Shan SJ, Tanaka J, Seki A, Seo JW, Kasajima N, Tamura S, Ke Y, Murakami N.

This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, (iii) or the creation of a physician–patient relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.